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– It’s passed. So let’s go ahead and dive in to this. We’ve got John Sparks. Hey, John has joined us. John was with us last week as well. And so let me just kind of do a little bit of a resetting of last week. We’re not gonna belabor the point but just be able to start for those of you that weren’t with us last week. I think Jay was enjoying a little vacation time and I was praying for you last week, Jay. I hope things went well. He had a specific prayer request. And so let me just say last week we talked about that the office of Sunday School and Discipleship has been in transition. Many of you knew in the past Jamie Baldwin, who is now in Alaska for about six months and Eileen Mitchell, we got to see her yesterday and kind of celebrate with her some, but both of those are retired and certainly we miss them but we’re excited about the call God has placed on our lives to be here. And so I want you to be aware of who is helping us right now the office of Sunday School and Discipleship. And let me start with the full-time state missionaries which are that’s myself, Daniel Edmonds and then Steve Layton. So the two full-time state missionaries are here on this webinar today then part-time state missionaries include Mark Gainey who is our lead strategist for making disciples. And he is pastorate. Fultondale is first Baptist church, as well as serving us as a state missionary, Belinda Stroud, who is a member at Dawson Memorial is our children’s specialist. And then Patty Burns, who is in Moundsville at the Moundsville Baptist church where her husband is serving is our preschool specialists. Both of those ladies are experts in their field and they have been serving this office in some capacity for quite a few years. And so it was just a natural fit to invite them to come on a part-time. And so we’re going to give you opportunities in the coming weeks and months to get to know them better if you haven’t already taken advantage of that opportunity. So we said that we began like all of you right now try and refocus our energy or redouble our energy on what might be happening in the future. You’re looking at probably this August, September and the life of your church and trying to find maybe some tools that can help you. And so we said, first of all that our office of Sunday school and discipleship is about encouraging and equipping. And we want to encourage and equip leaders in our churches, which include you to be able to accomplish all that God has called you to in the work of ministry, especially as it relates to making disciples. And you know, most of us as ministers and all of us on here today, our ministers we’re pretty good on the encouraging. At least I hope we are encouraging our people to bond a place of service, but maybe not quite as focused at times only quipping we may think we are. But then we find in our own struggles, that part of the reason we struggle in certain areas is we haven’t equipped others to do the work. So the whole burden is on our shoulders. So we’re trying to equip you to equip others. And so we said, what we really need to do are to began to develop tools, some, to encourage you but others to equip you so that you can equip your leadership as well. And then we introduced last week, connect 316. And we said briefly, the reason we chose the word connect is because we’re about connecting people to Christ community and commission. That’s about as succinctly as we could put it especially as it relates to group strategy into the disciple-making strategy that is about connecting people to Christ, community and commission. And later we’ll introduce a little bit more about where that comes from in be with me a little bit of that will happen even next week. And then ultimately with what you see on your screen that I’ve kind of explained, we said all of this will happen in context if you will, of conferences. I think historically that’s what’s been expected of this office is that we conduct conferences around the state to encourage and equip. But those conferences now can come in several forms. They can be live, they can be virtual or they can be a hybrid of both, but more than that we want to encourage and equip by engaging people in conversations. You’ve all had a conversation with somebody that when it was over you wished it had been recorded or you’ve made the comment. I wished I could have been a fly on the wall when that conversation took place. And so we want to have conversations and we won’t even some of those conversations to be recorded or where other people can get in on the conversation. But you’re gonna see that flashed out in real time. If you come to Pinnacle Alabama at Shockoe in August you’ll see that not only will you have opportunities for conferences, but to engage key leaders in conversations and then engage everybody by making some connections that will become valuable to you. ‘Cause I think we’ve all learned through this past year how important connections are to be able to have somebody that you can call that is a great encourage or somebody that you can call that is a great equipper that speaks your language knows your context and can minister to you five prayer. And so we’re going to be focusing on conferences, conversations, and connections. Last week, I asked Steve to share with you a little bit of his call to equip and encourage each other. And if you didn’t get to hear that let me cite to you that shortly, that will be posted under past webinars on PinnacleAlabama.org. And you can go back and review that as well as that 30,000 50,000 foot view of connect 316. But for those of you that weren’t in on that conversation last week I’ve asked Steve to kind of hit some of the highlights again of connect 316 and then we’re going to begin the process of unpacking it some through story. And then also through a presentation just an overview walkthrough. That’ll get us closer to seeing the reality of how this tool can work for you and your local context. So Steve, let me just pass it over to you and ask you to kind of walk us through the overview and then the nuts and bolts.
