COLUMBIA, Md.—The Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network strives to continually provide opportunities for connection within our Network in an effort to encourage, equip and engage pastors and church leaders. The launch of Peer Learning Groups (PLG) is a new and exciting initiative to be a conduit for those connections.
The key elements of the groups are covenant, honesty and commitment.
Randy Millwood, Network team strategist for church strengthening, explained that leaders covenant together to be committed to the group, to be prepared, to pray for one another, and to share in an honest, safe setting. The groups also provide opportunities to learn together, exchange ideas and hold one another accountable. Each participant individually and the group collectively moves forward in engagement with their congregations and in implementing new strategies.
Network Team Strategist for Evangelism and Missions Joel Rainey said excitement will build as pastors begin to share not only challenges, but successes.
Rainey said material can be accessed easily, but it’s through situations afforded by the PLG’s that take the learning to the next level. “… Peer learning groups will take you beyond accessing to processing and assessment. You can’t do that without your colleagues beside you,” Rainey said.
Participants can choose between the groups “Love Your Neighbor/Share Christ,” and “Lead Like Jesus.”
Rainey, who is facilitating the “Love Your Neighbor/Share Christ” groups, said the material helps leaders honestly assess their churches and themselves about their intentionality of praying for and reaching the lost.
Millwood, a facilitator for “Lead Like Jesus,” shared how Jesus led was quite different than worldly leadership.
Keith Hammer, Network church strengthening strategist and another facilitator of “Lead Like Jesus,” said the material does a great job of unpacking what it means to be a true servant leader. Hammer said that the material looks not only at Jesus’ teaching but His life. It begins with the heart.“If our heart is not right everything else we do will be colored by that,” he said.
The study goes on to cover the head, the hands and the habits of leadership. Groups are free to “own” their studies, choosing what areas to focus on.
Groups last for at least six months. Some have already started, others are forming. They meet in different locations throughout the Network area.
“This is intended to fill a gap where pastors and church leaders can go on a learning journey together, network, build relationships and apply what they’re learning that serves to equip, to encourage and to engage on a regular basis. I think God is going to use this in a significant way,” Hammer said.
The video below included gives a more in-depth discussion about the groups.
Opportunities to join* “Lead Like Jesus,” facilitated by Randy Millwood and Keith Hammer, are:
- January 22, 2015 (Thursday) – White Marsh Baptist Church, 4261 Silver Spring Rd., Perry Hall, Md. (Baltimore, Harford, Cecil counties)
- March 17, 2015 (Tuesday) – Cornerstone Church, 761 S. Little Creek Rd, Dover, Del. (Kent, New Castle, Sussex counties)
- March 24, 2015 (Tuesday) – Dunkirk Baptist Church, 11275 So. Maryland Blvd. Dunkirk, Md. (Charles, Calvert, Anne Arundel, Prince Georges counties)
- March 26, 2015 (Thursday) – First Baptist Church, Frederick, 7040 Bowers Rd.,Frederick, Md. (Frederick, Carroll, Washington, Montgomery, Howard counties)
- April 18, 2015 (Saturday) – Western Association, location TBD (Allegheny and Garrett counties)
*This initial Leadership Encounter is 1-day workshop to help people lead like Jesus. Packed with action-oriented learning and reflection, the workshop closely examines Jesus as a leader and a model while equipping participants to lead as He did.
Check-in/coffee & snacks at 8:30 am. Event 9:00 am – 4:30 pm each location.
Register by contacting Ministry Assistant Adele Millwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opportunities to join* “Love Your Neighbor/Share Christ,” facilitated by Joel Rainey and Doug DuBois, Network Strategist for Church Strengthening, are:
- December 10 (Wednesday) – South Columbia Baptist Church, 8814 Guilford Road, Columbia, Md. (Howard County)
- January 8 (Thursday) – Trinity Baptist Church, 2671 Mattawoman Beantown Road, Waldorf, Md. (Potomac Baptist Association)
- January 13 (Tuesday) – Western Sizzlin’, 17567 York Road, Hagerstown, Md. (Washington County)
- January 20 (Tuesday) – Oak Ridge Baptist Church, 361 Tilghman Road, Salisbury, Md. (Eastern Baptist Association)
- January 26 (Monday) – Redland Baptist Church, 6922 Muncaster Mill Road, Rockville, Md. (Montgomery County)
- January 29 (Thursday) – Middle River Baptist Church, 610 Middle River Road, Middle River, Md. (Baltimore Baptist Association)
*Each of these meetings will take place from 11:00 AM until 1:30 PM, and will include lunch. After an overview presentation, pastors and church leaders will have an opportunity to commit to be part of a six-month peer learning group.
Register by contacting Ministry Assistant Niki Taylor at Ntaylor@bcmd.org.