discipleship


Lives changed and community restored


After attending Texas Baptists Church Planting Center (CPC) training in Houston, Pastor Ryan Thompson set out to plant a church that would reach the lost and the broken in Nederland, Texas...

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Discipling Generations


Discipleship is vital in the church. Read how three churches incorporate discipleship into their ministries to children, youth and adults...

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Don't Call Me Senior!


There was a day that one of the most creative outlets for the “Senior Adult” minister was the opportunity to come up with a cute name for the senior adult group at the church...

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Is your church ready for the boomer generation?


In 2011, baby boomers started reaching the ripe age of 65, at the rate of 10,000 per day, or approximately 4 million per year. This huge, growing wave of aging boomers will continue to grow and crest until 2029.

The impact this tsunami of aging boomers will have on every aspect of our society, including our churches, is seen in several stunning statistics, including:

  • In 2017, for the first time in American history, there are more people over the age of 50 than under 50.

  • From 2010 to 2030, just 20 years, the number of people 65 and over in this country will more than double, from 40 million, to more than 80

...

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Summit attendees learn how to care for families with special needs children


When Jason and Maggie Whitt shared about the impact of special needs ministry during the Childhood and Family Ministry Summit on August 12, they spoke from their personal experience parenting their 7-year-old daughter, Camille.

"It is important for the awareness to be heightened for families of children with special needs,” Whitt shared on Friday evening at First Baptist Church of Arlington, where the retreat was held. “This will raise the awareness of the entire church."

The Childhood and Family Ministry Summit, with 375 ministers in attendance this year, has prepared leaders on how to become better teachers, ministers and...

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It's all in a name: names and descriptions that work for Sunday School classes


I responded to a question from a pastor recently asking about how to select a name for and describe a new Sunday School class they were about to start for young married couples. The principles which informed my answer are universal, and may be of interest to anyone thinking about starting new units or renaming existing units in your Sunday School in order to help guests or newcomers be able to find a class that fits them.

"Pastor, regarding your question about a new class you're wanting to start targeting young married couples, and asking for some guidelines for describing and naming it."

First, unless your church has an active and...

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Retreat brings mentally challenged adults together for weekend of fun and worship


The crowd roared with sheer excitement, clapping their hands and screaming with joy, all in response to one simple question: "Are you ready to study the Word of God this weekend?"

Much of the jubilant crowd, consisting of about 350 Special Friends Retreat campers and volunteers, had been looking forward to the Oct. 2-3 weekend all year long.

At the retreat for adults over 12-years-old with special needs, campers worship, engage in Bible studies and make crafts. But the highlight of the weekend for many participants is the Friday night talent show.

"I look forward to the retreat and talent show every year," said Julie...

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2015 State Youth Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament winners named


Eighty-seven youth representing 35 churches competed in the Texas Baptist State Youth Bible Drill and Speaker's Tournament May 1 and 2 at the Baptist Building in Dallas.

Prior to the competition, students competed in one of the five regional events across the state. For 2015, there were 827 participants in Bible Drill and Speaker's Tournaments from 109 churches competing in the regional events. The highest-scoring youth from those events then traveled to Dallas for the state competition.

State winners include:

Youth Bible Drill (7 – 9th grades)

1st Place - Tie - William Horton, First Baptist Church in Dallas...

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Life in the small lane: Small Group life


I'm a Sunday School guy. I mean, a REAL Sunday School guy. For years, I went to bat for Sunday School over small groups. I used to believe small groups were going to be the death of Sunday School one day. I fought tooth and nail for churches to hang on to Sunday School. I preached the evils of small groups.

And then I led one. Oops.

Our church, Fielder Church in Arlington, has grown so much that there was just no way to continue to support everyone in an on-campus class. There was not enough space, not enough hours in the day on Sundays, not enough acres in our site…it just couldn't be done. So now, we're at a place where...

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Bible Study: What is Open Group?


When we examine the Great Commission passage of Matthew 28:19-20, several important words are customarily highlighted - "go," "teach," "observe." The word rarely mentioned is "them." What an incredibly important word that should draw our continued attention as Sunday School leaders, focusing our efforts toward reaching the lost in our neighborhoods.

The Open Group concept in Sunday School is foundational to a successful Bible study ministry in our churches. Over time, it's easy for people to focus their small group toward their own wants and needs, and less on those who are outside. As Sunday School leaders, we must continue to keep...

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