Launch is a site for small group leaders and mentors to use to help new Christians learn how to follow Jesus.
The centerpiece is a series of biblical and experiential group sessions focused on the top 10 questions new Christians in university settings have about growing their relationship with Jesus. Each session also includes supplemental exercises and resources for new Christians to check out on their own time and at their own pace. Plus, new Christians will find more advice and stories from mature Christians on the Launch blog!
As a Launch group leader--whether you're a campus staff or a college student--all you need to lead a session is access to the Internet and the downloadable notes and handouts for that session on the Leader's page.
And here's how the 10 sessions will equip you to disciple the new Christians in your Launch group:
1. Affirm God's love for them
Everyone deeply longs to know they’re loved. But sometimes it’s hard for people to know they’re loved, even by those they’re closest to. So how can new Christians know in the core of their being that God loves them, when God can feel intangible? Explore what Jesus teaches about how God loves them and how they can love him back. Preview: How do I know God loves me?
2. Encourage them to join God's mission
There’s no denying it: The world is hurting. From a crumbling environment to starving children to modern-day slaves, how does someone make a dent in all the pain out there? Look at how God views his damaged creation and how he intends to heal it with Christians as his hands and feet. Preview: How do I make a difference in a messed-up world?
3. Teach them how to discern God's voice in prayer
The Creator of everything longs to talk to his creation. What exactly is a Christian supposed to talk about with God? Are they only supposed to make requests or is prayer a two-way conversation? Create an ongoing dialogue by teaching them how to recognize the many ways God speaks, and how they can know it’s really his voice. Preview: How do I hear from God?
4. Show them how to study the Bible in a group and on their own
The Bible can feel intimidating for those who haven’t spent much time reading it. It was written long ago by many authors in times and places new Christians may not know much about. Show them how to read and interpret Scripture so that God can speak into their lives in immediate and powerful ways. This session includes practice with both Observation, Interpretation, Application (OIA) and Lectio Divina study methods. Preview: How do I learn something from the Bible?
5. Demonstrate the value of Christian fellowship
New Christians may still have mixed feelings about the church and Christians based on past experiences. Now is the time for them to realize how much they’ll need and want consistent interaction with other believers as they mature in Christ. Help them discover the benefits, challenges, and responsibilities of belonging to Christian community. Preview: Why do I need Christian community?
6. Discuss how to confidently talk about Jesus with others
Making Jesus the center of their lives can be noticeable to a new Christian's family and friends. How can they tell peers about the relationship that’s making them so different all of a sudden? Help them figure out why and how to share their transformation stories in an appealing and sincere way. This session incorporates the use of 2+ Prayer Cards (purchase is optional). Preview: How do I talk about what God's doing in my life?
7. Help them consider changes they might make to become more like Jesus
Commitment to Jesus often means making changes in the way a Christian lives. Jesus will be with his followers as they cut out certain habits and behaviors, but will non-believing friends stick around? Help new Christians make the transition Jesus is leading them into without alienating their friends—people whom Jesus loves too. Preview: How do I make lifestyle changes and keep my friends?
8. Start discerning God's unique calling for them
If someone gives Jesus their whole life, what does that mean for their career? Does God care whether someone becomes a lawyer, a musician, or a truck driver? Use this session to find out how God can use your group members' passions and talents in combination with his mission for the world. Preview: Does God have a "calling" for me?
9. Explore how God can heal their brokenness
Whether a Christian wrestles with an eating disorder, pornography addiction, recreational drug use, or a lifelong grudge, God wants to restore his children fully. Spend time leading your group in confession, prayer, and Scripture to build faith in God’s ability to rescue them from the difficult issues affecting them inside and out. Preview: Am I too broken for God to fix?
10. Prepare them for rough patches in their faith
Every relationship will have ups and downs, even a close relationship with God. How can God help when someone is feeling distant or disappointed in God, or questions his part in their life? Prepare new Christians for times of uncertainty by studying how Jesus guides them through those times and how he wants them to respond. Preview: What if I doubt God sometimes?