(Through Small-Group Ministry)
I hope all of you are as excited about the CEU Bible and Ministry Training centers as we are. In the future we have the possibility of seeing many such Bible training centers, both in the SMC and among other Arminian groups. But while we anticipate many of our existing church members being a part of this training, either by pursuing a specific certificate or just by taking selective courses, it will be through the LOLM Outreach and Discipleship Program that we anticipate an even greater opportunity to train believers in the Bible and prepare them for the “work of the ministry.”
This small-group ministry concept was also presented to the GCBOA at the March 2009 meeting. LOLM sought the endorsement of the SMC as we intend to establish local small-group ministries throughout the Southern Methodist denomination. Again, we received a unanimous recommendation and the promised support of the GCBOA members in the coming implementation of this ministry into the SMC. But just as with the CEU Bible and Ministry Training program, it is the desire of LOLM to also establish the Small-Group Outreach and Discipleship ministries outside the SMC.
Please understand that this is also a new ministry and there are details that still need to be refined. But we have already begun to prepare discipleship materials that will be supplied to Group Leaders for their weekly meetings. We will also be preparing the materials for Group Leader training that will begin this fall. We have begun recruiting the first fifty group leaders to be trained (you may have noticed the “Looking for a Few Good Men and Women” ad in the last issue of The Southern Methodist magazine and in the previous Illuminator).
There is much work to be done, so please pray for the Lord to begin preparing hearts for this ministry. I truly hope you as pastors and church leaders will not just glance over these pages today only to forget them tomorrow. God is opening doors – we must be ready and willing to walk through them. Covenant to pray with me for the Lord to touch the hearts of His people to be involved in this great opportunity for reaching, dis- cipling, and preparing people for the work of the Church and the work of the Lord.
There is no doubt that God wants us to proceed and be successful in this endeavor. For the sake of those who are lost and without Christ, for the sake of those believers who need to be discipled into Christian maturity, for the sake of those called to ministry who need training, and for the sake of the future of the Southern Methodist Church and other conserva- tive, Bible believing groups, I pray you will press forward with us in this effort!
Now before you ask the inevitable question, “Do you really think it will work that easily?” I will answer it with the statement, “With God all things are possible!” But realistically, I would be surprised if the timing and numbers will be exactly as reflected above. It might take twice that long to reach that number, or it could take just half that time. But even if it takes twice the projected time, the fact remains that this is a viable plan of action coupled with a system- atic approach of reaching and discipling lost and unchurched people for the kingdom of God.
Without a doubt it will work when God’s people take advantage of the training, commit themselves to the work, and trust God to open the doors (just as He has promised in Rev. 3:7-8). Recruiting has already begun for our first 50 Group Leaders. By faith we are now underway.
The following brochure may be ordered from LOLM as a witnessing tool to hand out in you local community. It can be customized with your church’s information. Email or call for prices! Click on the image for a PDF sample of the brochure.