– Yeah, thanks fine. And I appreciate that Daniel and it’s good to see everybody here again this week. So thank you and welcome. And we’re honored that you’ve joined us on the webinar Lunch and Learn today. So we introduced a new tool last week which is called connect 316. And when you think about connect 316 I want you to think about a tool that’s designed to create some missional movement by equipping people to accomplish kingdom objectives. So as you think about that, 316 is a tool. It’s not a program. So we’re not releasing to you a program that we want you to say, well, this fall we’re going to execute connect 316 in our church. Well, if we get it together and it’s a great tool for you to utilize for reclaiming and for evangelistic purposes in your church. But we want you to realize that it’s not just a box that you’re going to be able to take and that you’ll apply in your church family. It’s a tool to help you to be able to develop strategy for reaching lost and searching people and recommit and helping people to recommit and or come back to your church families. When you think about this tool I think one of the keys that really Daniel and I have been excited about is it’s a tool to create missional movement intentionality, if you will in your church family. And as he’s already shared, as Daniel’s already shared with you, it’s a church designed to equip people is designed to equip you as a leader to develop strategy. But it’s also designed in such a way that you’ll be able to take that strategy. And then you’ll be able to pass that off to your group leaders and to the leaders in your church, family. And it’s easy for them to communicate and to be able to share where the church is moving and supporting your mission, vision, and values which is really the third part of what we’re trying to do here. And that’s just to help you accomplish kingdom and church objectives to fulfill your mission statement your mission, vision, and values if you will, the call to the great commission and the great commandment and the call to equip and encourage other people. When you think about it, it really our desire with connect 316 is to encourage you to develop and not only just to develop but to execute an intentional strategy to number one reach lost in searching people and or connect or reconnect with the people in your community, in your group. So connect 316 is going to give you what you need to be able to do both to elevate the evangelistic arm of reaching loss and searching people. And it’s also going to give you a tool that you can utilize in your church family, or your association, or your groups to help people reconnect and come along. Really our design and our desire is to come alongside you and for you to be able to take this model and then and this tool and think about how you’re going to identify people people that need Jesus as Lord and savior people who are lost and searching, people who were once connected who are not connected and reconnect. So we want to help you think about how are you identifying people and how are the people in your congregation. Those that God’s entrusted to your care, identifying people. Number two, what’s the plan you’re going to use or the path you’re going to use, either the plan to reach those people or the path that you’re going to use to make disciples. And then number three, what are the practices that you’ll utilize those intentional steps to intentionally train, equip, encourage your leadership and your church family. Simply when you think about connect 316, it’s about developing an intentional strategy to connect people to Christ community and the commission. And if you look at the logo on your screen you’ll see that’s the center. The call of Christ is to make disciples. The commission of Christ is to make disciples. And what we hope that connect 316 does is give you a tool to help connect people to Christ community and to commission. Now here’s the one thing that I really want you to hear when I started out talking about it being a tool and not necessarily a program and is the fact that we want you to design 316. So that’s based on your church culture your context, your mission, your vision, your values. So you’re gonna see that we allow that 316 allows you to highlight the focuses and the call then the mandate, the holy Spirit’s given to your church and to develop that fully and then to be able to execute it for effectiveness in your church family. So we, in essence, want to equip you and encourage you and to utilizing some of the best practices out there for connecting with people. Now, when you think about it there are three foundational parts and I’m gonna unpack those in just a few moments. But when we think about connect 316 we’re talking about people, we’re talking about our plan, and we’re talking about the practices that we’re going to do that and we’re going to deep dive into those. But before we do, one of the great joy transparently in working in this office is being able to serve alongside Daniel. And I’m just to hear his story and to hear how God is moved in his life and to hear how God’s moving in his life today. And this week, we were just talking about a disciples and disciple makers. And as we were talking, we were talking about as disciple makers, we need to learn to listen well to people story, to hear their story if you will, we need to be able to tell our story, our testimony, our gospel story, of how God is working in our lives and how he’s moving us toward Christ likeness. And we need to make sure that we can tell God’s story. And those are all really important things for us. And as we were sharing Daniel I was just fascinated again, to hear your story. We’ve been friends a long time as we have with many of the folks on this webinar, but to again, hear your story of how you became a disciple and how you’re making disciples and the things that God’s teaching you these days. So let’s stop for just a second and let you share just a little bit of that conversation some of your stories.
