How Two Very Different Churches
Are Equipping Leaders Using
3 Roles for Guiding Groups
This blog has readers from many denominations—or none! If you love Sunday School, we are part of the same family. It is not a secret that those who write for the blog are usually Southern Baptists. Most lead the work of Sunday School and small groups in the SBC’s state conventions. I am so pleased that this group is posting daily articles during August to supplement the conversation Ken Braddy and I started with the little book 3 Roles for Guiding Groups: Teacher, Shepherd, Leader.*
Two very different churches. Bob Moon is Minister of Education at First Baptist Church in Portland, Tennessee. Portland is a town near the Kentucky border. First Baptist is a pretty traditional church . Most of the 25 groups meet on Sunday mornings at the church. The groups are called classes. They are led by teachers. Eddie Mosley is a blogger and small groups pastor at LifePoint Church in Smyrna, Tennessee. Smyrna is a fast-growing Nashville suburb. LifePoint is a multi-site church. Most of the 250 groups meet in homes during the week. They are led by shepherds.
Both are using 3 Roles to equip leaders. Bob will train his leaders using the free presentation material (http://www.lifeway.com/Article/3-roles-for-guiding-groups-david-francis-conference-plans-downloads). Eddy set up a training site on Facebook. In Portland, the conversation will be face-to-face. In Smyrna, the conversation will be virtual.
Presentation and conversation. I have become more and more vigilant about using precise words. We wrestled with every word in the title of the book. The introduction is sort of an exegesis of the title! That’s why I have decided to start using the words presentation and conversation instead of lecture and discussion.
Information and transformation. It’s not enough to expose our leaders to some more principles and opinions. Our aim should be to motivate and equip leaders toward transformational groups.
The key is conversation. The goal of this series is to continue the conversation about guiding groups. And to provide additional perspective that will help leaders continue that conversation.
90 minutes to 3 new groups. I suggest in conferences that leaders be provided the information (book, articles) ahead of time, and come to the leadership event prepared to spend most of the time in conversation. Bob just asked the four team teachers in a vibrant young adult class to meet him at church one night. He provided markers, and they read 3 Roles together, stopping to talk about each chapter. At the end of this time together, Bob just asked what they thought they might do, not really having a specific expectation. In near unison, they responded “Looks like our class needs to be four classes and we need to be the four teachers.” That may be an exceptional story, but it demonstrates the power of conversation. So, this month, join the conversation! Every day. Invite your leaders to join it, too. You never know what might happen!
*David Francis is Director of Sunday School at LifeWay Christian Resources. 3 Roles can be downloaded free through LifeWay Reader, at the iTunes store, or along with plans and presentation materials at www.lifeway.com/davidfrancis. All materials may be reproduced with citation. 3 Roles is also available in print. Co-author Ken Braddy is Managing Director in Adult Publishing, and blogs at kenbraddy.com.