The Riza Discipleship Experience includes 3 distinct phases, each with unique spiritual formation goals. Phase 1 seeks to encourage the student to grow in their relationship and dependence on God and the scriptures, while living in intentional community with others.
Phase 1 combines wilderness adventure with communal-living in order to stretch each student in their understanding of personal limitations and gifting, as well as their need for intentional, intergenerational friendship and mentorship. The student will be pushed in their physical and mental limits to help them grasp who God has uniquely created them to be. The student will be exposed to an intergenerational church community that will give them a diversity of perspective, and a wealth of knowledge and guidance for their future life and ministry.
Phase 1 also includes a rich curriculum and classroom learning experience with a cohort of peers, taught by trusted leaders, to transform their minds, address their doubts, and confront their assumptions. The desired outcome of phase 1 is to equip participants to establish new and healthy spiritual disciplines that will deepen their relationship with God, their love and need for others, their knowledge of themselves and what their unique contribution to the needs of the world might be.
After three months of life changing experiences in Phase 1, the students are sent back to their homes for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. During this time, the students will be challenged to steward their own growth in the midst of a familiar setting where it can be easy to settle back into old habits and roles. New environments are super effective in breaking down walls and allowing for new habits to be formed.
However, returning to familiar places, our minds and bodies return easily to old ways of living. The goal of Phase 2 is to walk with the students while they are outside of the supportive Riza community, helping them to navigate their lives with intentionality, continuing to grow deep roots in Christ on their own. During this time, the students will be assigned books to read, lessons to complete, and service projects in their local community.
A staff member will be checking in with each student at least once per week, coaching them as they navigate the triumphs and struggles of how Jesus is changing them. It is in Phase 2 that the student, staff team and their parents will decide and prepare for which cross-cultural service project the student will attend in Phase 3.
Upon completing Phase 2, the students return to Corvallis after the New Year for a time of debriefing the past 4 months and equipping them for the Phase 3 cross-cultural service project. During this phase, students are sent out around the world to experience life with Jesus in a different culture; new sights, smells, customs, and skin color. These experiences cultivate a wide variety of fruit in students lives. They become aware of the cultural lens through which they have been subconsciously viewing God and the Bible their whole lives. Having grown up in a developed country, it becomes easy to develop unhealthy mindsets of greed, victim-mentality, entitlement, etc. Seeing the way other cultures of the world live from day to day can shatter these mindsets and allow room for new, Biblical ones to be built.
While all of these reasons are good and valid, the most important reason for Phase 3 is that our Lord commanded us to go into all the nations and make disciples. When reading the Bible, it becomes clear from every prophet, psalmist, narrative, and epistle that our God is a missional God. His very heartbeat is to welcome the lost from every tribe, tongue, and nation into His family. With this commission in mind, the students are sent out to explore with God whether they are called to bring the lonely into God’s family in a cross-cultural setting or in the city of their birth. The students are sent out with the awareness that all believers are called to follow Jesus’ command to make disciples. The beauty in this short-term, cross-cultural work is that it will help clarify for each student how the discipleship call of God on their lives will be realized.
Interested but still have questions? Contact us to get more information on Riza.
Fill out our application and send it in before July 1st. We would love to have you with us at Riza.
We are part of the larger Hive Community. Want to learn more about the Hive? Check out their website here.