2024 Student Leader Team Resources

Rush Servant Leader Guide

Jul 3, 2024

Rush Servant Leader Guide: Leading Peer Groups

Welcome, Servant Leadership! Your role in guiding small groups during the Rush Conference is essential in fostering a supportive and enriching environment for all participants. This guide will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to effectively lead your groups.

As we discussed in our training, the first two small group meetings are crucial in setting the culture for the group throughout the week. Therefore, before diving into the discussion questions that we will provide based on the content from each speaker, please follow the instructions below for meeting 1 and meeting 2. We want to ensure that the group environment is established effectively.

Meeting 1:

Leaders: Share your 2-minute story

o Examples of things to share:
Introduce yourself, where you go to school, interests, hobbies, etc.
Tell about your upbringing and early experiences in your faith
Share examples of how your beliefs have guided your actions, decisions, and relationships.
Share some challenges and doubts you have wrestled with
Explain how being a part of a discipleship group has enhanced your faith experience.
Share your hopes for the week.
o This fosters a culture of vulnerability between you and group members

Members: share name and favorite movie
o Members: Leaders advise them they will share 2-minute stories in Meeting 2.

Leaders: After completing the above, you may dive into the speaker discussion questions provided.

Meeting 2:

Leaders: Share Ground Rule:

o Engage, Disengage, Distract
Tell the members of your group that to have the best group time during the week; you will follow the ground rule: engage, disengage, and distract.
You can either engage in the conversation or disengage and not say anything
However, you CANNOT distract from the conversation
o This fosters a culture of respect for everyone in the group.  

Members: share 2-minute stories

Leaders: Spiritual Scale:

Ask members which number they feel best represents where they are in their faith according to this scale. Read the descriptions below and let members answer with their number only.  Don’t stop to comment on their number because this may spark conversation in future meetings.

1 = Apathetic – You don’t care

2 = Unsaved/unsure – You wouldn’t call yourself a Christian and you are uncertain of whether not God exists.

3 = Saved/ unsure – You would call yourself a Christian, but you are unsure if you died whether you would “go to heaven”

4 = Faith of their own – You are a Christian and it is not mom and dad’s faith or anyone else’s.  You are walking in a faith of your own.

o This fosters a culture of vulnerability and self-reflection  

Leaders: After completing the above, you may dive into the speaker discussion questions provided.

BEST PRACTICES:

1. Sharing Faith Stories: Encourage participants to share their faith stories as a means of building connections and fostering a deeper understanding of one another. Lead by example and be vulnerable in sharing your own story. Create a safe and non-judgmental space where everyone feels comfortable opening up. Remember to actively listen and offer words of encouragement and support.
2. Handling Distractions: During group discussions, distractions can arise. Here are some tips to address and manage them:
Set clear expectations at the beginning, emphasizing the importance of active listening and respecting others’ perspectives.
If distractions occur, gently redirect the conversation back to the main topic.
Encourage participants to take turns speaking and actively engage in the discussion.
Utilize active listening techniques, such as summarizing key points and asking follow-up questions, to keep the conversation focused.
3. Ice Breakers: Ice breakers are a great way to help participants feel comfortable and create a sense of camaraderie within the group. Consider using ice breakers that encourage self-expression, collaboration, and connection. Here are a few examples:
Two Truths and a Lie: Each participant shares two true statements and one false statement about themselves, and the group tries to guess the lie.
Human Bingo: Distribute bingo cards with different characteristics or experiences, and participants must find others who match each description to fill their card.
Group Juggle: Participants stand in a circle and toss a ball while saying someone’s name, creating a sense of shared responsibility and focus.
4. Asking Good Small Group Questions: As a peer group leader, crafting thoughtful and open-ended questions will help stimulate meaningful discussions. Consider the following principles:
Start with simple and non-threatening questions to warm up the conversation.
Encourage participants to share personal experiences and perspectives by asking questions like, “How did this topic resonate with you?” or “Can you share an example from your own life?”
Promote reflection and deeper thinking by asking follow-up questions such as, “Why do you think that is?” or “What impact did this have on your faith journey?”
Be mindful of creating an inclusive environment by inviting everyone to contribute and ensuring that all voices are heard.

 

Remember, your role as a peer group leader is to facilitate and guide, rather than dominate the discussion. Be present, actively listen, and create a space where everyone feels valued and respected. By embracing these principles and strategies, you’ll empower participants to engage, grow, and develop lasting connections during this conference.

Thank you for your dedication as Rush peer group leaders. Your influence will make a significant impact on the overall experience of our participants. Enjoy the journey and have an amazing conference!