As I contemplated the blog for this week, it struck me that I have with me an example of someone who walked into a group without any prior information and stuck to it. Armen is interning in the Adult Discipleship department with me. If you haven’t met him yet, then you will be meeting him in the near future (and if you want a PhD Theologian to chat with, contact him!). I encouraged Armen to visit a group that fits his demographic and compare it with some of the other groups that he had visited on the Brentwood campus and groups he experienced elsewhere. Armen truly felt as if he belonged to the group and has continued to engage with them: building relationships, substitute teaching, and helping with outreach. Here were the 3 major sticking points for Armen:
- Community Feel
- I felt encouraged by seeing a group of people who are trying to seek Christ.
- Strong Teaching
- A teacher who seeks to tell me what the Bible is saying, and challenging me by asking: are you living out the Bible’s teaching?
- Big to Small
- The group made a big church like Brentwood Campus feel small, especially, when I would see people in the hallways that I knew from group (not to mention them sitting together in worship service!).
Keep these points in mind. We do them very well as groups, but we could always make subtle improvements. Do you invite visitors to sit with you in worship or into smaller care groups? Do you have some outreach, invitation initiatives going? What are a few things that you could push between now and summer that might turn GREAT into REALLY GREAT!!
Paul Wilkinson is the Adult Minister–Groups Associate, Brentwood Baptist Church.