April 17, 2014
Loading
   
   
NASHVILLE (BP) -- LifeWay Christian Resources is challenging churches to start 100,000 new Bible study groups by the end of this year.

The new groups initiative is a partnership between churches, state conventions and LifeWay.

It's designed to help longtime churchgoers jumpstart their faith and to help new believers grow spiritually, Bruce Raley, director of church education ministry for LifeWay, said.

Whether they meet on Sunday mornings or during the week, small groups are the best way to learn the habits of faith, such as prayer, Bible study and serving others, Raley said.

"Discipleship takes place best in the context of a relationship," he said. "And relationships are most likely to develop in a small group."

So far, about 17,000 new groups have been registered at GroupsMatter.com, which includes guides for starting new groups, resources for new leaders, and promotional materials.

Raley and other organizers say the new groups can be started at any point in the year. But they suggest the first Sunday in September as one of the best options. That way, he said, churches can spend the summer months getting ready.

"We believe thousands of new groups will kick off on that day," he said.

The idea of starting 100,000 new groups began as a grassroots effort.

About three years ago, Bob Mayfield, a small groups expert at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and some other state small groups leaders were having breakfast at a denominational meeting and talking about ways to draw more people into groups.

"We needed something dynamic -- something our people could grab hold of," he said.

Not long afterwards, Mayfield and the others met with Raley, who brought up the idea of starting 100,000 new groups, as part of the Groups Matter campaign. It was just what they needed to hear, Mayfield said. Read More
'Heaven Is For Real' stirs discussion
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Southern Baptists have mixed reviews of "Heaven Is For Real," a Sony Pictures movie released today (April 16) about a 4-year-old boy who claimed he was transported to heaven as he underwent emergency surgery. Read More
Patterson honored at Southeastern
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- In recognition of his past service as the school's president, Paige Patterson has received the highest honor granted by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Presidential Award. Read More
MOVIES: Jesus & the films He inspires
Filmmakers are challenged in portraying the life of Christ, as the Book is always better than the script, says movie reviewer Phil Boatwright, who briefly reviews "The Jesus Film" and others like it. Read More
FLAVORS: Food, tea aid couple's ministry
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- It took trips to three different stores, an all-day wait for the dough to rise, and clever planning to use the electric oven despite the daily power outages. But Reece and Justina Dehn* knew it was all worth it when they watched a tiny Nepalese grandmother eat her first slice of pizza. Read More
2nd VIEW: FIRST-PERSON: Cuteness vs. divine revelation
Conference leader Paul Mathenia voices caution over believing everything in "Heaven Is for Real," - the book and upcoming movie -- about Colton Burpo who, at age 4, told of a three-minute trip to heaven. Read More
First Person
Erich Bridges
WORLDVIEW: The death of darkness
It is appointed to man once to die. But darkness, death's close companion, is a choice, says Erich Bridges in extolling the Light of salvation who is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Story Collections
2014: SBC Annual Meeting Preview
Crisis in Ukraine
The Persecuted Church
SBC Call to Prayer
   
   


 © Copyright 2014 Baptist Press. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.


Southern Baptist Convention