Discipleship: What is it? How do you do it? What does real-life application look like?
These are the questions WinShape College Program is on a mission to help answer through its discipleship intensives.
Formerly known as LifeCast, these multi-day experiences have been designed to provide hands-on discipleship training for college-aged students, equipping and mobilizing them to lead small groups of peers at their college campus or local church.
While historically limited to its residential community on Berry College’s campus, WinShape College Program is using these new experiences to expand its outreach and impact college students across the nation.
WinShape College Program Events Coordinator Preston Tippett says he’s excited about the growth opportunity this new venture provides for the Program.
“At Berry College, with our residential [disciple-making] program, we have room for about 60 guys and 60 girls,” he says. “When I think about these new discipleship intensives we’re doing, that just opens a whole new world of impact that we can steward.”
By partnering with local churches and campus ministries, WinShape College Program comes alongside ministry leaders to help equip them and further their investment in the lives of their college students. Those college students, having been trained to disciple, can then go into their communities and lead others.
“It’s really exciting to come alongside ministries and connect with leaders,” says Preston. “In churches specifically, college ministers are usually spread thin in their roles…often, there either isn’t a place for college students [within the church], or there’s nothing being done to further their development.”
The curriculum has been designed with college-aged students in mind, giving them practical tips and real-life scenarios that they can easily implement in their day-to-day.
During discipleship intensives, participants not only study the material; they are also required to teach it and receive feedback from their peers. It’s this style of training that makes such an impact, says participant Blake Dean.
“You’re not only exposed to the material, but you get your hands on it and actually have to teach it,”
Dean says, “and I think the timeline [on which] you have to do that turnaround…[creates] the easiest and best way to test your understanding and to learn from other people’s experiences.”
This active style of learning also allows participants to build the confidence needed to go out and lead the semester-long small groups they’re encouraged to facilitate following their discipleship intensive.
Looking toward the future, Preston says WinShape College Program hopes to continue building partnerships with churches located in cities with heavy college student populations. As those relationships continue to grow, its goal is to establish residential communities in those cities so college students can participate in year-round discipleship intensives.
“The bottom line is that we’re trying to impact and reach as many college students as we can,” Preston says, “to help them know Christ better, know themselves better and make disciples of all nations.”