There’s something about the blistering heat of mid-summer that makes me think about planning for autumn. Stay with me, here: I step outside into what I can only describe as “sunburn as I walk to the car” weather and yearn for the crispness of fall, which makes me think about my church’s vision for the back-to-school season.
This reminds me that now is the ideal time to plan an impactful church-wide study to bring your congregation renewal and growth for the fall. I’ve seen the effect a powerful study can have on a church during the transitional time between summer breaks and the winter holidays—here’s how you can use this time to prepare for a successful Autumn Church-Wide Study:
1. Have a vision. How do you want to implement the study? Do you have small groups that need to be rallied after a summer off? Do you want to begin a small group ministry with this study as the catalyst? (If so, check out our Small Group Ministry Resources.) Do you want to invite the communities surrounding the church to join in the study? Having answers to those questions will help you create your big-picture vision for the next few months.
2. Build a team. Once you have your vision, consider the church members who will be the best leaders to make the vision bear fruit. These may not always be your “go-to” leaders. If you want different results than those of previous church ventures, a different team may be what you need. Be judicious and prayerful in your choices.
3. Set the goals and objectives with your team. Once you have the team God designates for you, share your vision with them together. Begin to brainstorm on the goals that, when met, will result in the vision being fulfilled. Make a step-by-step plan to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
4. Develop a leadership structure to mobilize the entire congregation. Each member of your team should create their own team to mobilize and involve your church members. These tend to be the most necessary teams to create a strong, successful church-wide fall study: Prayer team, Communication Team, Small Group Coaching Team, Administration Team, and a Worship Planning Team.
5. Give yourself time to mobilize the congregation. There’s a reason why you want to begin NOW, instead of in a few weeks. It takes time to build the right team, plan your strategy, and mobilize the congregation. An ideal timeline looks something like this:
But even if you don't have this much time, start NOW for the groups you want to launch at the end of September. The Spirit-Filled Life is the ideal Autumn Church-Wide Study—preview a sample today, or order your Campaign Kit to get your study off the ground![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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We are thrilled to announce that the Bible Study Media app is now available for download in mobile app and smart TV stores!
The mobile app, available in the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore, is your source for on-the-go access to everything from Bible Study Media! Download the app to your smartphone or tablet, and use it for all of the following:
In addition, download our TV app on Apple TV and Roku in order to easily access all of the videos from our studies for your small group meetings.
By Brooke Holt, Adult Curriculum Specialist
I am one of those strange people who absolutely loves a good challenge. At least twice a year, I sign up for a challenge to work out six times a week, five workouts in the gym and one workout on my own. These are not easy workouts; they are specifically designed to challenge the participants physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Some days it is easy to make it to my workouts. Some days it is just not. In fact, this morning was one of those days I could have missed the workout for a hundred reasons. BUT, I have no margin in my schedule this week, so I awoke at 5:00 in the morning to make the 5:45am class. It was painful, but I did it. And you know what? I felt great after the class. There is something to be said about discipline and commitment.
The health industry is pushing people to learn new disciplines which strengthen and heal the body. Is the church encouraging its people to learn new disciplines which strengthen and heal the soul? There is something unique about a challenge, about accountability, about being pushed beyond what you would normally do on your own. There is also something special about community formed in a challenge.
This Lent, I challenge you to take on a 40 Day Lenten discipline! What would it look like for you to invite your church, your small group, your friends into a 40 Day Challenge with you? Bible Study Media understands the power of a Lenten study and has provided resources for you. Consider The Crucified Life. What does it mean to die to self in order to live to Christ? Or take on the challenge of Draw Near and learn what it means to live a life of worship. Each of these studies has 7 weeks of daily devotional readings, plus weekly small group questions and online video teachings.
The resurrection of Jesus takes on even greater meaning after 40 days of discipline and sacrifice. This Lent, I would love to support you in your own discipline, your own challenge. Let me help you find the right study for your church, your small group, or yourself.
I am at the end of my 40 day health challenge. I feel strong, accomplished, and awakened to new possibilities in my life. In fact, I am already thinking about my next challenge. While the process of transformation is not easy, it is so good. My ultimate desire is to look more like Jesus. In order to reach that goal, I need daily transformation!
What transformation does God want to do in you this Lent? My coaching hat is on, and I am ready to walk this challenge with you. 40 days of discipline really can change your life.
Imagine for a moment the impact on your church if for 40 days every person in your congregation lived in alignment with God’s will in the pattern of Jesus’ call to pick up our cross and follow him. What if your people lived in powerful community with their small groups to discuss and pray over lives sacrificed to God? What if, as groups and individual people began to experience the power of God in their lives as they surrendered all to Jesus Christ?
By intentionally coordinating and aligning the elements of your Lenten season using The Crucified Life materials, you will make an environment for spiritual growth that will move your congregation from self to surrender.
By aligning the following three elements of participation, you will see the power of God working in your church because of the intentional focus on the heart of the Gospel and the grace offered in the cross of Jesus Christ:
By creating a singular Lenten focus on what it means to “pick up our cross” and follow Jesus in the way of the Crucified Life, the entire congregation is called to a Holy Lent together. This unified focus will burst forth in new life with the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday!