Archive for Sunday School

100 Small Changes Later…

100hashtag At the beginning of this series, David Francis introduced our blog to what would be 100 daily posts that provoke conversations about little things all of us can do to make our groups better.  These were not game changers or radical transformations of teaching methods.  These were small changes that could lead to minor course corrections in the direction of your group.  Most of them were not new ideas but simply reminders of things that need to be done.

We want to reflect back to the first post in this series, David Francis’ introductory article on August 1 of this year.

Sunday School is a system. It’s a bunch of things—big and small—that make a Sunday School excellent instead of mediocre.  Each relates to another and that to another and so on and so on. So what if every little thing you improved resulted in just one more person coming to Sunday School, coming back to Sunday School, enrolling in Sunday School, attending regularly in Sunday School, serving in Sunday School, and inviting another to Sunday School? Each of the 100 ideas you’ll read about in the next several weeks may seem inconsequential taken alone. But put 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 into practice and see what happens!

So, here we are.  100 articles later.  You now have 100 ideas from which you can draw for solutions to little roadblocks you may face while leading your group. Come back to this site often and refer back to these posts when you seeking answers.  We are here for you and will continue to be here with fresh insight and ideas to strengthen your group ministry.

The contributors of this blog will continue to add posts–only not as frequently as every day.  When a good idea comes to mind, we will share it here with you, the leaders of the movement.  Stay connected with us on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you for joining us on this journey of discovery. Keep making #SmallChanges that will grow your groups and help make disciples.

3 Ways to Celebrate New Leaders

celebrationWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Paul instructed Timothy to take what he had learned from Paul and pass it on to others who would do likewise. Leaders are needed to raise up laborers and become leaders to raise up others. When you cease to raise up leaders, you are only a generation away from extinction. Celebration encourages existing and new leaders.

WHAT DO I DO?

Inside the Group. Every leader in every group should be challenged to have an apprentice. They should disciple the apprentice to develop spiritually and to develop the skills necessary for ministry. They should give the apprentice opportunities to serve in their presence and should celebrate the day they are ready to step out on their own. When Jesus (Luke 9 and 10) experienced His disciples making disciples He rejoiced in the Spirit and praised the Father (10:21). When leaders raise up leaders in your group, celebrate!

Before other Groups. Many churches have a recognition service or an appreciation banquet for leaders. Celebrate new leaders and the individual(s) that mentored them during this event. If you wanting to quit begging for leaders, start celebrating when leaders multiply! Calendar an appreciation event this year!

Before the Church. Affirm and recognize new leaders in front of your congregation. You want others to get to know new leaders, and you want to inspire members to become leaders. Celebrate the new leader by having the mentor stand with them. This is a reminder for all leaders to develop an apprentice into a new leader.

Scheduling Makes Class Time More Effective

scheduleWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? I’ve been accused of calendaring everything, even my own funeral!  There is a story but way too long for this short blog.  Even in our Sunday School classes we need to be better organized with the limited time that we have on Sunday mornings.  The following is a schedule that I like to use and recommend to other Sunday School teachers and leaders.  Please note that this is for an adult class and will not work in a class for preschoolers or elementary age children.

WHAT DO I DO?

Fellowshipping Together (5-10 minutes)

  1. The FELLOWSHIP LEADER will provide light refreshments.
  2. The SECRETARY will begin the record keeping process.
  3. The ADMINISTRATIVE LEADER will make announcements and serve as the timekeeper.

Evangelizing Others (5-10 minutes)

  1. The GREETER is welcoming everyone and assisting guests to be registered.
  2. The MISSIONS LEADER will lead the group to be involved in missions.
  3. The OUTREACH/EVANGELISM LEADER will lead the group to pray for the lost, be involved in outreach ministry and contact those on the prospect list.

