Start a Group

What is Cross-Current?

Who is it for?

Think about who you are hoping to reach. Are they young Christian adults in your area, a group of professionals all in the same field, or a number of attendees from your church? With that information, you’ll know which type of Cross-Current group you’ll be leading — a City Group or Professional Group.

How do I start?

Take a look around our website and familiarise yourself with the About Cross-Current pages, which should give you a good feel for what it’s all about. If you’ve got this far then you’ve probably got a group of young people in mind… maybe a group of young Christian adults in your area/ from church/ recently graduated from an IFES National Movement.

Once you’re ready to go further, drop us an email at and we’ll arrange a time to talk with you to plan next steps and answer any questions you might have.

How many people do I need to get started?

Cross-Current ministry is built around small learning communities of 8 to16 participants per group (including leaders & mentors). The focus is always on depth rather than breadth, both in terms of the content of the program and the close-knit community that we hope to create.

We ask people for a commitment to the full program from the start but we also recognise the need for porous edges: some people will come the first time and feel it is not for them; others will hear about it after the first meeting and want to join.

In general after the first 2 meetings it is best to keep the group as settled as possible.

What is the format of the course?

The program consists of 6 modules, each focused on a different character virtue. You can read more about these on the What is Cross-Current page.

We recommended that each of these modules is delivered over a residential weekend (Friday evening - Sunday afternoon) and that you aim to have two or three of these weekends each year (more if you like!). The big advantages of going residential: you build a better community, the Bible study runs deeper, the reflection is more personal, the mentoring becomes more natural, you manage to get away from normal distraction and it's a lot more fun!

If that’s not possible, then you can deliver the material for each module over 2 Saturdays or over the course of 6 weekly meetings. Recently, due to Covid-19, we have been developing some online options too. 

No matter what format you use, the course will include biblical teaching, group discussions, personal reflection, worship and peer mentoring groups. 

What does it cost to run a group?

We recognise the huge diversity of economic and language groups we are trying to support, so there is no fixed rule for the cost.

You will need to work out the most cost effective way of delivering the training in a way that meets the expectations of your audience.

To help us meet our costs and help others who need subsidy to run Cross-Current we suggest that each participant should pay €20/£20/$20 for each workbook - this is two workbooks for the entire course. If you want workbooks provided directly by ourselves then we would need to discuss with you how affordable this would be for the people you aim to work with.

If you prefer to translate the material into your own language we are happy for you to do that and we recommend that you pay a license fee of €250 per group per year, you are then free to print your own materials and charge the cost back to participants at the recommended price of €20/£20/$20 or you may wish to charge a different amount relevant for your own context.

We want to be here to serve you. That means a) we need to find financial support for the work and b) that finance should never get in the way of your ministry. Ours is an open door, please get in touch to discuss.

What resources are available?

We have produced workbooks covering each of the six modules (Workbook 1 containing Modules 1,2 & 3 and Workbook 2 containing Modules 4,5 & 6).

These can be purchased directly from us or you may wish to license the material from us and print it yourself locally. We currently can provide the material written in English, but we hope shortly to have versions available in Spanish, French and Russian.

For each module, there is a complete Leader’s Guide containing:
The overarching aims of the course, including theological foundations and a ‘thought flow’ diagram
A detailed session guide with all the content
A further reading list, which directs you to relevant articles
We also have videos to introduce you to the content and slideshows for your use to help enrich and support the material.

How can IFES help you?

We have a team of people who have created and taught this material for several years. We would be very happy to help you get a group started.

We can provide ‘light’ leader’s training online, answering your questions as and when they arise. If you’d prefer, we can provide more in-depth training, where one of our team would come and spend a weekend teaching a group of leaders a module and then those leaders would teach it to their groups. Where we charge for training, it would be at cost.

Can you tell me how other people are doing it?

In Mexico the national IFES movement has brought together 40-50 young graduate leaders. A member of our team visits twice a year to teach through each module one by one and to coach the leaders to lead their groups. Between these training visits the leaders are running 8 different Cross-Current groups for a further 150 people. The team in Mexico have translated the training material into Spanish.

In Norway the national IFES is working in partnership with local church ministers to set up groups within churches or within different professional areas. We are providing online support and annual training for leaders.

In Canada the first four groups have been started online during Covid-19. Here we are giving close personal guidance to the project leader who in turn is training his own city leaders.

What do I do next?

Pray about whether this is something the Lord is encouraging you to do.

Ask a couple of friends if they are interested in leading a group with you - maybe they like Bible teaching, maybe they are great at building communities, maybe they love mentoring, or cooking, or admin - whatever... if you can make a team you'll have a much better possibility of succeeding.

Contact us through the Contact Form and let's find a time to chat.