By Paul Wilkinson

We are about to embark on another exciting season of group leadership and discipleship. We want to set before you a few of the challenges that we, as group leaders, are being called to engage. We will be praying and encouraging you toward these biblical principles throughout the year.
• Internalize and Articulate the BBC Discipleship Strategy

 You will hear a lot about a new (though ancient) discipleship strategy that seeks to unify our mission as the Brentwood Baptist family of campuses in the elevation of kingdom living (WORSHIP) and kingdom expansion (EVANGELISM).
Matthew 4:19 (cf. Mark 1:17) reads Follow me . . . and I will make you fish for people.
From this simple statement we can derive three categories for what a disciple is: know and follow Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and on mission with Jesus. People modeling their lives after those categories are the individuals, groups, and churches that we are trying to develop. These categories will become the primary filters for our work and lives. And we will fulfill the great commission of disciple-making (Matthew 28:19) through ongoing conversations, ongoing learning, and ongoing engagement. Much more to come!

• Reproduce Yourself

John 15:8 reads My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples. Invite one or two members of your group into your study habits, prep time, and debrief. Have them make outlines and give them insights on those outlines. Let them teach regularly and offer feedback. Debrief with them your take on how some of your teaching went. Be vulnerable in your shortcomings and accessible with your efforts. In this way, your faith will grow as a leader and you will be discipling others into leadership roles. New leaders generate new groups which facilitates more inreach (MINISTRY) to our unconnected members and more outreach (EVANGELISM) to the lost and searching of Middle Tennessee.

• Soul Care

It is so difficult to, as it would be said in SC, give what you ain’t got. Moreover, we genuinely care about your health: physical, mental, and spiritual. We never want leading the people of God to become drudgery to you; it is a noble calling full of life and wonder. To that end, we encourage you to remain diligent in silence and solitude, in study and worship, and in prayer. We are here to walk with you in your life, both in terms of personal ministry and in terms of your ministry to others. NEVER hesitate to reach out for conversation and ALWAYS request resources that you think will help you toward an actualized healthy soul.

These challenges in no way are an indictment against work you have done, nor are they necessarily lacking in your current ministry. However, we want to encourage an intentional focus on these principles because we truly believe that they will catalyze our kingdom work to new heights.