The biggest factor in helping a church grow is the attitude of its members. If they are excited about their church, then they will invite people (both saved and lost) to the church. One of the biggest factors affecting members’ attitudes is the lay leadership of the church. If lay leaders are prepared, energetic and excited about the church, then they will have an impact on the membership. On Saturday, August 14, churches have an opportunity to invest in their lay leaders by equipping them to be more prepared, more energetic, and more knowledgeable about what they are supposed to do in helping their class and their church grow. This event is called EQUIP—one of the largest training events for lay leadership in the nation. The 2019 EQUIP leadership training event in Houston had 2550 leaders attend.
This year EQUIP will be held at Champion Forest Baptist Church on Saturday, August 14, from 9:00 am until 3:00 p.m. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, will teach the keynote session. Breakout sessions will be at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. These breakout sessions will focus on training leaders in all areas of the church: preschool to 55+ adults, special needs, welcome teams, finances, deacons, church libraries, church security, worship tech, children’s music, and worship. Many sessions will be led in languages other than English: sixteen sessions will be taught in Spanish; eight will be in Korean for Korean children’s ministry lay leaders. Eight sessions will be offered for worship technology, worship lighting and online services. In all, over 300 breakout sessions will be available for lay leadership. Sessions will be offered for pastors and staff members, but EQUIP’s main emphasis is training lay leadership in the church.
In addition to the breakout sessions, there will be four luncheon panels:
Reaching and Teaching Preschool and Children
Reaching and Teaching Gen Z
Harry Piland once said that most lay leaders are not doing the job they are asked to do for one of three reasons:
- They are reprobates and unspiritual.
- They do not understand what is being asked of them.
- They do not know how to do what is being asked of them.
He told me that in his 50 some years of church ministry, people often assumed lay leaders were failing for the first reason listed, but he found that the last two were the cause of most ineffective lay leaders. EQUIP is a training event specifically designed to help churches help their leadership with the last two areas—understanding what they are to do and how to do it. EQUIP also helps leaders grasp why their leadership and what they are doing is so important to God’s kingdom.
Leaders come away feeling enthused, energetic and equipped to go back to their local church as better leaders. I do not know of one pastor who does not want this for his lay leaders, which is why it is imperative to register your lay people for this training event. The cost is only $10, which helps to cover the cost of lunch. Churches can do a group registration by indicating the number of people they hope to bring and paying the $10 fee. Later at the event, they can share who it is that they registered. The cost of registration will go up the week of the event on August 10.