Note: this post is the ninth entry of a series entitled, “Rebuilding the Sunday School/Small Group Ministry in the Local Church.”
Author: Josh Dickson, Minister of Discipleship, First Baptist Church, Ponchatoula, LA.
Each and every year, our church choir places a priority in celebrating Christmas with a musical we call “Christmas Spectacular.” The musical is grand, the narration is superb, and the drama consistently points the viewer to Jesus. In all, the presentation is just one hour in length; however, the investment of time that our leaders train, is vast. This special event is enjoyed by all; nevertheless, the presentation quickly fades until the next Christmas season rolls around.
So goes Sunday School. Each and every week, our church has the potential to reach people, teach people God’s Word, and minister to people. Our leaders have the honor to lead people to Jesus, to point them toward Him so they may thrive in their faith and experience the transformation that only Jesus can bring. And, just like Christmas Spectacular, that occurs every year. Each and every week, our small groups need new leaders so the work of discipleship can take place, equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.
The work is vital, the task is consistent, and the impact often becomes immeasurable as we invest in the lives of men and women, training them to become leaders. Just as the choir places an emphasis on practicing each and every week in preparation for Christmas Spectacular, so must Sunday School leaders place an emphasis on training new leaders so that the work of discipleship can occur. “We should expect Sunday School leaders to be responsible and accountable for participating in a minimal level of training each year.” (David Francis, Great Expectations: Planting Seeds for Sunday School Growth, page 34.) We should expect and train new leaders, continuing the discipleship process.
I am thankful for the new people that participate in Christmas Spectacular. I am thankful for the men and women, boys and girls who give of their time, practicing so that the Christmas message can be displayed. And, each and every year, I am reminded of the time, energy and effort it takes to conduct such a display. Likewise, each and every week, I am reminded of the importance of training new leaders within the small group ministry of our church. I am thankful for the men and women that serve. I am thankful for the time and energy spent in practice so that discipleship can take place. I am thankful for the new leaders that give of themselves, in training, so that First Baptist Church Ponchatoula can lead people to trust Jesus, and encourage others to thrive in their faith. And, yes, each and every year, I am reminded that we must be intentional about training new leaders.
Sunday’s coming! There are people in our lives that need to trust Jesus. There are leaders all around us that need be enlisted and trained. Are you training new leaders? Together, let’s equip the saints for the work of the ministry! Let’s enlist and train new leaders, so those that God has placed in our care can thrive!