The Follow Up
Ok. Here is perhaps the most important part of the whole Disciple Now weekend, Follow Up! It begins as soon as the students head home after the morning service. There are generally three major areas that I like to follow-up with as quickly as possible (to help keep the events of the weekend fresh).
I typically enjoy having lunch with all of my leaders or scheduling another time to meet with them. I like to discuss the event while it is still fresh in their minds. Each leader gets an opportunity to discuss challenges the weekend posed for them, opportunities for further ministry (as they see it), and an evaluation of the whole weekend. I treasure this time as it provides for me a great opportunity to coach my leaders through processing the event as well as provides me with another perspective on leading our students.
2. Host Homes
I usually try to follow-up with host homes casually on an individual basis in the week after the Disciple Now weekend. I also like to give out a brief survey on things that went well and things that we can improve before the next Disciple Now weekend. Though they did not make it to my big 3 list for a successful Dnow weekend, host homes are crucial. Getting key insight from adults who have just spent a weekend in their home with your students is never a bad idea.
After having an opportunity to gather as much information as possible after the event from leaders and host homes it is important to use that information to engage students. Sometimes this comes in passing information on to LIFE group leaders (the real everyday hero’s in student ministry) in discussing how to better minister to individual students. Sometimes this provides great opportunity to follow-up with a student who was asking questions at Disciple Now weekend. Other times the information is applied to working on group dynamics. As a Student Pastor or Student Ministry Leader you will be uniquely equipped to figure out the best strategy to take the information you have gathered and shepherd students. The goal is to help move students along in process of becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Not just to hold a successful event. Events are just tools that we can use along the way to develop disciples.