Tired of the “shock and awe” style of event-driven ministry? What are the key elements in helping someone else mature as a follower of Christ? How do we do it? In 2012, a LifeWay Research project showed eight key steps to follow. The study showed it all begins with Bible engagement…getting people into the Word of God. So let’s get started. Guide them into the Word of God –

1. Comprehensively. Give them a Scripture reading plan that includes the whole counsel of God, not just your favorite texts.
2. Prayerfully. Ask God to help them understand what they read.
3. Closely. Encourage them to look for truths from each passage they study.
4. Textually. Don’t let them get bogged down on a verse or two they don’t understand. Keep them moving.
5. Joyfully. Help them see Bible study as delight, not duty. They are literally hearing the Savior speak to them.
6. Audibly. God’s Word was originally delivered orally. Encourage them to read the Bible out loud . It will help them commit it to memory.
7. Congregationally. Teach them to bring their Bibles to church and read the Scriptures as the pastor does.
8. Missionally. Show them that they are on mission for God. Train them to tell people they know about Jesus.

(adapted from Philip Nation. “Eight Ways to Lead Others in Bible Engagement,” Facts and Trends, Summer 2016, pp.41-42)

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I remember the phrase from years ago, “a member in good standing.”  Maybe you do as well, but in the context of church life, what does it mean and why is it important?  Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay, recently wrote on church membership.  In his article, he gave some indicators of what being a disciple of Christ looks like.  Dr. Rainer says that a good place for a new believer to start in the discipleship journey is knowing what is expected of him as a church member.  So here goes…

  1. A member of a church should read the Bible daily.
  2. A member of  a church should be involved in a Bible study group.
  3. A member of a church should be sharing his/her faith on a regular basis.
  4. A member of a church should be a generous giver.
  5. A member of a church should attend corporate worship each week.
  6. A member of a church should be involved in ministry and missions.

As Dr. Rainer says, “As church members engage in daily Bible reading, group Bible study, evangelism, corporate worship, ministry and missions, and giving –  they will grow as disciples or followers of Christ.  And then their churches will grow and become healthier churches.”  So let’s all jump on board and become that kind of church member!

(adapted from Thom Rainer, Facts and Trends, Summer 2016, p.5)

Visit Mt. Airy Baptist Church at 8:30am or 11am on Sundays or online at .

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