Grow

Matthew 28:19-20 is not the great idea or suggestion, but it is the great commandment!

The Discipleship Ministry at Greater Shiloh is the teaching, equipping, following, pursuing, mentoring, growing, and maturing in Christ arm of the church. The Discipleship/Maturity Team is led by Dr. Martha Bouyer who can be reached at martha@greatershiloh.org.

Discipleship Definition – What Is It?

“To be a learner” is the literal answer to the question, “What is a discipleship definition?” Dictionary.com defines a disciple as:

  • A person who is a pupil or adherent to the doctrines of another.
  • One who embraces and assists in spreading the teaching of another.
  • Any follower of another person.

“Disciple” is a word that is not generally considered a part of everyday vocabulary in contemporary society, but it gets tossed around a lot in Christian circles. You might hear phrases like: “called to be disciples of Christ,” “make disciples of all nations,” “walk as a disciple.” The concept seems very intimidating, and to a person who has not spent a lifetime in church, but who wants to know God, it can be confusing.

Discipleship is not just learning scriptures but putting into practice, on a daily basis, what we have learned and seen through scripture, and what it means to follow Christ.

At Greater Shiloh, we seek to equip believers through not only weekly sermons,  but through Sunday School, Small Groups, Vacation Bible School (VBS), Churchwide Bible Studies, and Mission and Evangelistic opportunities.  Matthew 28:19-20 clearly states: (KJV). 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

As Disciples, we are  forever growing, becoming, and obeying the Word of God.  Sunday School and VBS classes are offered for all ages from toddlers – senior adults.  Sunday school is offered every Sunday from 9:30-10:40 a.m.  VBS, our major Evangelistic out-reach is generally offered the last week of June.  Be sure to stay informed for this immersive opportunity to learn more about Jesus Christ and how you can join Him in ministry.

Small Groups

Small groups are a great way to meet members of the church family and to get and stay connected.  Small Groups are offered on a variety of subjects all with the goal of helping believers in their daily walk. 

Small groups are offered during the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters of the year. Be sure to consult the bulletin and to listen for announcements about when the next Small Groups will be offered.  Because we are all in “Ministry” together, Small Groups are just one way to help the Body of Christ grow deeper spiritually and relationally. 

Benefits of Sunday School

If Sunday School did not exist, would we reinvent it? Yes, we would! Here are several reasons why we offer Sunday School at Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church:

  1. Sunday school provides a structure for teaching God’s Word. Preaching isn’t enough. A systematic teaching of the Scriptures – not just preaching (Acts 5:42) needs to occur through all age levels. Children, youth, and adults need opportunities for discovery, review, and interaction as they study God’s principles. Sunday school meets needs!
  2. Sunday school gears Bible teaching to a specific age group (Deut. 31:12). It means a wiggly four-year-old can discover great biblical truth by acting out a Bible story, completing dot-to-dot pictures, singing fun songs, and obeying parents. During the same hour, senior adults may discuss whether their relationship with their spouse or responses to daily crises reflect their trust in God. Both age groups leave Sunday school with specific applications for the week.
  3. Sunday school mobilizes and trains laity for leadership. It’s difficult to say who benefits more, the teacher or the student. The teacher’s Bible knowledge and care grows… his or her life is changed… a stretching occurs as leadership skills are developed. Students learn and are challenged, but how much more is that true in the life of the teacher
  4. The Sunday school is discipleship! Every shepherd/teacher must have a desire to see each student in his/her flock have a spiritual life change. Since discipleship is “teaching to obey all I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20), it’s not merely teaching facts, but teaching obedience. While there are many styles of discipleship (one-on-one, small group, etc.) Sunday school is the group discipleship that is entry-level. It’s the “next step” after attending morning worship. From Sunday schools can develop small cell groups – discipleship. Since many people who attend church are not in a one-on-one or small group discipleship relationship, an effective Sunday school is a form of “Discipleship 101.”
  5. Sunday school is convenient. With the work, family and activity schedules of many church members, it is easier to come to church one hour earlier or leave one hour later than to arrange another night out during the week. Also, by having it on Sunday the children can be taught while the adults are learning. Parents who skip Sunday school in favor of mid-week small group often overlook the valuable “teaching times” their children miss by receiving “child-care” during the week rather than “teaching” in children’s Sunday school.
  6. Sunday school organizes the church into caring groups. The teacher becomes a shepherd for the class, an extension of the pastor’s ministry. Where the pastor finds it impossible to know all the needs of the congregation, Sunday school teachers (shepherds) know when someone is absent or hurting and can express love personally.
  7. Sunday school leads the church in prayer and relationships. From the preschool class through all the adult classes, prayer is directed toward the specific needs of the class members. Often the class not only prays but has an opportunity to respond to specific needs. Fellowship and informal conversations flow easily in small groups where care is expressed, and people know your name and your needs.
  8. Sunday school focuses on outreach to peers and friends. In a small group setting, where warmth and love flow and topics are non-threatening, class members are encouraged to invite fellow-employees or friends from school. Class socials and activities can focus on community outreach through social or ministry events.
  9. Sunday school lets the church do all the above with consistency. Sunday school is one of the most consistent programs at Greater Shiloh. It doesn’t stop for the summer and rarely for holidays. Sunday after Sunday its dedicated staff leads the church in this most important ministry.