Our Adult Ministry is designed to address the unique challenges and opportunities of each stage of life. Regardless of marital status – and in the middle of aging bodies, children and parents – we want to help adults develop healthy and accountable relationships and become unified, mature leaders in the Body of Christ. Our ultimate goal is to glorify God together by following the Jesus Way.
Our mission at First Baptist Church is to glorify God by following The Jesus Way. We believe that followers of Jesus (Christians) should be on a life-long journey of transformation… being changed from the inside out. God expects us to keep growing and maturing throughout our lives. He wants us to be healthy and productive for his glory. He wants us to make a difference in the world.
We’re using the image of the Psalm 1 Tree to help illustrate how this looks in our lives. There are 3 parts to the Psalm 1 Tree that we need to focus on:
Purposeful… deep roots
The key to a healthy tree is a good root system. That’s why we start by focusing on “deepening our roots.” What happens below ground (in private) determines what happens above ground (in public). Deep roots come from knowing who we are and what we believe. We need to be grounded in the Word of God and orient our lives around it. We want our people to be committed to daily Bible reading. We want them to know and understand our Core Beliefs and Values. We want them to seek to know God more intimately through prayer and fasting. Being “purposeful” is about making a strategic, intentional investment of our lives.
Transformational… strong trunk
In order for a tree to reach its full potential – and be able to support the weight of branches and leaves – it has to have a strong trunk. We have identified 6 growth areas that need to be embraced as part of our spiritual formation. Each of us must be actively choosing to grow in these 6 areas.
- LEARN… ex: become so familiar with “The Big Story” that I can share it comfortably in my own words
- OBEY… ex: identify areas in my life where I consistently disobey God and choose to submit my will to his will
- SHARE… ex: pray for an opportunity to tell someone else how to follow The Jesus Way; expand my personal commitment to missions
- LOVE… ex: ask God to show me how to strengthen my significant relationships and make them healthier
- TRUST… ex: engage in humble acts of service to others and demonstrate my confidence in God’s provision by tithing
- WORSHIP… ex: schedule regular time to be still before God with an open heart and mind; choose to be part of a weekly group worship experience
Influential… fruit and shade
Ultimately, a Psalm 1 Tree should benefit everyone around it… providing fruit, shade and lodging. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. We have declared 2011-2020 to be “a decade of blessing the nations.” We believe that transformed people impact culture and community. Christ-followers should make a positive difference wherever they are. That starts at home and reaches around the world.
Thank you for your willingness to step up and be a leader. Taking responsibility for leading other adults can be a little frightening and intimidating. That’s OK. Courage isn’t the absence of fear… it’s acting in spite of your fears!
Here are some things to remember as you think about your role as a leader.
1. Leading a small group isn’t about your confidence and ability. It’s about God and what he wants to accomplish through you as a “facilitator.” Acknowledging your weakness is the best way for God to be glorified. Prepare well. Work hard. Trust God!
2. Getting the group to connect starts with your honesty. As you choose to open up and be real, the rest of the group will feel the freedom to do the same. Share your story. Admit your struggles. Don’t pretend!
3. Don’t be afraid of silence. If you’re asking real questions and you want real answers, you have to give people an opportunity to think before they respond. Maybe you need to restate the question. If silence makes you nervous, get in the habit of counting to 10 or 20 in your mind before saying anything. God can work in silence!
4. You don’t have to know all the answers. This is part of the whole “honesty” thing. When you’re not sure, ask the group: “What do you think?” It can lead to great discussion. If no one knows the answer, and it’s worth pursuing, agree to all research the issue and talk about it the next time you meet. This is shared learning.
5. Don’t be afraid of disagreement. It’s OK for people to have differing opinions about things. While we have “zero tolerance” for personal attacks or physical violence, sincere disagreement is acceptable. It’s not up to you to convince anyone. It’s up to you to make sure your group is a safe place for everyone to learn and grow together!
Things to keep in mind…
If you are a Teacher in one of our Bible study departments or small groups, here are some suggestions that you might find helpful.
1. Pray. Always begin by yielding yourself to God. Ask for his guidance.
2. Take the time to prepare. Start the process at least a week ahead to give the Holy Spirit plenty of room to work. Allow for fermentation and germination.
3. Read the Bible first. Examine the focal passage several times. Read it in multiple translations. www.biblegateway.com is great for this step. Read the whole chapter and the chapters on either side for proper context (exegesis).
4. Read commentaries second. Allow respected Bible scholars to offer their insight and understanding of the text. our Pastor’s video “How to Study the Bible” offers suggested helps.
5. Settle on the central truth. What is the main point of the Scripture? What is the key “take away” for this group (hermeneutic)? Consider your audience. What are they struggling with? Where do they “itch”? What do they need to know?
6. Use other resources. Look for other material to help with motivation, explanation, illustration and application. Consider using news stories and current events, movies, music, literature and personal experience.
7. Be aware of who is talking. How much should you talk? How much should you listen? If you ask a question and no one answers, count to 10 in your head. Re-phrase the question. Count to 10 again. Learn to be comfortable with silence.
8. Be aware of the time. Consider making “time notes” in the margin of your lesson. Think twice before “chasing rabbits.” It can lead to great discussion. It can also be a waste of time. If a question or topic is too far off track, it’s OK to “table it” until later out of respect for the lesson and the others in the group. You can go long on occasion, IF it’s the exception… and another group isn’t waiting for the room.
9. Vary the curriculum. While the Bible is always our primary text, there are several ways to approach your study. Our church-wide “TWOG4TPOG” daily readings – based on the Pastor’s sermons – are a great place to start. Book studies, video series and topic/theme studies can offer a nice alternative.
10. Vary the experience. Consider adjusting the seating arrangement from time to time. Break into small groups. Combine into one large group. Move the front of the room to the back. Keep things interesting by occasionally using discussion, stories, games, activities, lecture, videos, and taking the opposite position.
There are many other resources that will help you in becoming a better leader in the Adult Ministry. The resources listed below are also listed in the green box to the right.
- the SHAPE of Leadership
- Leadership Essentials from James
- Begin with the End in Mind
- the Word of God for the people of God
- Read and Reflect
- The Big Story