Editor’s Note: This resource is geared for Staff Directors
Dear Staff Director,
Our goal for the month of September is to see every Area participate in 2Calls2Faith! Please encourage this effort, by reminding your staff that for decades, the first few weeks of the Fall semester has been a timely and fruitful opportunity to invite seekers and nominal Christians to follow Jesus. The same is true today, both on Zoom and face-to-face.
This below toolkit is for Area Directors and Regional Directors to hopefully grow your ministries this Fall.
4 Simple Steps to Implement 2Calls2Faith in your Area
- Have a 30-minute training as an area team, going over the 2Calls2Faith Campaign. Practice together.
- Help staff to calendar their 2 invitations to faith before the end of September. Troubleshoot possible barriers.
- Help staff and students do invite and follow up with their non-Christian friends. If they need examples of winsome questions and text invitations for non-Christians, take 30 minutes to train them with our Follow-Up Witness Badge.
- Create an Area intercession calendar so your whole staff team can pray as each call to faith happens this Fall. Celebrate each risk of faith.
Overcoming Common Barriers to 2Calls2Faith
My students don't know how to give a call to faith, and I don't have time to adequately train them..
Many staff are concerned that their student leaders will bungle their first invitation to faith. Help them see that there is a 101 level, and a 201 level of student training. Millennials were often trained in many facets of sharing the 4 Circles gospel summary (Big Story). This is 201 level training. But Gen Z is content to first just read the script together in SG (101 level). After April, you can train your students in the more nuanced 201 level. Please show your staff the SG worksheet and let them know that Gen Z likes to use it on zoom or face-to-face.
How do I adjust 2Calls to fit my context?
In our Cultural Christian and Nominal Christian contexts, students may already identify as “Christian” and will not respond to an invitation to faith. Train student leaders to share explicitly how someone can move from nominal faith to life-changing faith. “For many of us, we grew up going to church. I would pray when I was discouraged or afraid. I did a lot of other Christian and religious things. One day I realized that I had become the center of my life. Jesus was an add-on. To follow Jesus meant I needed to step out of the center, and let Jesus take his rightful place at the center. It is not enough that my family has their relationship with Jesus. I need to make my own decision.”
Feel free to create an invitation to faith that works in more communal or indirect cultural settings. For example, see Courtland’s excellent gospel summary from a Native American perspective.
Also, you might read our Small Group Invitation to Faith Worksheet together out loud, and then invite everyone to consider their response silently. Ask them to write down their action step (on a card or google doc). If they want to share out loud, give them the chance in a break out room or in front of the SG.
What if no one says "yes?"
This is a very common objection. Help your students see that even if no one says yes to following Jesus, it is still a great risk to take for a few reasons. First, whoever gives the call to faith is growing as a courageous witness. They are being obedient to Jesus. Second, it is good for the whole SG because they see that evangelism is a real priority, and it will click that they should invite non-Christian friends in the future to SG to explore following Jesus.
Also, help your students plan for the 3 ways that people may respond to the invitation to faith.
When someone says “Yes” to following Jesus: “I’m so excited for you! I truly believe that this is the best decision that you’ll ever make. I’d love to reconnect later this week to talk more about what this decision has meant for you.”
If there is silence or someone says “no way!”: “That’s totally okay-- I’m just really excited that we were able to do this as a group. If any of you have more questions about Jesus or our small group, I would love to talk with you. Please let me know.”
If someone starts to cry: “Taking steps of faith can be very personal. Kelsey is obviously having an intense moment right now. We want to create space for her to keep processing. Let’s wrap up and let her have a private moment. Kelsey, if you want to talk about what you’re feeling, I’m here for you. Feel free to have a few moments by yourself.
What if the non-Christians aren't ready?
We often assume non-Christians will be offended by an invitation to consider Jesus. We have actually found the opposite to be true. A non-Christian student once shared, “If I wasn’t interested in exploring faith, I wouldn’t come to your small group. When I attend a Bible study, I expect that you will be offering Jesus.”
How do I build momentum for witness after 2Calls2Faith?
Invitations to faith can provide powerful ministry momentum, which you can build upon. Offer interpretation for what you sense God is doing. Debrief with the student leaders how they are becoming life-long faithful witnesses of Jesus. Help them see how God is shaping your ministry culture, and how this could become the “new normal.” Cast vision for how God moments can ripple into a movement of conversions. Ask them, “How might we do this together over the summer and into the fall?” Also, mentor those who have made new faith decisions...“turn decisions into disciples.” Use our testimony worksheet with all your new believers and hopefully see a God moment become a God movement. See below.
Help them see that they can be intentional to grow as witnesses over the summer. Brainstorm a book they could read on their own or with others. Suggest a course they could take.
NSO Evangelism Brings Out Courage
Area Directors can help your staff and student leaders take small risks in September, that God-willing, should create momentum all year long. We have seen Area Directors and staff train their apprentices in witness (including doing invitations to faith) which God uses to open them up to become student leaders. We have also seen how one conversion, followed by them telling their new faith testimony, sends ripples of joy through the community and sometimes sparks more conversions.
A Harvest of Joy: Boyun’s Story
Boyun, a new believer, was invited to tell her faith story at Large Group. When her non-Christian friends came to listen, she invited them to a GIG. Over 20 showed up, and soon she invited them to camp where several responded to a call to faith. The place exploded with joy and renewed faith, and the new believers also told their stories to the camp. Josh Howell reported that it was the most Spirit-filled week in his 19 years of camping.
1. New Believer Testimonies
Help new believers take first steps to tell their story and host a celebration with their non-Christian friends. This three-week guide will help new believers take first steps into telling their story and hosting a celebration where they can invite their non-Christian friends to hear all God has done.
Many of our most fruitful chapters have 30-50 members
In studying the FFR data, we had 19 chapters across the country with 6+ new faith decisions, and 15 of them were mid-size. If you have chapters with 30-50 members, please let them know this encouraging news... they might be perfect for a substantial harvest!
2. Gigs are Good!
We think GIG’s are one of the best ways to create invitations to faith this spring. GIG’s are short, 3-4 weeks commitments, allowing even busy students to participate. GIG’s are easy to lead, and perfect for a first-time leader or apprentice. Non-Christians have loved exploring Jesus with our Jesus and Justice and Jesus and Our Most Real Selves series. Each GIG has a contextualized invitation to faith that students can screen share and read together with their seeking friends.
3. Witness Badges help Apprentices become Leaders
Equipping your students to lead fruitful GIG's just takes three 30-minute badges. First, give your students our Follow-up badge. This badge helps them to start spiritual conversations and invite their friends to their GIG via DM's or texts. Then use either the prayer badge or the social media badge to help them identify who to invite. Then help them choose their GIG and prepare a call to faith using our GIG badge.