Those who lead Sunday School classes have the responsibility to encourage and train members to bring the unsaved to Christ.
That was the encouragement Jay Gordon, minister for adults and small groups at Brook Hills Church in Birmingham, gave leaders gathered at Pinnacle Alabama, an annual conference for Sunday School and small group leaders. groups organized by the Alabama Baptist State Mission Board. Pinnacle took place August 5-6 at the Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega.
“We need to bring our groups to maturity,” Gordon said. “I use six ‘G’ words for this. We meet for worship and the group to study. Then we must grow in faith. These three elements can be internal. But external aspects include giving or serving, going [on missions]and guide or make disciples.
“If we stop with the top three, we’re only halfway to the price.”
Lead by passion
Gordon said it’s hard for a band to be passionate about the lost if the leader doesn’t show that passion. Gordon gave examples of ways he tries to lead by example in evangelism.
“I often ask the waiter before a restaurant meal how I can pray for them when we have a blessing,” he said. “It can lead to a conversation about the gospel.
“And I often ask people, ‘What is your spiritual background?’ This question is non-threatening and has opened doors for me.
When sharing the gospel, Gorden uses the “3 circles” chart, which he tries to do at least once a month. He also asks a member of the group if he can present it the following month, and to someone else the following month.
“In this way [they]familiarize yourself with this fairly simple presentation of the gospel,” Gordon noted.
He also asks members of his group to write on index cards the names of those for whom they are concerned, promising to take the cards and pray.
“I often take two or three cards in the morning and pray for those,” he said. “And I’ll text the group members to let them know that I prayed for their son or co-worker that morning. It reminds them to pray too.
Importance of obedience
Witnessing can be uncomfortable for believers, but when “we are obedient” we “share in the blessings” of God’s work, Gordon said.
“Actually, I was saved in the 7e during evangelism training,” he recalls. “I loved my church, went to training and realized I needed Christ. We are all indebted to those who loved us and shared Christ with us.
Gordon said that since others have invested their lives in ours, we should do the same.
“We can really be part of their witness when we do evangelistic work,” he said.
“The apostle Paul said, ‘Follow me as I am the Christ,’” Gordon noted. “I think every group leader can say the same. We do not claim perfection since we all have difficulties. But we need to get our group members to know that sharing our faith is vital.
“We continue to ‘sow the seed’ and trust God to bring the harvest.”
Gordon explains the “3 circles” diagram on YouTube at lifestories.me. He hosts “The Great Groups” podcast, with Chris Amaro, available in app stores and on greatgroups.org.