– All right. Yeah, it is true that sometimes we forget to tell our story, especially around folks that we have been around them, like you and I’ve been together like several days that are viewing for many, many years. Our paths crossed back in the early nineties, if not before then. And so sometimes we forget that and I think that’s been one of the real fun moments even for me as you and Mark and have come on board and we’ve spent literally hours talking and sharing our story. So we did get into the topic of, well, how did we get here? Why is this important to us? And so here was kind of my story that I shared the other day was the fact that I was born and raised in a mission church. I mean, the church wasn’t constituted till two years after I was there. Now, admittedly, those early years I was a preschooler. I’m not a charter member of that church but my parents and my wife’s parents were charter members both getting there in the late fifties and the church wasn’t constituted until the early sixties. And so I had got the distinct advantage of being brought up in a mission church. But one of the things that occurred out of that mission is I find myself fast forward to I’m in seminary. And I look around me in the Sunday school class that I go to. And quite frankly, there were more for my home church in that class than there was any other group, these people we outnumbered them. And as I sat there that day, I started thinking and I counted at that moment. There were 16 people that came out of that mission church that were currently enrolled in a seminary somewhere in our country, 16 people. And the thing about it was the reason that many of us that went to my seminary, the one that I went to wound up in that church and ultimately in that class is there were others that had preceded us and told us about that church and told us you need to go to so-and-so’s class. And they’ll welcome you like, you’re one of them. Cause we had so many connections which is one of the things that we’re talking about. That’s important. And that moment caused me to look back and say what was it that brought us all to this point because I even shared with you there are others that through the years they’re not serving at vocational ministry but they are key leaders in their churches. And they certainly had the same experience that we all had. And so I thought, well, first of all, the church focused on making disciples, not just getting some converts, not just getting people in seats, but making disciples people that would serve with gladness, people that would go on and share their faith and equip others as well. And so what was the process? Well, it was a very natural process for me because like I said I was in that church when I was a preschooler. And as I reflected, here’s what I began to realize that as I was a preschooler, I was taught gospel basic. So teaching was a big portion of my preschool experience. What gospel basics am I talking about? Well, stuff like, Jesus loves you. I mean, we still teach this in preschool today that you can be God’s helper. Another way of saying that God has a plan and a purpose for your life, all of those gospel basics. And then I grew up and moved into the children’s division. And what did they do in the children’s division? Did they quit teaching? Oh, absolutely not. But there were gospel basic stepped up a little bit obviously for my age group but here’s the other thing they began to throw in. They not only taught me, but they began to take me. So when we talked about evangelism when we talked about mission, when we talked about ministry, there was somebody in our church that took us. So we were being taught and now we were being taken. I made my very first visit. I can tell you when I was 10 years old and I’m not going to go into it. I can tell you to this day the name of the person that I visited. I mean, it was very ingrained in my memory that experience of being taken. And that’s true of several other things. So we were taken in and we were engaged in ministry. So the word was now getting applied in life. So the addition to being take, being taught was we were now taking then I grew into my teenage years and was in the youth division back then most of us call it student ministry now but in that youth division, they continue to teach, again more age appropriate in their teaching of the gospel. Yes, there were experiences where they would take us and by taking us I meant usually there was an adult that was leading and then we were involved at appropriate points. We were kind of the background support folks but there was a transition as I went through that youth division, they went from teaching and taking to now they were training. So that by the time I was 16 years old I was a mission vacation Bible school director, the 16 year old. Why? And I’d like to tease and say because I was an exceptional student but that wasn’t it at all. The reality is they simply trained me. And so now I’m the person in front. Yes, there’s an adult back here. So if I panicked, if I forgot what to do if a situation occurred, I wasn’t prepared for I had that mentor behind me but I was trained and I began to take on greater roles in ministry, whether it was in evangelism, whether it was in vacation Bible school, whether it was in ministry or in missions. Now they were carving out places of leadership for me where I still had the security of somebody with great experience behind me. But I had been trained. My wife had that same experience being taught in preschool, taught and taken in the children’s division, taught taken and trained in the youth division. So that by the time we got married and went for the first time to an adult Sunday school class as a young married couple, we sat there for two weeks and we looked at each other and said, why are we here? They poured into us for all these years to come and sit down? And so we went and we sought out our place of service for us we went to the Sunday school director. And so the next component was we went from being taught and being taken and being trained to, they turned us loose to do what, to teach people, okay? To take, and then ultimately to train them, it was making disciples. It was a process. It’s the process that even next week is we talk about four invitations that led me to begin to find different ways to express that experience that I had of being made a disciple that was clearly also impactful in others’ lives to the point that when I was in seminary like I said, there were 16 others there. Why were we there? We were there to start learning how to encourage and equip others to become disciples, to make disciples who could make disciples and the journey goes on and on and on. And so that’s the story that became, if you will, the catalytic moment in my life, when I began to look and see what had happened to me, how did I get to the place that I was in being a disciple now being equipped to make disciples.
