During the past 3 years I have lead a small group at Grace Bible College called ‘ACT groups’ (Apply Christ Together). At the beginning of every semester students would choose between the various leaders and there topics, which was mottled with prayer groups, ladies only groups, theology topical groups, book reading groups, community service groups… etc. During the semester these would meet every Thursday morning for about 45 minutes at various places on campus.
For my first year (both semesters) I had Josh Kessler as my ACT group leader. We read through Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical. It was my first year out of high school and I found that the ACT group I had joined was going to be a great way to start expanding beyond my Dutch-Reformed-Middleclass perspective (which I am eternally grateful for having grown up in). Josh’s group mostly constituted of upper-classmen, many of whom where graduating that year! It was also a great way to meet people at my new college I never would have met in my own natural circles.
The next year I went Casey Duke’s group on The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. This group was more of a mixed bag, with students from every area of the college. The discussions we had varied every week and the tone could go from light and fun to serious and grey very quickly.
Then I started leading my own groups. At first I led them on books like The Journey by Peter Kreeft. Another semester I used a video series put out by Focus on the Family called The Truth Project. Each semester brought a different group and different people.
The last couple years have had a more personal touch. As I continued to grow and learn in my classes at GBC I began to become more passionate about certain ideals and beliefs. ACT groups became a way for me to further explore those things that I couldn’t get off my mind. My topics covered such things as: difficulties within Christian theology, pacifism and Christian nonviolence, Love Wins by Rob Bell, and this final semester was spent reviewing different books by the renowned theologian, NT Wright.
Somewhere in the awkward silences, the donuts, and the heated arguments I fell in love with teaching. Taking a topic and wrestling it out in front of a group of people… it was hard! I felt like an idiot many times! But it was worth it, and I will be taking those experiences with me on to seminary and the rest of my life.
If you ever have the inclination to lead a small group, do it.