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New group at Asbury joins students for encouragement, support

From staff reports

Asbury University introduced a new Branded Discipleship Group on Aug. 29 where students can join in order to band together for encouragement and support in their journey of faith.

“We really believe that there is more opportunity for growth when students are consistently meeting with each other, being honest about their need for prayer, confessing where they have fallen short and asking each other questions about what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives,” Rev. Greg Haseloff, associate dean of spiritual life and campus chaplain said. “We believe that is the essence of Christian growth and that it would be such a mark of God’s work at Asbury and God’s work in our student body.”

Haseloff said he hopes the program will help provide tools for students who will encourage and support one another. Groups, Haseloff said, are student-led and do not have appointed leaders. Although one student will be appointed to serve as a facilitator for help setting meeting times and keeping the group of students moving through its core questions.

Gender specific three to five people groups will meet weekly to discuss scripture, pray and provide accountability. Students have joined small groups in the past at Asbury, however, the new branded discipleship Groups hope to provide more structure, trackable format and challenge students to take a bigger initiative within the group.

“We don’t expect there to be an immediate place of vulnerability or a trust level that takes place in the second meeting of the group being together,” Haseloff said. “But as groups grow into the fifth or tenth week, we see that the questions really have a level of depth to them that would be accentuated by same-gender groups. If God is at work in your life and you want your relationship with Christ to grow, then band together with three or four friends of the same gender and meet weekly to talk about that and talk about what God’s doing in your life. That’s the big picture of Banded Discipleship.”

Haseloff hopes the group is born in an organic environment where students will be able to connect with one another based on who they are naturally. Students are also encouraged to find one another and create their own bands.

To learn more about Spiritual Life at Asbury, visit asbury.edu/spiritual-life.