Let the Training Begin!
Having explained and taught my vision to the deacons in the spring of 1991, they nervously got on board. That summer we began to train a core of leaders as well as ourselves. We taught and preached the concepts from that summer into the Fall of 1991. In the Fall, we began seeking recruits to be teachers for this Bible study, as well as special helpers for the classes. These helpers or “Care Group Leaders” (organizational charts in the appendix of this book.) would help handle missionary letters and correspondence, social events for the class and outreach. Each care group leader would also be responsible for four to seven enrollees in the class. That responsibility of the four to seven simply meant to keep attendance records, send birthday or other cards, and notify enrolled of class events or lessons. An enrollee is not just one who attends, but any-one from that class’s age and gender willing to be included, and perhaps one day come. When any class reached twenty-five enrolls, with ten to twelve attendees, it would divide into a new class, with most likely a Care Group leader from that class or another leader becoming the teacher.
As you can see, the potential is great for maximum use of your people with just a singular ministry to run virtually everything you do. If done correctly, this concept would also serve as a great tool to disciple our people. This concept could also stimulate God’s people to begin thinking about transforming their service into a ministry, perhaps even fulltime.
That’s the good news, but as the saying goes, “The devil is in the details.” Having a “vision” or a concept on paper can be far different in reality. What works in one place may not work completely in another. This point is especially true if leadership is looking for just another method or quick fix. We are still working on refining, managing, or getting back on track, several years later. We, however, won’t go back to the old way that never really worked, nor turned an army of our people loose for ministry as we have now.
So how do you get recruits? That is simple! There really are only two methods after the people have been amply prepared and other ministries altered or shut down. The first method is the shotgun invitation, “whosoever will.” The second method is the same one Jesus employed—the mono et mono, “Come follow me.” The latter is preferred, but sometime starts with a general plea. Another reality we constantly learn is that individuals who we use today may be someone different, one to five years later. That’s because people either change or don’t move, or become spiritual casualties.
For the above reasons, the church must develop a continual supply of new workers to step in. This plan can only be accomplished if the church is reaching new souls or new people coming in, and then training them for the next step. That process takes planned effort and a training manual to accompany the main manual, the Word of God. I refer to this constant reproductive process as our “Discipling Factory Approach.” …to be continued