Question 21.  Summarize what steps you might take and encourage us to take to help you best serve the Lord and BACC as you begin your ministry here.

First of all, I want to understand the leaders’ vision about the ministry of Sunday School, small groups, and shepherding.  Knowing expectations is the primary key to meeting expectations. 

I want to spend some time assessing what we currently have, and how well it is meeting those expectations.  I want to talk with Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, and the shepherds to gain an understanding of what their individual objectives are.  Then, to convey to the teachers and small groups what the church’s objectives are.  Finally, to recognize how those are compatible with each other and how we can best proceed to accomplish what is best for the church. 

I want to take some time to identify all small groups currently meeting, assess what their purpose is, and how it supports the vision of the church.  There are formal small groups that are easily identified, but there are also organized small groups that we do not always identify formally as small groups.  For instance, the Praise Team is a “small group;” the Half-Century Club is a “small group;” “Expressing Yourself” is another “small group.”  Even the elders are a “small group;” the staff is a “small group.”  Sometimes, even a group of guys who play golf on Saturday mornings is a “small group.”  I want us to recognize what they are accomplishing as it speaks to our purpose, and recognize their usefulness. 

I want to spend some time, with the staff and elders, determining the purpose and focus of our educational program.  I believe education without application is futile, and dishonoring to the Lord.  I personally believe we should be working on the ultimate goal of sending every disciple on a mission for Christ.  Focused, formal education should only take a few years at most, and then it’s “on mission.” 

I would encourage us to have an annual, focused push on Sunday School – both youth and adult – sometime in late July or early August, as school is preparing to go back into session.  Even adults tend to be more inclined to join a class at this time of year.  Also, have an annual, focused push on small groups, perhaps in January, when people are resolving to “be move involved” in church.  Sermons, announcements, elders, staff, website, bulletin, etc. would focus for a few weeks on the topic of Sunday School (learning, growing, discipling) or small groups, (fellowship, accountability, discipling) their purpose, their mission, and their accomplishment.   

I want to get to know people within the congregation.  (Of course, we already know some, but on a very “surface” level at this time.)  Mike and the elders could help facilitate this best, I think. 

I would encourage us to make better use of technology to facilitate small groups and even facilitate learning.  I am sure most people in the Clear Lake area are very proficient technologically, and would adapt well to an upgraded, more interactive website, podcasts, blogs, email newsletters, etc.   

If it hasn’t already been done, I want us to create a network of member profiles.  Things like employment, career fields, spiritual gifts, abilities, heart, ministries, hobbies, and other affinities, just to name a few.  This will help to facilitate and grow small groups, identify needs, and identify gaps in our ability to minister.