– Daniel, I appreciate your sharing that story. And it was so great just to think about just that progress of how we’ve matured and as a disciple of Jesus how we are now equipping other disciples. And we want to do that and equip leaders across the state of Alabama just to continue to be great disciple makers. One of the things that we’ve been talking about over these past few weeks has been connect 316 and giving folks that intentional strategy that intentional tool. And so I promised that we would kind of a drop down from that 50,000 foot overview now and get down on the runway a little bit. So I want to kind of walk you through if you will, a presentation, just to give you that you can take some notes and maybe it’ll jog something in your mind for your congregation and your church family and then we’ll have some time and just a few moments to do Q&A. So we’ve talked already a little bit about 316 at a very high level about what connect 316 is all about, it’s about making disciples. It’s about connecting people to Christ community and commission. And so there we go with our connect 316, and 316 what you’re looking at hopefully is a logo. And in looking at this logo I hope you know that it’s available to you. If it’s something that you would like to use or you want this presentation we’ll be happy to pass it along. So we’ve already defined a connect 316 as a tool to create missional movement to it by equipping people to accomplish kingdom object. If so, remember, it’s a tool that you’ll use. You’ll create this designed to create movement, and it’s designed to equip and encourage people in your church family. When we were thinking about the word connect we thought it answers the why questions in your church family. So you’ll have those words that are important to you that you use to answer your why question, for example the word connect answers the question why do we need a group strategy? And the simple answer is to connect people to Christ, community and commission. Now here’s the thing about the strategy and about strategy development at your churches is that you need to answer the why question for your leadership and your teachers and for your congregation. And in answering that question, remember words communicate. So it needs to be simple, and it needs to be designed in such a way that the leaders in your church your group leaders and your other leaders in your church family can take that and be able to communicate it, share it, remember it. So connecting people to Christ, community and commission with what God kinda lied on our heart. Remember that it’s okay for you to select the why that best communicates your church culture, your church context. So you can change the word connect and you use the word that fits your mission, vision, and our core values for us again for this illustration and the tools has been called connect 316. And again, we shared with you why? Because it involved a process of connecting people to Christ community and the commission. Now it’s 316. That is just a number. And when you think about 316, yes it reminds us of a very key gospel passage, John 3:16. And so it gives us an opportunity when we get to plan to talk and utilize one verse evangelism. But you may choose to use a different plan. You may choose to use a different set of numbers. But what I want you to remember is is that 316 is about people, plan and practices and they don’t necessarily have to be in this order either as we’re working through it. So you can change the numbers to fit again your mission, vision, and or your core values. Now in this model, three represents people. So we talked about it being your people plan and practices. So three is people and our mission must be focused on people. Three helps us encourage and to equip disciples of Jesus to identify the people who need a connection to Christ, community and the commission. So when you think about that, you may say, Steve we want to use a different number. We just want to identify one, or we want each person to identify one person where they live, work, or play or one person in there, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and uttermost parts of the world. But for this illustration connect 316. Remember that three is about people and it’s people who need connections to Christ, to community and the commission. Now where the rubber hits the road and connect 316 is, first we need to help the people in our congregations learn and develop strategies for identifying people. If our focus is going to be lost in searching we need to help them have strategies and plans and processes in place to identify lost and searching people. If we’re working on helping connect repeat it back to church then we need to provide the tools and the resources for them to be able to identify the people who need to be connected and reconnected. Those who are no longer participating in our groups are those who are a prospect of members for our group. There are some tools out there and over these next few weeks, we’ll unpack some of them things like the concentric circles of concern, that we used years ago, an Acts 1:8 prayer list which I think Daniel used effectively. And with one of his congregations that he served at one of the churches I served. We used a live work and play model. Many of our churches across Alabama have already began to participate in who’s your one or you may have used or still use the FRAN program the Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors. So the idea is for you to think about ways for identifying people for connect 316. I was thinking Daniel will talk just informally over time. But you know, we at one of the churches I served put posters up on the wall and we had them write people’s first name on there. And so the group leaders would encourage and we would pray for and we would identify people that were lost in searching, people who were no longer connected to our group that we wanted to help them reconnect. Now kind of dropping from 30,000 foot down to a 10,000 foot view. I know that you utilize this Acts 1:8 prayer left model and I’ve seen that. Can we just Sprite from the presentation, a moment, share with us how you use this Acts 1:8 prayer list to identify people.
