Here’s a great story from an I am Second Expedition.
“Our team gathered in a home in rural India. We first shared about Malaria using the MalariaCube, and then split the group to do Second groups. One went to the back of the house and the people that remained in my group were four old women, none of whom could read. One of the young girls that could read translated and also participated.
“As I looked around the room, I thought to myself that maybe we should just find another house and a younger audience, as obviously these four “old women” wouldn’t understand. Because they were hard working women, we read the story of Martha and Mary. The four chatted among themselves and didn’t seem to be paying attention. I began feeling this effort was in vain. Each time as we asked follow-up questions about the story, the women chatted with each other – and chatted – and chatted. Oh boy – why bother?
“Despite my expectations, when we asked the old women how they would share what they’d learned, they responded that they had plenty of opportunities to connect with others while working in the field. Because they couldn’t read, I figured they’d only be able to tell part of story, and probably only once. That’s where I had it all wrong.
“The group hushed as one woman,(I call her and “Indian Martha,”) recounted the Bible story in great detail, adapting for their culture where appropriate and applying the story to their real lives. They may not read, but they had amazing listening and memory skills! It turns out all the chatter was simply them having discussions about the scripture, and there was no need to include me. WOW!
“God once again was glorified as He showed our team that the same Holy Spirit that lives in us, lives in each of these old women. I learned (again) to never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit!” – Mary W.
“I devoured the stories in about two days. The thing is, when I got to the last few pages where it talks about Jesus dying for us – I didn’t expect what was coming next. On Easter Sunday, right there and then I opened my heart and ask God to come in and be with me.
Holy smokes, Batman – what a feeling! I have been truly blessed. He sure works in mysterious ways. Now to live it the rest of my days. My life is changed.”
“I teach United States history to 11th graders at our local public high school. My classes are filled with diverse groups of students. I take my responsibility to prepare these young adults for state testing and graduation very seriously. I also believe real teachers present more than just academic educational materials – we have a God-given platform to reach the next generation and help them break life’s chains. I also take that opportunity very, very seriously.
“I have been showing an I am Second film each Friday in my classes. I pray all week about which one I should feature. God has been faithful to impress upon me just the right one.
“Many of my students listen to hip hop music, so one of the first films I screened was about Lecrae. I have 2 boys that started listening to Lecrae, and they are now learning about Christ through his music’s message. Our school is known as an athletic powerhouse, so the videos from well-known athletes are particularly relevant while presenting positive role models that themselves have become Second. As we came upon the holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, I showed the Ken Hutcherson film. What a powerful testimony about how hate and prejudice can be tamed by Christ. You could have heard a pin drop in my classroom at the end.
“Recently I screened the Ashley Rawls I am Second film. When it was over, my students started asking questions about Jesus and salvation, about grace and mistakes . . . . Wow! At their request I shared the gospel of Jesus with that class.
“I can clearly see God is working in my students’ lives. I Am Second is helping me share about He who is First in a greater way!”
– A “Second” 11th Grade Teacher
Are there people you “teach” formally or informally? It’s easy to share I am Second films via Facebook, Twitter, and the Email App. Just click “Share This” on the bottom right corner of each film page at iamsecond.com.
My I am Second journey began at a NASCAR event. A big billboard truck with a T.V. screen was playing I am second films. Amidst the high-octane excitement they caught my attention and made my heart race for the Lord. I picked up some of the literature there and passed it along to my friends. Then, this past summer our church’s youth group went to camp where they too were introduced to I am Second. God was up to something.
Unexpectedly, I was laid off from my work as a millwork superintendent. I was praying that God would show me the green light to do what was next for me. That’s when I found the online group leader training for I am Second groups on the website and signed up. We had a great teacher and group of people in our sessions. The highlight for me was the “Live and Tell” at the end of each session. I was so supercharged when we went through the “My village” session that I made a list of 50 people that need Jesus. Actually, I talked to 66 people that week. If I was working, I’d never have had the time. Go God Go!
Earlier this year we started an I am Second group that kicked into overdrive and split into two groups by the third week. We invited the leaders of a teen and young adult bible study to our group and they caught on to the movement immediately. Now they lead a small army of young adults, as many as 45 people from high school age to their early 20’s, at a local fish camp. They’re identifying leaders to branch off and lay the track for more small groups. Go God Go!
God took the challenge of my job layoff and turned it into fuel for His race to the kingdom of Christ.
– Chris P.
Get Connected. I am Second small groups are designed to connect people with one another and with God through an authentic, action based discussion group. In an I am Second group you’ll be encouraged to discover your purpose in life through Jesus.
If you’re signed up for our monthly newsletters or check the facebook page with any regularity you’ve no doubt heard about I Am Second Lead Labs. You probably understand the general idea- learn how to lead an I Am Second small group.
So what’s the big deal. There are tons of resources you can access to learn how to be a leader. What’s the difference?
Here’s the deal: Lead Labs are the the training that turns I Am Second from “cool” to “tool.” Because they’re so different from your typical Bible study, you really can’t grasp it until you’re a part of one. And really, not until you’re a part of one that’s being led using the Discuss and Discover model. This is where a Lead Lab comes in.
