Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Going Back To College

Good news! I'm heading back to college! Not, sadly, as a student - but (coolness) as a guest-lecturer for the Student Chaplain class. Q is an academic so he gets a job and a cool faculty ID card, I'm a pastor so I guest lecture in practical ministry courses. Not that this isn't a correct delineation, but I'd love an eCard that said, "Faculty." It would be fun.

Anyway, I'll be heading to Eastern on November 5th to do a session with the current crop of student-chaplains (you might have remembered that last year's crop was here for a retreat in January). The topic that Joe has seen fit to give me is, "Keeping 'Grow Groups' Fresh." A "Grow Group" is Eastern's small-group ministry for Students and can be a helpful experience. Try as chaplains might, however, very few groups last into the second semester (I never had one last that long in the three years I was a chaplain). So, this'll be a good topic - of course the irony is that it's a class so it'll at least have a bit of a lecture format - ironic because my first point is probably going to be that if a "Grow Group" is to breathe the one thing it can't afford to be is an "unscheduled class." So, I'll be putting together my materials and sharing them with all 6 of you who read this blog. Suggestions for the presentation would be nice. I'd love to set up a prayer station or two, but I don't think fire is allowed in the lecture hall so candles would be right out.

What ways can this be a communal learning-experience, without me speaking for 50 minutes and saying, "OK, any questions?" I'm actually thinking of starting-out with some contemplative prayer.

9 comments:

Melanie said...

You could always try leading by example and leading the group through a model grow group meeting. That is if a model can be made for this sort of thing. I realize this may defeat the purpose of the talk.

Another suggestion to help aleviate the talking might be to do some kind of video of groups that work well and ones that don't. I realize this still lacks the participation of the group, but it might help illistrate some creative ideas that otherwise would be hard to demonstrait.

If these students have already participated in these kinds of groups you could always have a discussion/brainstorming session on what they as paricipants liked/didn't like or what they think might be good/bad things to try out.

wezlo said...

Video...hmmmm....at least it wouldn't be boring. I'd need your dad to do sound though....wanna be in it if we do it? I'll also need to find a wav of crickets chirping...

Jim Getz said...

Video can be as boring as anything else, just so you know....

CoderForChrist said...

I wanna go back to college... :-(

I like melanie's brainstorming session idea. The video could be cool, too.

Sadly, I don't really have any ideas of my own. I just wish I could go back to college, mainly as a student...

wezlo said...

I'm talking like 30 seconds of video...

fade-in-from-back: Study-leader is reading from the Bible (passage is Numbers 3:42-43).

Leader: OK, may God bless the reading of his word.

Pan to group that is silent and trying to avoid the gaze of the leader - crickets chip in the background. A hand goes up...

Valley-girl: Well, um, like - this is about numbers, and God likes numbers - and he numbers the hairs on my head like he numbers people from Israel which must mean that God loved them like the way that he loves me. So I think that this passage means that Jesus loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life.

Switch to leader, dumbfounded look on his face and crickets chip in the background.

Switch to group, same look at valley-girl, crickets continue to chirp.

cut to black - words end video...
"Don't let this happen to your small group!"

Calvin said...

Nice idea for the video.

You might also consider just having them do some simple things that you might recommend trying in a group. For instance - if you'd recommend something like Lectio Divina, do a group Lectio with them. Things like that would help to keep things interested, get them involved, and help them to learn at the same time.

wezlo said...

Yah, that's why we're going to be doing some contemplative prayer...

Melanie said...

I suppose I could be in it if you think I would be helpful.

wezlo said...

Mel, if not as the Valley-girl, then you do a great "errr?" face...