– Well, what was happening is actually it came about during the years that I’ve served here as a state missionary, and I was going to different churches and finding that one of the common problems when they talk about we’re not growing, or we’re not reaching or we’re not strengthening our groups is part of the reason was they weren’t identifying people and what needs to happen next in the lives of these people. So for those, especially that we’re looking to either connect people to a group or, well let’s just use the words, connect people to community or connect people to Christ. I developed this tool to start helping leaders go inside of their group, for example. And as group I began to say who are the people that we know you and I grew up in the time we’ll use what was called a Hoodoo card. Remember that?
– I do.
– And so this was just kind of a different version of that. So I said, well, let’s put it in an Acts 1:8 strategy. And I think it actually happened at a church that I was working at that kind of there were, their mantra was built around, Acts 1:8. And so I said, okay, let’s develop an actual and a prayer list and began to pray for people that we know in our Jerusalem. And I defined our Jerusalem. Then is your family members, close friends, your Judea is people in your community which personally has been the greatest source for me as far as either sharing Christ or connecting people in community at my church, your some area, again this is people at work, school, wherever you’re going it says during the day, and then other most or ends of the earth, whatever phrase you want to use there would just be people that you encounter. You didn’t know you were gonna see them. We kind of had a conversation about that earlier with you meeting a young man at Publix and out of that have found opportunity to talk to him again on the engage in gospel conversation. So there are people that wouldn’t make our list immediately but we want to teach people to have an awareness to start seeing people wherever they go. And every person you say, you need to see them as a person of great value as a person that needs Jesus or a person that needs community. And at least began to open up the conversation to discover where. And so it really in so many different churches where I’ve worked it became a great tool. One of the secret sauce moments is if you do it inside your group, don’t say, Hey take this home and fill it out and bring it back. They’ll bring it back. But there won’t be anything on it. We began to work right there in the group, name those names. And then you talk about putting on a poster first names of folks that we began as a group to pray for. We even called it our most wanted list. Somebody pushed back earlier, and said what are they going to say if they see their name up there? I said, well, it’s because we’re one of the people we’ve most wanted. And everybody likes to be wanted, right? So, and it works beautifully but it’s just a simple two based on scripture.
– So it’s a way to identify people. And I mentioned those lists that we used at a previous church, I served and we called it the live work and play list. And so then what we did was literally in our groups whether it be our on-campus Sunday school groups or whether it may our off-campus growth type groups whatever group, we encourage everyone to maintain a list. And in that list, we asked them to just think about the people where you live, work and play. So live we immediately began to think about like family members and neighbors, that’s where we live. We’ve talked about the last church I served that did too deep and across the street, we want you to know your neighbors two on each side of you and the one across the street, so that you make sure if you are down the street. And so when you think about that it’s a way to identify people where we live. But I think one of the really cool things was we didn’t just want the people on our street. We begin to think about the people where we live and evolve. The people working at the fire station which was literally a half a mile down the street from our home. We talked about our postman and post ladies. We talked about our garbage man who came through who needed Christ, the service providers at the places where we shop at retail. So live included a broader than just the family. It included the people that were right there in our community, if you will. And then we began to think about so we would list those names on our sheet and then we would list and pray for it are the people where we work and go to school. And I think you shared about thinking about the people in the desk, north, south, east and west of you or around you. And again, it’s just creating ways for people to identify those who need connecting to Christ or need back to the community. And then we thought about where we play our golfing buddies are the families on the coach, the teeny little league teams that we coach are the ones that we sit with at the ball game. So again, what our desire is for churches to begin to think about how do you equip your church family and your group leaders to identify people who need to reconnect with Christ or connect with Christ and reconnect or connect in community? So that’s just a couple, that’s the three the one represents a plan or our path. So our desire here really is to equip and encourage disciples in the use of a plan. And that plan needs to be selected by the leadership of the church that is designed to accomplish missional objectives of the kingdom and of the church family. So think about your mission, vision, value, think about your congregation. And we want to help develop a plan that helped you reconnect people or that connect people to Christ and community. Now we’ve talked about this in several ways but that plan might be a plan of salvation to reach loss and searching people. It might be a plan to connect or reconnect people. It might be as we’re going to begin to unpack with Mark even more a path or a disciple-making path for the church family. So when you think about that, one of the things that we want to remind you is is that your plan can change and your path but if you change it and you use multiple paths be careful not to create confusion. Now, as we wrote, and I began to just brainstorm some of these plans or paths that lead toward salvation we’ve already mentioned gospel conversation. So you may want to utilize an equipping model to equip your people toward gospel conversations. We’re going to talk about one