Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from your Sunday School/Small Groups staff at the Georgia Baptist Convention. We believe that 2014 has been a great year and we look forward to what God has planned in 2015. Thank you for all you do to reduce lostness in Georgia by making disciples through groups! It has been our joy to partner with you in that effort this year and we know that even greater things are ahead in 2015.

I was shocked by a friend that said to me, “Jesus is NOT the reason for the season.” What he said next is so very true, “YOU are the reason for the season.” The point he was making was that Jesus did come to establish a new holiday but rather He left heaven for the purpose of being the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus came for you and for me because He loves us. In Luke 19:10 Jesus gives us His reason for the season, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Let’s recommit and make 2015 a great year for reaching the lost and making disciples through groups!

2015 will be here is just a few days and we’ve already got some great opportunities planned for you and your leaders. Check these out….

Vacation Bible School JumpStarts – The earlier we start working on VBS the more successful VBS will be. Is it important? YES! Nothing we do reaches more people like VBS. Our JumpStarts are just that, a way to get thinking about having a successful VBS. The theme this year is “Reaching Families through VBS”. There will be 12 all over Georgia and these will be conducted on January 20th, 22nd, 27th and 29th.

Gospel-Centered Teaching Conference – The title of the conference is an “affirmation of a Christ-focused approach to the Bible intended to have God’s people to join His mission to seek and save the lost.” The Gospel is what makes our teaching of the Bible distinctively Christian. The Bible is God’s grand narrative of His redemptive work through Jesus to make right sinfulness of all humankind. It is Jesus who changes lives, and the goal of your Sunday School class and/or Small Group Bible study should be to continually reintroduce people to Him. Teaching the Bible with the Gospel as the focus changes lives … families … churches … communities and even the world! That’s why I want you and all your teachers and leaders to join me on Saturday, January 24th at Mountain Park First Baptist Church in Stone Mountain.

Groups on Mission – Does your church have a small group ministry? Are your groups accomplishing their primary mission of being a missional community? This day promises to be a great opportunity for small group leaders and pastors. My good friend Scott Kindig will be leading this session and I know that Scott will have lots of great ideas that will help your small groups be on mission with God. Be there on Thursday January 29th at Dogwood Church in Tyrone (near Peachtree City).
Taking Your Groups to the NEXT Level – This full day of training and discussion is just for the best of the best! Do you want to know what to do with your Sunday School classes and/or small groups to move them forward? This day will have something for everyone whether you lead preschoolers, children youth, adults or pastors/directors. There will be three locations covering all of Georgia. These events will be February 9, 2015 at FBC in Tifton, February 10, 2015 at Heritage Hills Baptist Church in Conyers and February 11, 2015 at FBC in Kennesaw. Again this event is for those that want to make a difference in their church and other churches! Please join me in taking groups to the NEXT level.