You get to experience exactly what a group should be like- discussion based, Bible focused, and with commitments to change the way you’re living or thinking and to pass on what you’ve learned to someone else. Once you’ve been a part of one during the Lead Lab, you’ll know exactly what your or your church’s groups need to look like in order to maximize reproducibility. Read what Tom Bassford, an I Am Second city leader, had to say:
The Lead Lab is an invaluable part of the I am Second effort in a city. They do a great job of describing the scope of I Am Second and most importantly, demonstrating how churches and individuals can use it as an effective TOOL to share Christ with others.
You’ll spend about four hours learning the reasons behind the leadership style and how to best help people come to an understanding of Biblical truths by looking at Scripture together. You’ll find out why it’s vitaly important to make some kind of measurable application during each group meeting and how group members can begin discipling others immediately when they’re sharing what they’ve just learned. And maybe more importantly, why it’s vital that the group hold itself accountable to its individual commitments. It really is a revolutionary way of looking at small groups. Lead Labs are going on all across the country.
Upcoming Lead Labs:
Apr 29-30 in Tyler, TX (time TBD).
May 15 in Charlotte, NC from 3-8pm (dinner included).
Mitzie shares more about how her church has been sharing Jesus…
Part of our membership is involved in many community projects and Christian groups. Our speakers have taken this simple idea of the I Am Second wristband and shared it with other churches. Our district-wide Methodist youth confirmation retreat will be getting the wristbands and Bibles next weekend. They will be receiving information about the web site and encouraged to take this information back to their own churches for the possibility of their home congregations becoming involved in the I Am Second movement. Another small church, Paint Rock UMC, has been introduced to this movement and received these tools for their congregation to use.
There is an older couple in our church congregation who are worship leaders for an RV gathering in Texas as well as in Mississippi. They will be taking I Am Second wristbands and Bibles to share with these groups and to encourage them to participate in this movement. The couple sees the wristbands alone as a real conversation starter about your faith in Jesus Christ. They are excited about the project and their enthusiasm is contagious. I had one of our church members tell me that he now felt he had the opening he needed to share his faith. Handing out “tracts” was not his way of sharing Christ, but he is ready for the next person to “notice” his wristband. It is amazing what this little piece of black and white rubber will do… conversations have been flying in this little area of our big state. Thanks for the opportunity to be involved and your web site is awesome.
Thank you so much Mitzie for sharing this! It’s so exciting to see what God’s doing. It’s all about taking little opportunities to give a reason for your hope- to let others know why you’re Second and who is First.
We received an encouraging letter the other day from someone who wanted us know what was going on in her church. The letter was so encouraging, we decided to break it down into two parts.
Our Pastor was so impressed with the philosophy of “I Am Second” that he wanted to engage our congregation and challenge them during the season of Lent. As we were doing a Bible Study called “Walk Across The Room,” we decided to do the “I Am Second” challenge as a follow-up with the wristbands and “I Am” New Testament Bibles. The wristbands became the conversation starter that many of our “timid” congregational members needed. They simply used the front page of the Bible as a study guide, discussing the “I Am” scriptures within their families and then committing those verses to part of the conversations they had with other people. During Lent, members were encouraged to do daily scripture reading, daily accountability, and daily sharing with others (particularly non-believers). Both the wristband and the Bible encouraged each of the people who used them to share their faith. These tools also seemed to spark confidence that each person could share their belief as they were sharing a conversation about being a Second!
Mitzie Deike, Veribest UMC
What a cool way to get the whole church involved in outreach! What are some things you’re doing for Lent? When people ask you about it, are you able to share Jesus with them?
Find these at www.iamsecondstore.com!
*If you’re interested in getting some of the “I Am” New Testaments, you can find them at www.iamsecondstore.com under Promotional Items.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the review the I Am Second small group materials received over at SimpleChurch Journal. They have a great blog about living missionally and how the church can benefit from getting down to the basics.
Here are some excerpts:
They incorporate many of the principles that we have found key to starting healthy groups that can reach out to others to start new groups.
New believers are encouraged immediately to begin praying for their “village,” or sphere of influence, and to reach out with compassion towards them.
We appreciate the encouragement and are glad to be working toward the same goals. Be sure to share your experience with the I Am Second small group materials on their blog and here for that matter! What’s your experience been?
“I was doing my usual walking at a Rec Center where we go and I was wearing my ‘I Am Second’ t-shirt. A guy came up to me (whom we have seen previously and spoken to briefly before) and said, ‘I like your t-shirt.’ He went on to say, ‘Not in a religious sense, but a philosophical sense. In other words, to put people first and myself second. In fact that was my New Year’s resolution.’ We then began a conversation where I was able to share with him that God is the one who enables us to live, putting ourselves second. Then he began to share with me how he used to go to church, but not any more. He had been turned off by the institution of the church and especially big churches. I was able to share with him that Chris (my husband) is the worship pastor of a small church in Frisco, and I explained that our pastor was very real and down-to-earth. Then he asked me what time our service was and how to get there and said, ‘I’m coming. You can count on it!’
I’m praising the Lord for the opportunity He gave me to share with this guy today and hopefully continue to be a ministry in his life!”