All Prairie students participate in IMPACT Groups. An IMPACT Group is a biblical small group community that serves as a vital context for developing disciples who are personally impacted by Jesus and who are enabled to, in turn, impact their world for Him. As a group of mutual responsibility for helping each other in whole-life discipleship, the mission of an IMPACT Group is to contribute to the holistic Christian development of students.
Times are allotted on Mondays and Wednesdays within the daytime class schedule for IMPACT groups, but students can choose any time that works best for their groups to meet weekly.
The small group is an intentionally relational structure for providing a foundational care network. Within the small group, every student has a place of belonging where basic front line care by the leader, as welll as mutual member care, is provided.
IMPACT Groups are required to meet formally at least once a week.
The following outlines a typical meeting:
- Breaks down guarded relational walls
- Helps members un-pack and begin to focus
- Re-introduces the meeting’s theme or topic
Word of God:
- This time is designed to hear what God is teaching us as a Prairie community, to work toward biblical applications of that teaching, and then develop appropriate accountability for obedience in responding to God.
- Discussion will focus on the biblical theme that has been presented in the Community Chapel message.
- Particular emphasis is given to the application issues of “How does the Word speak into our lives and call us to obedience? So what? How will we live differently this week because of the Word of God?
- One-on-one accountability with partners using growth goals
- Activities/exercises to practice the one-another’s of Scripture (e.g. encourage/appreciate one another, share with one another).
- Prayer journal requests – each leader maintains a prayer journal for the group. This helps you identify answered prayer and helps the group see God working.
- Pray for each other – the main concern: “How can we pray for one another?” Pray for these requests through the week as you pray for your IMPACT Group.
- Expressing God’s worth to Him and one another.
The following is the principled framework for the ministry of IMPACT Groups. The intention: that this ministry not be reduced to a program. The principles of the ministry are far more critical than the how-to’s of the ministry program.
1. The ministry is for the glory of God
2. The ministry is to be motivated from a love for God
3. The ministry is to serve the needs of the church of Jesus Christ
4. The ministry is to function under the authority and direction of the Word of God
5. The ministry is dependent on God for fruitfulness
6. The Great Commission is at the heart of the ministry
7. The ministry is strategically focused on people
- People are individuals in community
- People are at different stages in their development
- People are holistic beings
- Personal development is not automatic
- Personal development is a process
- We are responsible for our own development
- Personal development is enhanced by relationship to others
8. The ministry is an intentional strategy of developing disciples
9. The ministry is to function with the methodology of multiplication
10. The ministry will provide accountability as a catalyst to obedience
11. The ministry assumes and expects every believer to be involved in service
12. The ministry will develop leadership in an assistant model
13. The ministry is committed to community
The following principles form the philosophy of community:
- The community should be a model of Prairie’s core values
- The community should be an expression of unity within diversity
- The community should be a dynamic community
- The community should be a disciplined community
14. The ministry is to be characterized by servanthood
The Greatest Commandment, as given by the Lord Jesus, is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) We are called to be lovers, learners, and followers of Jesus…we are called to be disciples! The Lord Jesus also gave the Great Commission to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19, 20). We are not only called to be disciples but we are also called to make disciples.
Obedience to these commands (i.e. Love the Lord your God,”make disciples”) is the heartbeat and mission of the Church. Therefore, every Christian has both the responsibility and privilege to intentionally pursue a passionate relationship with God. From this authentic love relationship flows a commitment to serve Him and obey His mandate to “make disciples” of all nations. Living as a disciple of Jesus is a lifelong journey or adventure “To know Christ and make Him known”. This is the greatest adventure of life!
The IMPACT group community is an effective vehicle to take us on this adventure journey toward the destination of becoming like Jesus. It is an environment in which we expect God will transform our lives as we practice His priorities.
The following principles provide a rationale for why the biblical small group community is an excellent discipling environment and thus why students are required to participate in IMPACT Groups as part of their educational experience at Prairie:
The IMPACT Group follows the example of Jesus
Jesus ministered in large groups as well as in one-on-one ministry. However, for training Jesus chose the small group as his primary vehicle. He chose the Twelve to be “with Him” (Mk. 3:14) so that in turn He could send them out to minister.
