When University of Florida student Jose Edouard was invited by her college minister to participate in a WinShape Discipleship Intensive, she didn’t know what to expect. With an open mind and willing spirit, she left the three-day event with the self-assurance she needed to begin leading others.
Jose had some experience teaching high school and middle school students, but the idea of being formally trained in sharing the Gospel with her peers and sharpening her leadership skills intrigued her – especially since she feels the Lord calling her to the mission field after she graduates.
The three-day experience offered by the WinShape College Program is 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.
The first day Jose spent time learning the curriculum and absorbing the information. Learning quickly turned into teaching as she participated in hands-on, interactive experiences within her group.
As each group member took turns practicing teaching the newly-learned content and receiving feedback, Jose felt her confidence slipping.
“I remember there was a point and time in the experience I was feeling so unequipped and I was feeling like, ‘this is too much, I can’t do this,’” says Jose. “I remember breaking down and crying and everything because I was…not overwhelmed, but I was just like feeling…unqualified in a way.”
Her Discipleship Intensive leaders were quick to quiet the lies circling in Jose’s mind and remind her that her humility was actually a good thing.
“They were just there for me, and they were just like…the fact that I feel like I can’t do this and don’t know if I’m worthy enough to do this, that’s a great postured heart to have because God is going to use people like that,” remembers Jose.
As the experience continued through the weekend, Jose says her leaders continued to help shift her focus and guide her with truth, regardless of how she felt.
Connecting with your audience and being a good listener were two of the valuable lessons Jose took away, but the one she says stuck with her the most was learning that the moment you accept Jesus Christ you are equipped. Simply being a child of God qualifies you.
That’s when she realized discipleship is less about what you do and more about who you are.
Since her experience with WinShape College Program, Jose has been able to take the skills she learned and apply them in her community. Her small group leader at church asked if she would consider leading a weekly group of 10 to 15 college-aged women, and she’s excited to pursue that more.
She’s also noticed a difference in her personal life.
“I’ve been able to have more boldness to share the word of God,” says Jose.