Loving People (5-10 minutes)

  1. The CARE GROUP LEADERS will report on prayer needs and ministry opportunities discovered as well as identify those absent and make plans for follow-up.
  2. The PRAYER LEADER will lead the group to pray for specific needs and ask for other prayer needs.

Investigating God’s Word (30-45 minutes)

  1. The DISCIPLESHIP LEADER will remind the group of the importance of a personal worship time and distribute devotional guides.

The TEACHER or the APPRENTICE will lead the will lead the Bible study.  Bible study should have at least 30 minutes.

 

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By: Dr. Smith serves as a state missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and is the Groups and Faith Development Specialist.  Visit their website at gabaptistgroups.org for more information and other resources to aid your ministry.  You can also connect with Dr. Smith at facebook.com/GABaptistGroups or twitter.com/GABaptistGroups  Dr. Smith is available for conferences or other speaking opportunities and can be contacted at tsmith@gabaptist.org

3 Ways to Commission New Groups

prayingoverWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

The Great Commission calls for us to make disciples. From Jesus’ follow me example, we know relationships are a key factor in disciple-making and that relationships are built in small groups. So why is it important to commission new groups? If we are going to follow the model of our Master, we will commission leaders and groups to create new groups of disciples.

WHAT DO I DO?

  • Come and See Groups

One way to create new groups is to commission group members to start a group in their home. The focus of the group would be to invite neighbors to ‘come and see’ or come and explore the claims of Christ. In Acts 2, the church went from house to house “breaking bread,” “praising God,” and “enjoying the favor of all the people.” In recent days, churches have experienced revival through evangelistic home groups that connect people to Christ and to His church. Some churches have commissioned or challenged class members to start a Backyard Kids Club to reach families. Don’t miss the opportunity to challenge your group to be on mission by commissioning groups in their communities.

  • Follow Me Groups

Groups should be aware of people who have never attended a group or have dropped out of church or groups because of some type of ‘disconnect’ from others. Some leaders create a ‘paper class or group’ from a list of church members and community members who are not in a group. Many of these people need someone to invite them to “follow me.” There a numerous people not in groups because they attended and did not find anyone who tried to intentionally connect with them. Help your group members discover people who would follow them into a new group.

  • Be Fruitful and Multiply Groups

Every group should be challenged to develop new leaders in order to commission a new group every 12 – 24 months. The Great Commission is a reminder of the first words God said to mankind, “be fruitful and multiply.” Disciples have been recreated by Christ in the image of the Creator who expects them to be fruitful and multiply. Groups should create new groups. When you launch a new group, do so with the commission to be “fruitful (grow in faithful obedience) and multiply (grow in number).”

Each time one of these groups are launched, conduct a commissioning service to celebrate!

How To Set Up A Closed Group On Facebook

Why is this important?

Many of our group members are on FaceBook.  I know, I know… Sometimes FaceBook is not that great but it can be used as a great ministry tool  We all know how important it is to stay in communication with our class throughout the week.  Love it or hate, depending on the day for me, FaceBook is everywhere.  There is a little known tool that leaders can set up just for your group.  Believe it or not, it’s called “Groups.”  I belong to a ton of them and the interests are vast.  But as the leader can set up a “group” for your Small Group or Sunday School class.  It can be as private as you would like it & you control who belongs.

What do I do?

If you have a FaceBook account look at the top menu – See below

Facebook Tool Box Bar

The small triangle arrow on the right is where you begin.  Click the arrow and you will see a drop down menu.  Under this menu you will see “create a group.”  Once you click the “create a group”button you can set up the group however you would like.

Just a few “rules of the road” for Groups on FaceBook.

  • Keep the group Private- if you are going to be sharing events, details, names etc. in this group
  • You do not have to be “FB friends” with everyone in the group – You just share “group” space
  • If a person leaves your group, delete them from the group

 

The Group will appear on the left hand side of you page.

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Jonathan Jordan is the Groups and Faith Development Leader for the Georgia Baptist General Convention.