Giving a call to faith makes people nervous — and that’s a good sign, because it is a big deal! Here’s a process to help us prepare to take such an important risk.
1. Name the risk.
It’s not mandatory, but Jesus is inviting us to trust him. He invites us to take a risk so that our faith will grow.
2. Start with people who are ready to take the risk.
Such people are early adopters, students who are already willing to give it a shot and make it work. Then, when they see fruit, have them tell their stories to inspire others to do the same.
3. Give Calls together.
Plan for multiple small groups to make calls to faith at the same time - two calls in a one-month range. It’s faith leap for everyone. Leaders should text and call each other after each small group to learn from what they are seeing God do.
4. Process fears.
What are we most afraid of when giving Calls to Faith? Name them, offer them to Jesus, and press through.
5. Coach each other.
There’s a big difference between being trained to make a call to faith and being coached. Training is an information transfer where someone listens passively, but coaching is a process of active support and feedback, where people get to practice the skills they are learning.
One method is for leaders to role-play their call to faith with each other. After each person goes, someone in the group should say something they liked about that call to faith. The person that gave feedback can then take their turn to do the call and to make it better. Repeat this process (for everyone).
Practice at least three times before actually doing the call in small group!
(See “How to Make Small Group Calls to Faith” for complete instructions on how to prepare.)
6. Debrief and celebrate.
Debrief is everything: it’s the difference between creating momentum around faith or squandering an opportunity. Don’t wait too long to debrief - after the small group, or the day after if possible.
Staff member Geoff writes: “Sometimes it feels like debrief and celebration are on a spectrum. Debrief without celebration is depressing. Celebration without interpretation is shallow. We need both. Holistic debrief has healthy and fun celebration.”
7. Create faith momentum.
Testimonies are key; someone needs to tell their story of responding to God every week. Do this in real time. Keep momentum hot by giving God glory for all the ways he’s working in a given week.