Author Archive for Jonathan Jordan

Forged With Food: Why Group Socials are Valuable

Sometimes we find ourselves attending a group but for some reason connection points are difficult to achieve.  Your group might have a great ongoing study, but never underestimate the value of socials.  A meal attached to “social” is an invaluable tool in the Sunday School toolbox.

Socials are an incredible part of our groups and in some new groups it might take as much as 50% of our group time.  How could this be you say?!  It is the nature of people to desire a connection with others and have friends.  In the beginning words of the Bible it is clear we are not to be alone.  We are social beings.

  • Group Socials provide a place for us to get to know one another.
    Sometimes 10 minutes of “hello” is not enough.
  • Groups Socials provide a place to make friends.
    Many times ice breakers help to achieve a new comfort level because we are getting to know the people in our group through a simple game.
  • Group Socials provide us a place to be accepted.
    Sharing a meal with someone is a very disarming event.  We see it many times in the text and is great way to begin conversations with others.
  • Group Socials can eliminate loneliness in people’s lives.
    We have no idea how lonely people can be in a crowd.  Many people go months, years in fact with sharing a simple meal with friends.

Never underestimate the power of group socials.  I would encourage some type of gathering at least once a quarter.  This one action could galvanize your group and push them to invite friends to the groups as well.  Sharing a meal with someone is a wonderful way to bring together and grow your group.

Jonathan Jordan is the State Missionary at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

First Contact: 7 Seconds That Really Count

We have the privilege of being the Church. Not a building, but a people who at our core, love others, or at least that is our charge. Many organizations across the world know the value of “first impressions.” The problem is we never get a “do over” to have a first impression and depending on who you study, it last about 7 seconds.

Here are a few reminders, simple as they may be, that might help you.

  1. Smile. It seems obvious but you would be surprised how many churches have done a great job of getting Greeters at the door, but failed to instruct them to smile –facial expression is important when it comes to making a good impression.
  2. Shake their hands. The handshake is the universally accepted signal of politeness and kindness. Make sure the handshake is not too firm or not too soft. Neither make a good impression.
  3. Kind Greeting. A simple “good morning” will do the job. If you want to come up with something like, “we are glad you are here today” that will work as well. Don’t make things complicated, just greet them in a kind manner that informs them you are glad they have chosen to attend your church today.
  4. Speak clearly. It would be counterproductive to greet them and mumble through the whole encounter. Speak clearly. Don’t speak too loud or too soft. Depending on where you are from in the country this might be troubling. (I am from Georgia, I get it) Make sure you can be understood by those choosing to be your guest.
  5. Maintain eye contact. When people come to your church make sure you make eye contact. Look at them to make sure they know they have been noticed. This is based on one simple principle. People matter; they matter to God and they should matter to us.

Jonathan Jordan is the State Missionary at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

5 Primary Tasks of the Member Care Leader

getwellWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? A Sunday School class is a multifunctional group of people, and one of those functions is caring for members.  Group members need someone to lead them to care, meet needs, and provide support during difficult times.  My hope is that your class has a Member Care Leader or someone leading those functions.

WHAT DO I DO? It is important for the Member Care Leader to organize the group to meet practical needs when they arise. Lead the group to…

  • Contact regularly members to discover prayer needs and communicate those needs to the group.
  • Prepare meals during a time of illness, crisis, or  celebration–such as a birth of a child.
  • Send birthday cards to the group members.  A card can be encouragement
  • Send handwritten notes when someone is going through as challenging times (ex. separation/divorce, financial crisis, family crisis, loss of job, etc.). Email and text are great, but a handwritten note is more personal
  • Send flowers, sympathy cards, or get well cards–as appropriate–on the occasion of the death of a family member (ex. Grandparents, Spouse, Parents, siblings, child,  aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces) or for a surgery or hospital stay.

By leading them to care for each other, group members will learn how to extend the ministry of care as well.


Jonathan Jordan has been a State Missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board since January 2010 and joined Groups and Faith Development in March 2013. Jonathan’s responsibilities small groups support, college and single adult ministry, web and social media, video training and event coordination.

Using a Class Newsletter

newsletterWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? The list of ways to communicate are numerous.  The 21st Century has supplied us with numerous ways to communicate valuable  information to our group.  This information in many cases is quite important to our groups and also holds the key to make sure that people are taken care of through prayer & ministry.

This information communicated helps members know how they can minister and what they can do in their group to help others. This gives people in the group “buy-in” so they feel a part of the group and not just attend. Typically there are events or a “What is Going On” section.  You want to make sure the class stays active.

“WHAT DO I DO?” One of the easiest ways to start communicating and maybe the oldest is a Class or Group Newsletter.  A newsletter!!! Yes, people still use them and the are quite effective.

Newsletters can be mailed, handed out in class, or sent as a simple “E-Newsletter.”  You should include contact information for people to get in touch with leaders.

A group mission project should be at the forefront of most any Newsletter.  Prayer needs & some sort of upcoming events section always proves to be a good beginning.

People want to know that the group is “valuable” enough for them to be a part of it.  Add value to your group, start a newsletter and start communicating!

3 Goals Which Can Grow Your Class from Inside Out


The question of growth comes up when working with churches on a regular basis.  Few really ask the question out loud or would admit they do not intend to grow their church or group. But often the actions they take are counter-productive when it comes to growing their group.  In addition to taking actions that are counterproductive, few take actions in their class to assure growth has a chance.  The bottom line is that if we are followers of Christ our charge is clear.


I am glad you asked.  Many times it only takes a few adjustments to begin to move your class to a posture of growth.  Not only numerical but spiritual growth in the hearts & minds of the persons in our group.

1. Your group needs to have a mission project 2 times per year.  Not just an emphasis, but something outside the group and the church.  The value of serving those OUTSIDE your organization is invaluable.
2. Your group needs to fellowship once a month.  Some sort of gathering or activity.  Cookouts are great this time of year!  Find something, be creative, but don’t underestimate the value of your group having scheduled fellowships every month
3. Everyone needs to be contacted at least 1 time per week.  It does not have to be the same person each week or having the same person contact the entire group.  People need a text, email, phone call, card… anything, just as long as they have been contacted.


Jonathan Jordan, Georgia Baptist Convention