verse evangelism John 3:16, it connects naturally and easily. Jay, I know you’re on here with us today and we’re gonna ask you to come and share about three circles and how a church at Brook Hills is using that very effectively. Our friend, John Thomas has a tool called evangelists lot. And we’re going to have him come and share that. You may use a Marked New Testament. You may use a training model such as share Jesus without fear or a track, or a personal commitment guide that NAMB issues. The idea is to select that plan that you want to use to equip your church, family, Daniel we talked about, even at the last congregation I served how we took a Sunday morning and we just equipped people on three circles and how to use it from the pulpit. I think we’re gonna ask one of our pastors and this guy good friend of yours, Lawrence, maybe to join us in a near future and talk about on Easter this year he used the one verse evangelism and literally in just a few moments, taught his entire congregation how to share the gospel using the one verse evangelism. So what we’re encouraging you to do is to think about how are you equipping people to reach people with the good news of God’s great love.
– Before we leave this Steve, let me drop in one more thing that I thought about when it comes to plan, those are plans if you’re trying to connect people to Christ you do need a plan to connect people to community. And we’ll deep dive more into that in the future when we talk about plans but just so that, you know, for example you mentioned working with Lawrence Phillips, we and our groups, when we were together usually they had a plan of connection. Like we had some that were first Sunday and on first Sunday that’s when the people you had discovered you intentionally tried to invite them first, Sunday because they did first Sunday breakfast. And it was kind of a build connections type Sunday. Yes, they still presented the gospel, but the focus was more on connecting people into the community because a lot of times we invite somebody they sat next to us and they don’t get to know anybody else. And so that became their strategy. And let me say it was extremely successful, not only for the first class that modeled it, but for so many others then that kind of caught that vision. Another guy, his idea of connecting to community he would partner with another couple he and his wife with another couple and then they would have dinner for eight. And he sold me on that strategy so much that I began to use that as his minister I saw boy, this is great. And in my own class, we started having dinner for eight where we would focus on a lot of times, reconnecting people to our group or seeing somebody that was in worship or in our community that needed to be in community with us. And we would invite them and they would meet another couple or two other couples from our class. And we would have at dinner for eight miles. So there is a plan by the way for community. And we’ll look at that more. And I appreciate you giving me that moment of interruption.
– Yeah, and that’s what we want these to be. We want them to be conversations because as you were talking, I thought so they may decide that they want their plan to be a plan to connect people to commission and immediately I was thinking about one of the churches that in Nashville and they do what’s called serving Saturday. So once a month their congregation gets out and served and their community they invite lost and searching people to come alongside of the church members to serve. And the purpose is not only ministry to the community but the purpose is to connect people to Christ. Those who we invite to serve alongside of us those that are invited to share. So you may see lost in search people doing yard cleanup at our local elementary school. And then they’re asking the people serving or asking the questions to the people receiving the ministry. We’re asking questions. So over these next few weeks and months, and at pinnacle at Shockoe this year, we want to unpack these things and we want to unpack them on this format moving forward. So as we move forward, just as we start before we get to Q&A the six represents practices and these are processes or steps needed to accomplish that mission. So if you choose to work for connecting people to Christ or connecting people to community or commission you’re gonna need to put some steps together. And I just want to encourage you that the first of those steps is going to always be prayer. You want to begin to pray for an NRC. So just for models, I threw a couple of things together just to show you. So here’s six words that could our six steps if you will, that could be practices. You could pray for people. You could identify the people that would become part of your strategy, either lost in searching or those connecting back to community or Christ. And Daniel will talk about you and I speak a good bit of time talking about identifying people’s personalities how God’s wired them. We want to spend time talking about that. We want to make sure that we are prepared that we have our group strategies and structures in place that are BM practices and equipping models and processes are there that lead people to connect. We want to make sure that we encourage people to come and see and be with me to invite them to those key opportunities. We want to make sure that we are intentional in sharing the gospel and the good news with the plans that we and we want to make sure that in the steps that you choose make sure you include some step that’s about continuing on disciple-making make disciples that are disciple makers. So in this model I just strategies for reaching loss and searching. If we come out and sit with you or you’re setting down and dreaming with your team or your staff, you might, again we just talked about strategies for regathering to community. So here’s a model of how you might do that or regathering or gathering people and connecting them to the commission. So here’s the bottom line. We want to take just a few minutes to answer questions but we are excited. And our real desire is to encourage you and to come alongside you and equip disciples in our stay, both leaders, ministers, and pastors to utilize some best practices in connecting people. And we want to do that with intentionality. So Daniel, I’m gonna throw it back over to you and man I’m excited about the opportunity and just want to remind folks, man, give me a shout. Let us know how we can come alongside you.
