Neat story from our friend Emily:
I am Emily Lambert. I am on staff with ZOE Ministries (www.zoeland.com) and I work with four other staff members. We focus on middle school, high school, and we now have a college ministry as well. Every Wednesday night is a ZOE Chapter. During a chapter, we hang out for a little bit – play a game/do a skit – announcements + possible video – worship – Phillip speaks – hang out/go home. We have separate middle school and high school chapters on Wednesday, and we have a college Bible study on Sunday nights.
This past summer in July, ZOE went on a mission trip to Costa Rica with a group from Texas. Two girls, Annie White and Ashley Scarbrough were in the group from Texas and just from conversations we had, IA2 came up. At ZOE, we had been aware of the organization and we would sometimes show one of the IA2 Testimonies on Wednesday nights during the high school chapter. But Annie and Ashley brought up how they were starting these IA2 small groups on their college campus. We thought those groups sounded great and we wanted to somehow get ZOE involved.
When we got back from Costa Rica we started brainstorming how to go about these groups and we (ZOE) decided that the students could bring the IA2 groups to their high schools. Before school started up in August we started getting the students excited about the groups that we were going to start.
When we made an announcement about the groups to ZOE, we asked for people interested in leading/starting a group to let us know. We did not know what kind of response we would get, but after three months (Aug-Nov) we now have 14 IA2 groups started in four high schools in Saint Louis!
I am overseeing all the IA2 groups, but the students are leading them. I give them the packets (with the video + discussion) and I push them in the direction they need to go about starting a group. Before the students start a group, I meet with them and explain what a group will look like, their responsibility, and how to get kids to come and be involved in their group. The groups are flexible and the cool thing about their groups is that they all meet at different times. So if a student wants to get involved, there is most likely a group meeting at a time/day that student is available.
At the students groups, they usually last 35 min to an hour or more. They hang out, watch an IA2 video, discuss it, and pray. They use the discussion sheet from their packet and more questions can come from those just from talking in their group and the Lord really works in their groups that way.
Almost all of the groups are lead from students in ZOE, however, they are inviting people who don’t go to ZOE, or youth groups, or church to their groups! So they are reaching new kids and its awesome.
One thing ZOE does is every month we have an IA2 Party. At the party I open the ZOEhouse at 7 and we hang out, play slamball (a ZOE game), order pizza, at 8:30 watch an IA2 testimony + give announcements about their groups and upcoming events, and then hang out until midnight. it is a time for the leaders to invite all their groups to come to ZOE but not be intimidated by the “church” aspect of it. They are just coming to hang out and have fun. Or if they have never heard of ZOE they can check it out. And if they are not plugged in somewhere and want to get involved we have that opportunity for the new students. The parties are going really well! There are new kids coming and getting involved and hearing about Jesus and it’s great!
Looking for more information on our groups? Visit our groups page here: http://iamsecond.com/groups