Vital Worship Worship is a time when the body of Christ comes together to celebrate the Lord. Psalm 133:1-2 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.
Vital Churches focus on increasing the effectiveness of Lay Leaders (understand their role and carrying these roles out effectively
Vital churches always provide training for all their laity leaders. Why? Because leaders always function better when they know what is expected of them and receive training to enable them to adequately perform these tasks.
When you combine the words Clergy and Lay, you get “CLAY.” God can work with clay! Gene Sheffield
The function of the Lay Leader is vitally important to the church. The Lay Leader serves as the primary contact between the laity and the clergy. For someone who has never held this position before, the thought of being Lay Leader can be overwhelming. These feelings make us feel inadequate for the task. We not only need training, but also to be reminded that God has all the power we need and that he equips those he calls. He has given us His Holy Spirit, Living water, who lives in us. Even knowing this, we sometimes feel like our earthen vessel is just dirt with holes in it and muddy water is leaking out. When Clergy and Laity work together we are reminded that Heaven is God’s throne and earth is His footstool. Anything that might overwhelm us is truly under His feet. Together we allow God, the potter, to repair our cracked pots.
Mike Selleck shared with us this Leadership Triangle which shows how the closer one gets to the top of the triangle, the less room there is to dodge or hide from tasks and responsibilities. Leaders who have not received sufficient training to feel they really understand their role and know how to carry out the functions expected frequently want to hide from their responsibilities and when questioned often become defensive. Because the Lay Leader is very close to the top of the triangle, it is very important that he or she feel confident to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the role.
The duties of the Lay Leader are described in The Discipline 2012, but more information is needed to feel confident. Jodeco Road UMC have purchased books that explain the purpose and function of each of the committees that make up the Administrative Council.
The Griffin District Leadership Committee annually provides training not only for the lay leaders but also for many of the various committees that function within a church. This training is provided for the entire district and is usually held at Griffin First UMC.
Meets regularly with the pastor Serves as a lay member of annual conference Attends committees Compiles and distributes Maintains records Speaks on behalf of Congregation Supports the church with finances
VITAL CHURCHES HAVE MORE SMALL GROUPS FOR ALL AGES
The church in times past did not thrive around the small group concept A different Christian Education model must be used to accommodate the mega church phenomenon
St. James UMC, Alpharetta DEMOGRAPHICS The only Black Church in the Atlanta-Roswell District 3,000 members Average attendance of 1,000 2 Morning Services Community primarily white middle to upper class families with children St. James 98% African-American Socio-economic tenor mirrors the White community
“We embrace, Equip and Empower people to go and make disciples for Jesus Christ”
Renamed our “Sunday School” model to be “AM Sunday Bible Study Courses” Adults and children who strive to increase their knowledge base do not want to come to church to go to school, however are open to gain more knowledge, even theological.. SMALL GROUP STRUCTURE
Prayer for direction Paths for all ages and stages Market the paths to Christian growth in a way that entices the body of believers to grow to be disciple makers.
We have intentionally created opportunities for common groups to congregate such as: Mighty Men of Valor Bible Study UMW Sister to Sister Bible Study Stewardship Workshops Seenager Bible Study Couples Bible Study MasterLife Bible Study Disciple Bible Study Youth Ministry Advisory Council Survival Kit for Adults and Youth
Small Groups provide the following: Intimacy Confidentiality Sharing opportunities No time restraints on how long it takes the group to get to the same level of growth Familial connections The opportunity to realize that every member of the body is connected to each other and are a necessary part of the body of Christ. These things can only be accomplished effectively in small group dynamics.
As the church recognizes the need to become relevant using the tool called “small groups”, combined with the gospel of Jesus Christ and prayer, creative ways to draw all men unto Christ, can result. Then the Church of Jesus Christ can grow into an entity that will change the world, even if only in the corner where each of us abides, in Him.