By KAREN L. WILLOUGHBY, Managing Editor
NEW ORLEANS/LAFAYETTE – Training is vital for a vibrant Sunday School, says Sean Keith of the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s Evangelism/Church Growth team.
“Sunday School is the largest lay-led organization in our churches, and if they are to be effective, the leaders need to understand their roles and responsibilities,” said Keith, the LBC’s Sunday School/Discipleship strategist. “Our role [as teachers and class leaders] is to make disciples; that’s from beginning to end. We have to think holistically.
[img_assist|nid=6664|title=Sean Keith, LBC Strategist Sunday School/Discipleship|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=79|height=100]“A successful teacher is not the one with the largest class,” Keith continued. “A successful teacher is one who equips and sends out leaders to start other classes and ministries.
Successful teachers send out members to reach out to and care for others in the community.”
In addition to the Bible study teacher, other leaders in Sunday School who need training include care group leaders, outreach leaders, ministry leaders, class coordinators and Sunday School directors.
Each of these leaders has the opportunity for two final regional training events during 2010, whether or not they live in that region.
GREATER NEW ORLEANS
Ridgecrest on the River starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, and is to take place at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Registration is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The cost is $20 for early registration and $25 for late registration or walk-in.
The conference should conclude by 3:30 p.m.
For more information, contact New Orleans Baptist Association at 504.282.1428 or email Ninfa@bagnola.org.
Key speaker is David Fleming, a Florida pastor who at one time was pastor of New Zion Baptist in Covington, La. He is to speak on “The Champion Leader changing the world.”
A variety of age-graded, Spanish-language and other ministry-specific workshops also are being offered as part of Ridgecrest on the River.
A sampling of workshop titles: “Working smart: Igniting ideas to accomplish more;” “Connecting kids to Christ 4 life;” “Seven tips to lead students to spiritual transformation;” and dozens more.
The Southwest Louisiana Connection starts with registration at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at First Baptist Church of Lafayette, and is to conclude by 12:20 p.m.
The cost is $20 for early registration and $25 for late registration or walk-in. For more information, contact Evangeline Baptist Association at 337.237.6956 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Great Expectations: Planting Seeds for Sunday School Growth” is the conference title. Eleven people have been tapped as workshop leaders. Seven workshop options are planned for youth; four more for children.
“A well-trained teacher understands his/her role in making disciples, and the importance of training to help them grow and develop as a better leader,” Keith said. “Training provides the opportunity to discover new insights and new ways to minister.
“People need to know what their role is, how to do their role, and who is going to help them and encourage them to keep going in that role,” Keith explained. “That’s what training does: It helps us understand our role, how to do it, and it encourages and equips us to effectively make more disciples.”
Keith encouraged members to take on a specific responsibility in their Sunday School class for their growth as a Christian disciple, and for the benefit of the people in the class or who could become a part of the class.
“Ed Stetzer [president of LifeWay Research] says probably the greatest sin in our churches today is not that 20 percent do most of the work. It’s that 80 percent do little or nothing,” the Sunday School/Discipleship strategist continued.
“Sunday School is still one of the largest organized ways of doing ministry. There’s a place – a need – for someone with your skills – for you! – to shoulder a responsibility that’s going to lead to growth in God’s kingdom,” Keith said.