By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Louisiana Baptists are in the final year of implementing the President’s 2020 Commission Final Report, an initiative undertaken during the leadership of Waylon Bailey, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Covington, and the LBC president in 2012-2013.
The 2020 recommendations were crafted collaboratively by a commission of 400 Louisiana Baptist leaders, staff members and laypeople, working in 20 subcommittees of 20 members each. Ten “key actions in reaching our state” – known as KAIROS – were developed to engage two audiences – the next generation and every people group. These measures for improving the spiritual health and growth of the state were adopted by messengers at the 2013 Louisiana Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.
This article is the third in a series published by the Baptist Message to report what successes have been achieved toward the ambitious goals of the statewide initiative, as well as to note what objectives remain to be done.
Assist churches with the development of a disciple-making process for the local congregation.
The best strategy for making disciples is through small groups such as Sunday School, said Sean Keith, Louisiana Baptists Sunday school and discipleship strategist. He said that 94 percent of Louisiana Baptist churches already have a Sunday school as part of their disciple-making strategy, while others utilize some combination of off-campus and on-campus groups apart from Sunday morning.
“The core of our hope for Louisiana Baptist Churches is that they take the structure they currently have and intentionally focus it on three things,” Keith said. “First is on reaching and enrolling new people. Status quo is our enemy. We must develop goals and plans to reach and enroll new people.
“We also must teach toward changed lives,” he continued. “We teach people. What we teach is the Bible. There is a strong need for community in our groups. But, we also need quality Bible conversations in our groups.
“Lastly, we need to involve members in ongoing ministry,” he continued. “Every believer is gifted by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of accomplishing God’s work through the body which is the church.”
These three components are the key elements of the Sunday School Challenge, Keith said. This effort is designed as a simple and flexible tool that a pastor and key leaders can accomplish in their church. For more information, go to //louisianabaptists.org/ssc.