Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Big and little: inter-class community and discipleship for all in a growing fellowship (Katy)

How to structure the big sibling/ little sibling program for this year has been a hot debate inside e-board since last spring, but last e-board meeting we spent most of our time talking and praying through this one issue, and we are excited to present to the fellowship the plans we have for structuring the big/ little program for this year.

As previously mentioned in this blog, we as a fellowship have prayed and planned for growth -- and we are seeing it, thanks be to God! It is our expectation that every year we will have more freshmen than upperclassmen, and we couldn't be happier, because we believe that being part of this community facilitates transformation, renewal, and the development of quality men and women who God will use to change the world. And again as mentioned before, this means we get to try new and creative means to provide welcome and friendship to our new students. So this year, instead of assigning one big to one little, we have decided instead to take advantage of the number of upper-classmen living in the dorms by facilitating/ encouraging the development of community based family groups, where your bigs are assigned to you by where you live.

For example, Joanna and I are now officially the bigs of the 4-6 underclassmen who live in Newing. We will either cook dinner, organize a group dinner in the Newing Dinning hall, or ask one of our littles to cook dinner (if they like doing things like that) on a weekly bases (most likely on Sunday nights). There are no agendas for the conversation at those dinners, only that we might get to know each other and share life with one another. Newing kids will know that our door is always open to them if they need to talk, and the contents of our dinner conversations will let Joanna and I know when one person might need some extra big-sistering that we can either provide or facilitate with someone else who may be more aptly suited to address ther needs(especially if they really need big-brothering).

In larger communities, where there are both more bigs and more littles (such as in Dickinson) it will be up to the bigs to decide how to subdivide the littles into more manageable sized groups.

For those who either live in grad, hillside, or off campus, we suggest one of three things:

1. Create family groups for your area of influence. There are lots of new students who live off campus. You could create an off campus family group, or groups in hillside or grade for new folks you know that liver around you.

2. You can attach yourself to an on campus community. Most communities do not have enough upper classmen to keep the groups small, or (as in Newing) only have upper classmen of one gender. Talk to God and the upper classmen in the communities to see where you might best fit in, go to dinners, and take any relationships you build with folks from there.

3. Be a big on reserve. While we hope most people will feel comfortable in a family dinner setting, some might not. For those who are either very shy, or whos needs for discipleship are not being met through the consolation of other discipling opportunities that are available in the fellowship, you could be paired up with some one who really does need or would benefit most from some intentional one on one time with a more mature Christian.

We hope for these groups to strengthen community, and facilitate natural friendships through which discipleship will occur.

We realize that you may have many questions about this restructuring and the implications that it will have on you. We will have a Town Hall Meeting on Saturday October 4th at 4pm in a location TBA to discuss this further (as well as other issues) so come prepared with your questions and suggestions. Also leave a questions comments and concerns on the blog or e-mail us at and we will to our best to address them.


Kool Kat said...

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A Brother in Christ,

Kool Kat said...

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