MBC training workers in Five Star strategy
By Barbara Shoun
April 19, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY — A new Five-Star Church Strategy has been developed by the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) Sunday School/Discipleship (SS/D) team to specifically help smaller churches.
According to 2003 data, 631 churches in the state had no baptisms and another 120 had no additions of any kind. These 751 churches represent 38 percent of MBC churches, says Bruce Morrison, director of Sunday School/Discipleship training for the MBC.
“Some 1,604 MBC churches (80 percent of the 2,000 total) averaged 100 or fewer in Sunday School attendance in 2003. That year, 1,220 churches (61 percent) averaged 49 or fewer in attendance. We can’t take large church questions and expect the same response from small churches,” Morrison said. “The Five Star strategy will serve as a catalyst to assist the small church in moving back to the basics of effective Sunday School and discipleship ministry.”
Three-person SS/D teams completed training April 23 and will be spreading out across the state to teach churches the Five Star strategy. Morrison emphasizes that it is a strategy, not a program or event.
Teams will consist of at least one SS/D team member and one or two special worker practitioners who have been trained by the SS/D team and coaches from LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention Among them are directors of missions, ministers of education, teachers, and others who do their ministries well in their own local churches.
Individual churches may request a team, but the MBC encourages the involvement of associations or groups of churches. This not only allows for more efficient use of resources; it contributes to dynamics and sharing of ideas, two important aspects of the learning process.
Larger churches are not forgotten, however. Morrison said one large church in the state has already embraced the Five Star principles.
“Even though we’re focusing on smaller churches, we’re here to meet the needs of all our churches in the state, large or small,” he said.
Requests for teams may be directed to Morrison at (573) 636-0400 or (800) 736-6227 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.