Please help Brother Scott Onofrio as he prepares for his part in our 2013 IARBC Annual Conference which will focus on disciplemaking and small groups.
Small Group Discipleship in the IARBC
By Scott Onofrio, Associate Pastor of Outreach & Discipleship, Faith Baptist Church, Mason City
Joe Hayes had asked me to speak next year at the 2013 Annual IARBC Conference regarding “small group outreach and discipleship Bible studies”. In agreeing and preparing to do so, I would like to bring more visibility to best practices right here in our state fellowship of churches to build involvement. With your permission and your participation, I would like to hear from you what your best practices have been and periodically publish them in the IARBC Update newsletter. As you participate, you will help our state fellowship sharpen our small group discipleship endeavors.
Please send me a:
1) testimonial of “small group outreach and discipleship bible studies” in your ministry;
2) a timeless truth or truths from the Word that fuel your ministry; and
3) share any tips that you find helpful to you in this ministry.
As the outreach and discipleship pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Mason City, I am interested in collaborating with pastors in our state fellowship that are actively involved or interested in starting or strengthening small group outreach and discipleship Bible studies. To get the ball rolling, I will share some of what God is doing in our church.
Since the 2011 IARBC Annual Conference, our church has been involved in running several Lamplighters International Bible studies in the community. At present, we have five of them, four for men, and one for women. Two men’s studies meet on Monday night, one at the Mason City Public Library, and one at Hardees Restaurant. Then on Thursday night, we have another Lamplighter study running at Hardees. On Friday morning at 6:30 am, we have a study at Cabin Coffee. These four men’s studies have now completed the books of 2 Timothy, and Nehemiah. Both have been very soul-building. Through these studies, I have personally grown in my understanding of the Word and have seen other men grow in their love for God and His Word. There were several times when visitors came to one of these small groups through either a personal invite or by physically seeing us studying together out in public. We just started an Esther study with a few women. The heart of our senior pastor, Miles Grismore, and the following timeless truth of 2 Timothy 2:1-2 are behind these ministries. That's where Paul said “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Helping disciplemakers take their next step of faith is very fulfilling.
We have some in our church family who are effectively using the “Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” in an apartment complex in town. We have some visitors coming to our church as a result of these studies. One lady got saved, and has come forward for baptism as a result of this ministry. She is now attending our services and has joined a pilot Lamplighters Bible Study for women.
Would you please send me your stories that would encourage and provide support to our efforts here in the state. As you do, let’s praise the Lord for His Work as He builds His church for His glory.
Pastor Scott Onofrio, 641-530-0201