The IMPACT Group provides a ministry development opportunity
The small group provides a training context through demonstration, delegation, and supervision of ministry responsibilities.
The IMPACT Group provides an environment for leadership development
Character and skills are developed in the context of serving. We learn by doing. The IMPACT group is designed for Christians to grow into leadership as they demonstrate faithfulness. There is also a revealing of those who are untrained, uncommitted, and/or unqualified for taking leadership.
The IMPACT Group provides a teaching/learning environment
We grow best in a community where we experience things together with other learners, are held accountable for continued growth, are loved, and where we are part of a structure that allows for and reinforces growth. The IMPACT group invites us to become a participant rather than a spectator.
The IMPACT Group provides a community of care
The small group provides an intentional structure for a foundational network of care. Every student has a “place” of belonging where primary and mutual care is provided. We are not called to travel the journey alone. The community is a dynamic expression of Christ’s body and influences development that is possible in no other way.
The IMPACT Group provides an opportunity and challenge for growth
IMPACT is a purposed and deliberate attempt for students to experience spiritual formation within a small group context. We grow as we get involved. We are challenged in an environment where commitment is expected. In addition, students can develop skills of investing relationally in the spiritual development of others.
The IMPACT group provides a basic building block for Christian community
Community, if it is to be authentic and Christian is not simply a theory. Community does not happen automatically or easily. This ministry intends that each student is involved in face-to-face community, at least at its most basic level.
The IMPACT group provides a Church Body Life preparation
The above contributions combined develop a foundation of experience/learning to assist students in entering and contributing to the body life of the local congregation.
Responsibilities for IMPACT Groups:
IMPACT Groups are designed so that students are encouraged to develop in character, competence, and commitment. They are encouraged to take on more responsibility for others as they make progress through the College experience.
Growth does not happen automatically and groups do not work without commitment of the members. The following are the minimum commitments expected for IMPACT members (Groups may have additional commitments they decide on):
- Attitude: (e.g. enthusiastically involved in the relationships, purpose, and process of the group.)
- Faithful: (e.g. on time for meetings, does things when commits)
- Teachable: (e.g. willing to learn new things, teachable spirit, willing to enter into growth processes)
- Responsible: (e.g. willingly committed and faithful in tasks to help the leadership and the group.)
- Participation: (e.g. actively participated in discussion and activities of the group.)
- Care: (e.g. wholeheartedly helped in making the group a Christ centred community of support for faith, exhibited “one another” care for others, and displayed a proper attitude to others.)
- Respect: (e.g. demonstrated submission to, support of, and proper attitude toward leadership of the group.)
- Confidentiality: (e.g. kept confidences of things shared in the group, guarded safety of the members of the group so that they could share deep things)
- Prayer: (e.g. prayed for and with the group, shared prayer burdens with others and carried prayer burdens of others.)
- Relationships: (e.g. friendly, able to develop deep relationships, authentic, good listener, communicates well)
- Accountability: (e.g. participated in group and partner accountability, made himself/herself accountable, responsible to hold others accountable and care-front as is biblically appropriate.)
- Example: (e.g. set a good example of authentic Christian living, evident personal passion to grow in Christ, example of following the Community Covenant)
- Encouragement: (e.g. encourages others, not criticizing, positive language)
- Teamwork: (e.g. worked well with others, served, communicated well, and contributed to the overall purpose of the group.)
Each IMPACT Group is led by an IMPACT leader (student who has been approved by Prairie staff and affirmed by peers). These leaders serve under their respective director of student development. The directors, in turn, report to the Dean of Education.
It is also true that every member of the group needs to actively contribute so the mission can be accomplished.
To develop disciples who are personally impacted by Jesus and enabled to impact their world.
Small Groups Alternative for Advanced Students
In your third or fourth year you may apply to fulfill this requirement by regularly participating in a small group at your local church. To apply you must have proven past faithfulness to our campus IMPACT ministry. Once approved by your DSD this replacement requires a leader’s evaluation of your group participation and a record of your group attendance to be provided for each term.
Forms & Documents:
Developing in Relationship to God’s Personal Working