Group of 3
A “Group of 3” (G3) is not a Bible Study group. A G3 is three grad students — often from the same Bible Study group — who have joined together to discuss with each other their spiritual development and how they can live with a missional mindset among their friends and peers in the university. Each G3 sets up their own time to meet, usually for 50-60 minutes once a week or every other week, according to their schedules and desires. Maybe they choose to meet an early morning, or for a lunch together, or between classes, or possibly later one evening?
Most G3 use the GradCru “Firm Foundations”guided conversations materials to focus their discussions, which include topics:
• New in Christ • Fellowship with God • An Authentic (Spirit-led) Christian Life • Confronting Temptation • Spiritual Formation • Prayer • Scripture • Community • Ministry • Ambassadors for Christ • Telling Your Story • Theology of the Gospel • Eternal Perspective • Discerning God’s Will • Dry Times • Pain and Suffering • Purity • Integrated Life • Go Anywhere • Finishing Well •
Each of the Firm Foundation materials provide 8-10 questions that your G3 can then discuss. There is some Scripture to consider and usually a graphic illustration to visually present the main idea (which is great if you’re a visual learner). Plus, some additional material for further thought and reflection on your own.
Chuck Roeper serves as the G3 Coach. Talk with him to get more details and help you get started at: email@example.com.
Having a relationship with a spiritual mentor is one of the best ways to progress in the lifelong work of spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is nurtured most profoundly when [graduate students] are “apprenticed” to a spiritual mentor who will partner with God’s Holy Spirit toward spiritual development. (Anderson and Reese. Spiritual Mentoring. 1999, p. 27)
The Apostle Paul wrote Timothy — who he was spiritually mentoring — instructing him to entrust to some faithful men the things that he had taught him, who would then in turn teach others to do the same (2 Timothy 2:2). This model is still essential today for those who wish to grow towards maturity in their Christian lives.
What did Timothy gain from Paul that he should pass on (“entrust”) to some faithful others (those who would be reliable to do the same)? 2 Timothy 3:10-11 provides a sense when Paul wrote, “you know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings . . . .” Timothy saw Paul’s faith integrated within all aspects of his life and how it shaped his vision “of” life and his vision “for” life.
Spiritual mentoring (discipleship) is one person coming alongside another as a companion on the journey of faith to help them answer questions such as “Who is God?”, “Who am I in Christ?”, “To what has God called me as I live out my life (especially now as a graduate student), and “How can I grow, thrive, and mature spiritually?”
Some graduate students involved with GradCru have written about their experience being spiritually mentored:
Spiritual Mentoring is more than just a transfer of information, it is the sharing of lives. The benefits of being mentored have been tremendous, not only have I grown spiritually and even emotionally, but I have seen and experienced firsthand how God shapes the lives of people. (James, Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry)
The academic life (the research and teaching) can be an all consuming affair that can easily become an idol and distraction from God. Faith in Christ and a passion for His Word are what bring balance to a Christian graduate student’s life, and I can’t imagine trying to figure out on my own how to integrate my beliefs with my work. How can I be a Christian graduate student or professor, and not just a graduate student who happens to be a Christian? It is spiritual discipleship and mentorship that have been crucial for me in developing a vision and a plan for a life in academia with Christ as Lord. (Young, Ph.D. in History)
GradCru wants to facilitate these kind of relationships, providing resources, structure, training, and experienced mentors to help you grow spiritually. It’s a very rare opportunity that can have lifelong impact.
Contact Chuck Roeper for more about being spiritually mentored/discipled: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Of course, there will have to be available mentors/disciplers for this to be started.)