This year we are totally restructuring our Community Group system.
For decades we’ve had a pretty typical model – Freshmen studies, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors.
From talking to Florida Cru, we really liked how their small groups are structured (with 650 students involved in 50 Community Groups, they must be doing something right!):
- Intergenerational studies (freshman-senior all together)
- Every group has a target area
- A lot of them are dorms (80%)
- The whole Community Group focuses on that dorm all year
- Most will meet on campus in the dorms every week
- Others are formed around affinity groups: Epic, Marching Band, Bridges, Greek, AIA teams, Majors (Kinesiology, etc)
- A lot of them are dorms (80%)
- Freshmen Groups meet for first 6 weeks then gets absorbed into an intergenerational Community Group
- Freshman and CG’s meet at the same time and night
A few things we really like:
- Our students leaders will just be in one Bible study – currently, all of our leaders are in a study AND also lead a study.
- It looks more like life after college (mostly in that you are just in one study – even if you leading it, you can still grow from the community and be challenged by the Word as you process it together)
- Everyone is engaged in pursuing freshmen (or other affinity group)
- It makes it easier for students to invite their friends from their classes to the study they’re leading (because it’s not just for freshmen)
For us, what really prompted the change is that in the past few years are number of CG leaders has dramatically increased (like 4x as many), but the number of students in CG has not grown much. We want to be more effective in helping as many students as possible to experience life change through Community Groups.
Specifics on how the leadership of the groups is structured:
CG Coach (usually seniors)
- Primary job= Coaching their 4 CG Leaders
- Coach the CG they’re in as well as one other CG
- Two separate coaching appts/month
- With the 2 CG leaders from their study & then 2 CG leaders from the other study they coach
- Just show up to CG – Don’t necessarily lead – can lead in vision and mission and shepherding the group, but not the content and details of the group
- Why Seniors?Wisdom and Experience
CG Leader (usually Juniors)
- Primary Jobs= pursuing upperclassmen and leading the Community Group
- in Content of the study
- to stay on Mission (e.g.- reaching the Quads and upperclassmen peers)
- set direction and plan details of outreach
- Why Juniors?
- Experienced leaders but not as much future pressures as seniors (not as focused on post-graduation yet)
- More focused on what areas they desire to make an impact in while in college
Freshmen Leader (usually sophomores/first time leaders)
- Primary Jobs= pursuing freshmen all year and being trained to lead CG next year
- Lead the first 6 weeks of freshmen studies
- Focus on freshmen throughout the year – connecting them to the Cru movement, doing follow ups, relationally pursuing them all year
- Why Sophomores or First Time Leaders?
- most connected relationally to on-campus
- most excited and passionate, energy
- Closest to just have gone through what it’s like to have been a freshmen (sophomores)
We’re hoping it gives sophomores a trial run at leading so they will be really effective leaders their junior year. And it gives our seniors a crucial role (instead of slowly fading out).
Here’s a one page summary of the intergenerational model.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes for us this fall!
What are your thoughts on this intergenerational model?