SBC DIGEST: Jordan Easley accepts new pastorate; The Gospel Project adds resources for small groups & families

by BP & LifeWay staff, posted Wednesday, August 01, 2018 (8 months ago)

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (BP) -- Jordan Easley, who chaired the SBC Executive Committee's 22-member Young Leaders Advisory Council, has accepted the call of First Baptist Church in Cleveland, Tenn., as senior pastor.

SBC LIFE photo
Easley also was a member of the Evangelism Task Force appointed by former SBC President Steve Gaines and is a trustee of the International Mission Board. He has been senior pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., the past four years.

First Baptist in Cleveland, with 4,100 resident members, voted July 29 to call Easley, who will begin at the church on Aug. 19.

Both the Young Leaders Advisory Council and Evangelism Task Force presented their reports during the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas.

Prior to leading Englewood, Easley, 38, had served with the late David Landrith as teaching pastor/multi-site pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn. He earlier served on the staffs of Second Baptist Church in Houston, First Baptist Church in Atlanta and Prestonwood Baptist Church in metro Dallas.

During Easley's four years at Englewood, more than 800 people were baptized and two multisite campuses were launched, adding 1,000 people in worship. Englewood also supported the launch of six church plants across the U.S.

Easley is the author of "Life Change," released by the B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources. He has studied at Union University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Luther Rice Seminary after earning an undergraduate degree at Dallas Baptist University.

Easley and his wife Audra have two children, Jailee and Asher.

The Young Leaders Advisory Council report can be accessed here and the Evangelism Task Force report can be accessed here.

The Gospel Project launches new discipleship tools

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The Gospel Project has been used by nearly 1.5 million adults, teens and children since its inception in 2012 -- and that's just in Sunday School.

Two new Gospel Project resources are being introduced to help families and small groups engage in discussion about Scripture and how each text fits into its storyline. "Gospel Foundations" and "The Gospel Project for Kids: Home Edition," each with a video component, are available for preorder from LifeWay Christian Resources at lifeway.com.

With many congregations having adopted a home-based small group model, Gospel Foundations was created to meet the needs of churches' discipleship efforts outside the walls of the church building.

Home Edition, meanwhile, is designed to help families -- whether they homeschool or engage in traditional education -- supplement biblical education and child discipleship.

"We are grateful to see how The Gospel Project curriculum has been embraced by the church so far," said Michael Kelley, groups ministry director for LifeWay. "These new offerings will help people in small groups in living rooms and families around the dinner table see more clearly the beauty of the Gospel story."

Gospel Foundations is a 42-session resource that walks people through the story of Scripture and shows how it all points to Christ -- while allowing for a few weeks' break -- and still complete it in a year.

Home Edition, meanwhile, was born out of a conviction that parents are the primary disciplers of their children and the church is called to partner with them.

"We've had so many parents who homeschool asking for a resource they can use to teach the Bible," said Brian Dembowczyk, managing editor of The Gospel Project. "And we're glad to be able to address that need with this resource. But we're also excited to give parents a way to disciple their kids in the home."

The LifeWay Kids team has built six semesters' worth of Home Edition materials. Two 18-session volumes per year will be released over the next three years.

Compiled by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston with reporting by Joy Allmond LifeWay Christian Resources.
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