Archive for prayer – Page 2

Emphasize Reaching People with Your Group

reachingWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? The first book that I ever read about Sunday School was Basic Sunday School Work.  The author wrote about the Six Tasks of Sunday School.  Task number one was to reach people for Bible study.  That’s right: Reaching People for Bible Study was the first task.  Teach People the Bible was the second task. Many churches are plateaued and declining because the classes and groups are ignoring the first task of Sunday School.  We must get outreach and evangelism back into Sunday School.

WHAT DO I DO? Here are three practical ideas to emphasize reaching people with your group:

Challenge your members to…

  1. Pray for three lost People
  2. Learn a Gospel Presentation
  3. Invite five unchurched People to the group
  4. Share the Gospel at least one time each month

Challenge your group to…

  1. Enroll three New Members this year
  2. Conduct regular fellowships (invite every member and every prospect)
  3. Plan two Missions Activities in the Community
  4. Sponsor an Evangelistic Bible Study in the Community where lost people live and work
  5. Adopt a People Group
  6. Adopt a Harvest Field in your community, such as a school, subdivision, factory.

Conduct an Evangelistic Activity every time the group meets, such as:

  1. Have a member share their story
  2. Pray for lost people (have an evangelistic prayer list)
  3. Plan an outreach event
  4. Teach the Gospel
  5. Practice a Gospel presentation
  6. Memorize an evangelistic verse
  7. Model sharing the Gospel

Just in case you are curious.  The other tasks were witness to persons about Christ and lead them into church membership, minister to persons in need, lead members to worship, and interpret and undergird the work of the church and the denomination.

3 Steps to Leading Your Members to Read Their Bible Daily

bibletools

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? We all know the importance of reading the Bible. It is our only offensive weapon in the spiritual war we engage in daily. When Jesus was tempted, He used the Word as his response each and every time. But you have to know it to use it. Here are three steps to use in building a habit of daily Bible reading.

WHAT DO I DO? Consider these ideas:

  1. Have a planned time. Set aside a specific time daily for reading. It doesn’t have to be a time on the clock either. It can be tied to something else you do every day. Choose to read right after breakfast or right before bed. I am an advocate of reading in the morning (even though I am not a morning person by any means). Pick a time and stick to it.
  2. Have a planned text. There are reading plans of all sorts out there to help people chose what to read each day. I always encourage people to start with a chapter of Proverbs each day. There are 31 chapters and you can read whatever chapter corresponds to the day of the month. When you get through them all, it is OK to read them again. There is a lot of wisdom in Proverbs and you will find that different ones stand out each month as you read.
  3. Have a planned talk. Ask someone to keep you accountable each day by asking you what you read. We all need a little motivation from time to time.

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!

The One Thing You Could Do in Your Classroom to Help Reach More People

groupprayerWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Many church leaders have said jokingly, “Ministry would be fun if it was not for people…” But the fact is that “there would be no ministry if it were not for people!”

For too long our Sunday school groups have been inwardly focused, social clubs, or cliques (yes, I said it). One of the main purposes when Sunday school was established was reaching out to bring in other people. Jesus Himself said, “Go out into the highways, and hedges and compel them to come in…”

WHAT DO I DO? So what is ONE thing your class or group could do to reach more people? Her is my one thing: Prayer!

What do I mean when I say prayer? Let’s call people out by name! David Francis, Director of Sunday School for Lifeway Christian Resources reminded us in one of his “Franciscan epistles” that a class becomes a little more of a community when members of the class start praying for people by name.

Most of our classes have prayer time built into their group, but seldom when I sit in classes do I hear lost peoples’ names mentioned. Is it because we do not know any lost people? I’m sure that is not the case.

We are surrounded by lost people all the time, so start thinking about the one (or three) people you could pray for this coming Sunday.

Romans 10:1: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”

3 Ways to Deploy Group Members in Ministry

care4otherWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? The writer of Hebrews (10:24-25) reminds us that we gather to “spur one another on towards love” and to “encourage one another.” Jesus says that His disciples are recognized by their love of one another (John 13:35). If your group does not minister effectively to one another and show love one to another, then it will quickly fall apart.

WHAT DO I DO?

  1. Inside the Group. Each group should set up smaller groups within the group for prayer and ministry. The smaller the sub group (3-5) the better. These groups can be informal, put together on the spot, or formal, an ongoing group. They should meet for approximately 10 minutes to share prayer needs and pray. The smaller group will make this a more intimate time and curtail needless travelogue in prayer requests. If you form groups on the spot, you will be able to better include and get to know guests. As the teacher/leader you may want the guests in your group.
  2. Through the Group. Each Group should have a Care or Ministry Leader(s) who presents the ministry opportunities discovered through prayer groups and contacts. This should not be a lengthy recital of prayer needs, but a presentation of ministry opportunities and making assignments. It should include assigning individuals to contact a group member who is absent and organizing the group to take appropriate ministry actions for group members who are hurting (sick, unemployed, hospitalized, etc.).
  3. Beyond the Group. Encourage group members to become aware of ministry opportunities to unreached people in their relational networks. Organize members, as appropriate, to perform acts of kindness to spread Christ’s love beyond the group. Share stories of ministry that takes place and makes positive impact.

Many groups already have a system of Care Ministry and Prayer Ministry. This is commendable! However, many groups spend more time in prayer requests rather than in prayer and in discussing ministry needs rather than assigning ministry action. If this is the case for you, it may be time to recalibrate your groups and refocus them on ‘why’ they should minister to the group.