Do you think high school students would want to be in a Q Place? Many people have asked that question. Read Flavia’s story and then you tell me!
My daughter Amanda longed for a safe place where she could ask questions about God. She shared her desire with her friends in high school, and they also wanted to know more about God in a place where they would not be judged. So three years ago we started a Q Place for them. We met once a week at my house right after school. We started with the book of Mark using a Q Place study guide. Some of the students had heard stories in Sunday school and knew of Jesus, but they had not read and studied his teachings. Some of them had never owned a Bible of their own. They had attended youth groups, which were fun, but not very deep, and they didn’t feel like they were learning anything new or that they could ask questions.
I follow the Q Place model of shared leadership, so I rarely lead the group. I’ve taught them how to ask the questions and allow time for people to answer and ask their own questions. I stay mostly quiet and share my experiences when asked. They feel like they own the group and I am there as a facilitator. Attendance is always high. The group times are always exciting; it is very rewarding to see their faces light up with excitement when they have had “aha” moments, making spiritual connections that they had never made before.
After the first year, more than half of the group graduated from high school and left for college; I thought the group was over. However, the second fall, the remaining students invited their friends and we had a brand new group, including my son and his friends. This time I invited a friend, Troy, to co-facilitate the group with me and gave him a crash course on how to be silent and suppress the urge to teach.
Since then we have studied the entire book of Mark and now we are studying John. Troy is still my co-facilitator and the group has expanded and contracted due graduations and high school extra-curricular activities. However, we consistently have 8-10 attend each week. We study for one hour with no frills, just Bibles and study guides. Most of these young adults are going through adult-size problems, and we treat them with respect. As they feel comfortable sharing their story, the prayer time has evolved to a much deeper experience. They feel like they belong and have been able to really wrestle with some difficult spiritual questions.
We have had many one-time attenders that were curious to learn what this group is about. Sometimes I’ve felt frustrated that we could not retain all that have attended. However last time when two sophomore girls showed up for the first time, God reminded me that any size seed can still produce fruit. These two girls had never opened a Bible before. Since we take turns reading the Scriptures, it was the first time they read the Bible out loud. At the end they both prayed out loud thanking God for the opportunity to be at the group. We were studying about the Good Shepherd, so God reminded me again that a seed was planted. Now they had undeniably learned about the Good Shepherd and they would carry that with them forever. My job is to just spread the seeds.
Flavia B, IN
Flavia took a leap in learning how and then starting a Q Place. Now she is impacting many high school students around her!
Who has God put in your path? Why not attend a Q Place coaching group to learn how you too can impact those around you?