Vancouver, WA. – Highly motivated Sunday school and small group leaders can sometimes feel their teaching grow stale. Those concerns and others will be addressed at the upcoming Connections Conference, slated for three consecutive Saturdays in September. The conferences will be situated throughout the Northwest to allow leaders and prospective teachers from across the Northwest Baptist region to access relevant training on several levels.
“Current teachers who have attended our training before will be able to come back to receive updates, information on current trends and ideas on outreach and ministry,” said Jim Harvey, evangelism strategist for the Northwest Baptist Convention. “People often comment that they get as much from the input of other attendees as they do from conference leaders. This is a support system for Bible study leaders and their ministry. I often see people who have connected exchange contact information at these conferences.”
Conference leaders will be on hand to share innovations in classroom methods and ideas for successful small group ministry. The conference will provide age-graded training for those teaching infants through senior adults.
“This shows people that there is more to Bible study than just reading scripture and discussing it,” said Millie Burkett, children’s and preschool strategist for the Northwest Baptist Convention. “This will give helps with personal application and showing how the scripture relates to real life.”
The conference will help participants discover the full scope of teaching, reaching and ministering to a smaller group of people. Leaders will gain understanding of how they are accountable to a small group and receive help in setting the appropriate environment.
With a theme of “power up,” connections will be made for not only Bible truths, but how ministry continues beyond the hour people get together weekly and how they are enabled throughout the whole week.
“This conference is designed to fit the Northwest,” Harvey said. “This will enhance what we do within the classroom and good methods. An important factor is the opportunity teachers have to meet regularly with people who are not saved. That is an important reason to have open groups that anyone can attend.”
Church members are encouraged to begin enlisting teams of people to attend, where they will receive a vision of what could be accomplished as they work together in their local church. Teams can then return to their local setting to “unpack” what was learned and apply it to their particular needs.
“We would love to come to individual churches after the conferences to support leaders in their home setting as they apply new concepts,” Harvey said. “Many churches want to host the event so they can maximize the opportunity for their own people.”
A registration fee of $5 will cover the cost of lunch, and participants are highly encouraged to pre-register to ensure meals and other conference materials will be available. LifeWay Christian Resources will be onsite with materials for purchase at all locations, including First Baptist Church in Lakewood, Wash., on September 13, Greater Gresham (Ore.) Baptist Church on September 20 and Dishman Baptist Church in Spokane, Wash., on September 27. Any church can pre-order LifeWay materials can call 800.233.1123, and receive it at the conference to avoid shipping costs.
“This is the only conference like this we do all year,” Harvey said. “It is key to build a team in your church by enlisting and encouraging. This conference is the jump-start many people need, and it helps to come with a group so the energy mounts.
Those wishing more information can email [email protected] or check out www.nwbaptist.org.
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