– Okay, now let me just go ahead while you’re having a moment to enter any questions that you might have in the Q&A, say a few things to you. Again, we’re going to focus throughout this summer on that word connect, but people plan and practices. And so you’ll see future launch and learn where it’s not just Steve and myself. We’ll invite people in that we feel like have something to offer to all of us in these areas. So we might come back next month and say we’re going to be talking about connecting people. And so how do we find those people? And especially if we’re looking for people that would need to be connected to Christ, okay. How do you find those? And you say, well, how’s that different from finding people to connect to community? Well, a lot of times it’s the location of where you find them. There are people that need to be connected to community that are in your worship Sunday after Sunday we’re at about 69%, Sunday school to worship. So 30% of the people that are in your worship they need to be connected into the community. And so there are some steps that we’ll talk about that that’ll be essential in doing that. There are people all around you that need to be connected to Christ but what about the people then that need to be connected to commission? Where do you find those? Where are the fishing spots, if you will. So we’ll talk about that. And again, we’ll look beyond that is what about a plan for connecting people to Christ? We’ll then talk about plans for connecting people into community plans. So we kind of gave you a closer up view of connect 316. So over the summer we’ll give you a close-up view of each of those where we call in fellow practitioners to talk about what they’ve actually done or are doing or planning to do as they seek to relaunch their ministries this fall. And so that will be kind of where we’re going from here and connect 316. I’m still giving you a time to write questions. So at this point there are no no questions we may have given you more than you can process or answered all the questions as we’re going. Also want to talk to you about what is next week, next week, we’re going to be talking about four invitations. And these are four invitations that Christ used in making disciples. And you will say over time how these four invitations will give shape to what you’re doing. Steve is our strategists for groups and of the four invitations you’ll hear about next week. Be with me is the essential invitation to understand when it comes to connecting people and to community, how did Jesus do that? We’re gonna look at it scripturally. We’re going to look at it practically in the sense of how does that take place. And to be honest, we’re gonna be looking at it dysfunctionally, what are we doing wrong? Because it’s not taking place in our church. So what’s going on? And a lot of times we have a expectation that people are supposed to connect in community but that’s all we have is an expectation. And so the only thing we do out of that expectation is tell them you are to get there. And so is there a better way because telling people to go somewhere else is not the same as saying, be with me. And they’re not likely to just do what they’re told, right? We’ve all used that idea that people don’t do what you expect. They do, what you inspect. And in this instance like do what you engage them in doing with you. So we’ll be looking at some of those things as we go along we do have a question from our buddy Keith, up in Athens, first Baptist. He says, can you put the slide with practices with all those eyes back up for us?
– The answer is yes. And Daniel I don’t know I’m new to the webinar idea, but it looks like we can actually unmute folks too, if we need to. So I’m gonna jump back into the screen share.
– [Keith] I have a question. I think coming out of the pandemic and everything would this almost be for most of us like a relaunching of this idea of making disciples and really we can start from scratch. And because if prior to the pandemic what we were doing, wasn’t working, talk a little bit about that thought if you would please.
– Yeah, Keith, here’s what we batted around among the three of us. And I think Steve’s about to get to what you need.
– Thank you.
