Our first outreach event of the year was not going well.
We had put a lot of effort into "Taste of Carbondale," a free pizza tasting for students, and we were hoping for 250+ new people to come. With just over half of that number in the room, I could sense the discouragement our student leaders were feeling.
Our small group leaders were very young and inexperienced and I worried that an early setback would be devastating for morale. But I was so proud of the way our leaders responded.
We gathered in a circle in the back of the room and I gave them several options. We could continue the event, hoping more people would show. We could call it an evening and go home. Or the small group leaders could take the 35 boxes of leftover pizza to their dorms and go door to door to meet people and invite them to their Bible studies.
Without any extra encouragement from me, our group of young, inexperienced, quiet leaders chose to take the pizza door to door!
Because they chose to step into that risk, they met far more people than they would have at our planned event.
During the first week of Bible studies, one leader was disappointed that no one came to her small group, but she went out and knocked on doors in her dorm and invited people directly. There were five people who showed up! Rather than be discouraged, she stepped into the risk of inviting others, just like the model set for her earlier at the “Taste” pizza event.
As we continue to train and equip new small group leaders in our chapter, the risk-taking strategies modeled by our current leaders will be a vital part of that effort. Praise God for this bold new generation of Christian leaders!
--by Greg Chimitris