Birthing a new LG Class.
Today was a bitter/sweet time in the history of our McGregor Baptist Church Life Group (Adult Sunday School Class). This was the last time that I will have the opportunity to address my whole LG before we “birth” (divide into ) a new class. The official beginning date will be Sunday, June 3rd.
Rod and Jill Perkins have taken on the responsibility and leadership to begin this new class. Our class was getting too large and the church needed another 11:00 AM LG. We currently meet at 9:30 and have in attendance 100+ in the winter months and half that during the summer. (Our class is larger than the average size Southern Baptist Church). An effective class size should be 20-30 people at most. This birth is necessary to reach more people and affect others better for Christ.
It has been Patti’s and my joy, pleasure, responsibility, and honor to serve MBC for the last 30 years as a LG leader as well as many other lay committees. Although we have technically birthed 5-6 different LG’s over the years, this will be the hardest. The last 10-15 years we have gotten very close as friends , family, and siblings in the Lord, and have served the Lord together not only within the church, but throughout the community of Fort Myers and Lee County. I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of people come and become a part of our LG since Patti and I started it ourselves as a new “birthed” LG from Steve and Bev Chesnut’s in 1989. One of the many goals of a LG is to see transformed lives of the people who attend. And that I have seen! Of course many people have moved on to other cities and churches, but some remain. As an under shepherd it has been my responsibility to equip the saints for the ministry as we see in Ephesians 4. I told the class today as we proceed how important it is that we all step up and continue to serve; also at the same time giving new people the opportunity to serve. A shepherd doesn’t reproduce sheep; sheep reproduce sheep.
Rod and Jill have been dear friends and co-laborers in Christ with us from the day they first joined our class, more than ten years ago. I immediately saw in Rod and Jill many Godly leadership qualities. They have helped me immensely. Rod has been my right hand man helping me with administrative duties and activities and teaching responsibilities. We have co-taught a number of other classes at church and have served together in lay committees at MBC and the community. Jill, among many things was the director of our class social committee and did home Bible studies for women of our class. I regard them as some of my closest friends.
Although it was sad day, (It reminded me of the day we sent our kids off to college, and marriage of our daughter Natalie.) it is on the other hand a happy day knowing that we doing what God intends us to do. So – I give all my prayers and support to Rod and Jill and those who will follow them in this new LG adventure. But as Rod said in his humorous way, “The new class is only one floor below!”
Pastor Mark Bricker (right) presenting the “Hart of Excellence” award to Craig Mayer
November 5, 2017
“Craig has taught Life Group for over 25 years and continues to be an enthusiastic teacher/facilitator. He brings a high level of energy and thoughtfulness that continues to challenge our class each week. He consistently points lessons back into the Scriptures, using Scripture to explain the concepts taught. Additionally, he has included video segments that reinforce the lessons and draw the participants into deeper discussions of the Scriptures. Craig has opened his home on many occasions for in-depth video Bible Studies, as well as presenting meaningful leadership training classes at the church. Craig continues to display a level of commitment and excellence in all his teaching and leadership. He is invested in McGregor Baptist Church and challenges others to a closer walk with Christ. Craig has been a resource to our Life Group through his many years of study, reading and practical application of the Word.”