– We talked about in this idea of developing something for people to relaunch the very thing that you talked about, some want to relaunch their disciple-making plan and pathway. Some are wanting to relaunch their group strategy. Some are wanting to relaunch in the area of evangelism. And so we thought, is there a multifunction tool out there or that we can develop? And that’s what really drove us to connect 316 so that here’s kind of that thread that runs through any kind of relaunch campaign like Ken and all the state Sunday school directors. If you go to, I think lifeway.com/churchon or to relaunch you can find some resource. In fact, if you can’t find it, let me know. I can send you the link but it’s just basically about relaunching Sunday school. And let me say good stuff. But it’s this massive tool for a singular purpose. So we said is there a simple tool that you could take and customize for wherever you need to focus in your relaunch efforts? Or even if you need a multi-pronged focus that it’s not teaching your people 15 different tools but you can say, here’s the tool that you can use. You’re our point person in disciple-making. You can use this tool and here’s how you do. You got to have people you got to have the plan and you gotta have the practices. Oh, you’re our point person for our groups. Here’s the tool that you can use. We’re going to be trying to connect people to community. And so you need to focus on people or plan in practices and equipped people in those areas. That make sense, Keith, what I’m saying?
– [Keith] Yes, sir. Thank you.
– Oh Keith and Daniel, do you have the, this is the can you see the screen that you were asking about now?
– [Keith] Yes, sir. I got it, thank you very much.
– So I’ve got, we had that one. And then what we did was we tweak that screen. Similarly, if you’re in a regathering, so you were talking about regathering and we we’ve talked about that. So this is just another play off of it. If our focus this fall or the summer’s going to be to regather our connect people to community.
– Really what we’ve been talking about is if you were to set down no matter what you’re thinking about in August. What are some key things you need to think about? Number one, you need to think about why. Why should I even relaunch this? Why is this important? The great, why is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength neighbor as yourself, right? And so how does this connect even to that? Why? And so the first thing you need to think about is why and then you need to have, if you will a thoroughgoing strategy and you don’t have it if it doesn’t talk about equipping and the areas of people plan and practices. And so we hope this becomes that multi-blade knives, Swiss army knife, kind of tool that whatever you need it for, you can customize it to your context, into your specific need. Somebody else want to ask a question while you’re on here? Well, let me just say to all of you, I’m glad you’re here. I know that Steven, Chris he had to run but dropped in with us for a moment. There was three or four folks on here that are in north Alabama. There are three or four that are in the greater Birmingham area. And some, even in the Montgomery area that aren’t here. And so as we move forward toward the future what we want to say to you is we want to connect with you. And all we need to do is get four or five people together. We can, they can be people inside your church. They can be other leaders in your area. We can come together and we can begin to hammer this out in your specific context. And we want to do that for you. If nothing else to come along and encourage you. You may say, I just want you to come look and see what we’ve done. And ask me questions about it. We’ll be glad to do those kinds of things with you ’cause that most of all is what we want to do in the future is not again, merely to have conferences but to engage you in conversations and then also in making connections. And so please feel free to call on us. Tim goal, Steve is saying will this PowerPoint be available for us to access? And the answer to that is we’re so intent on making connections Tim. That the answer is yes but we want you to email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can email me and we’ll get that to you. So that’s our way, even in the future of saying, yes, these tools are available just connect with us and we’ll get that one to you. Okay, Tim? So just, if you will, as soon as this is over, Steve and I’ll go brain dead for about five minutes and forget. So if you’ll shoot one of us an email that says, Hey don’t forget, I want that PowerPoint. Then we will send it your direction. And that’s true for anybody else that’s on here. Simply shoot us an email and say I’d like to see that too. So I can kind of work through some of those things for myself and began to customize to my context, okay?
– I may have a slide or two Daniel. I was thinking, again we built this kind of for today but there we could do some connecting to Christ and community and be able to add a couple more slides. But I did want to say to Tim and anyone else that would like to have it and use it to be, let me know. We’ll be glad, not only to get it to you but you can feel free to make the edits. We want you to edit it appropriately. As we said, for your church, culture and context. The other thing we didn’t say is that of Tim go ahead and email me with a good day and find me with a name of a barbecue house. I might actually drive that way and drop it off in Pell City.
– All right, y’all do be mindful that Steve actually still lives in the Greater Birmingham area. We’re trying to do some things like that as state missionaries that make us even more accessible to you. Certainly online conferences and conversations have made that possible. But we want to say to you where we’re always willing to come and sit down and spend time with you. Steve and I both find that very invigorating. We love it. And to have those conversations and sometimes we’ll record our conversation to ask your permission to share it with others. But with that said, let me just say again thank you for joining us. God bless you. You are our friends and we are here to help you anytime. Feel free to call on us. Have a great day.
– God bless you guys.