(Photo: Courtesy of Baptist Press/Bill Bangham)
HOUSTON – Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, unveiled Ministry Grid, an Internet-based online ministry training tool for pastors, church staff and volunteers that he believes will better equip pastors in training new leaders to become disciples of Jesus Christ.
"We believe that Ministry Grid will give more pastors and church leaders the ability to do precisely what Ephesians 4 calls us to do: train the saints for the work of ministry," Rainer said at last week's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Houston, Texas.
The Ministry Grid training platform will become available in November, and is especially beneficial for pastors who have full-time jobs outside of the ministry, as well as church members who volunteer their time working as children's Bible studies teachers or any other leadership role opportunities available at the church, but cannot fit traditional training programs into their busy schedules.
What sets Ministry Grid apart from other training programs is the platform is solely online, and while it can be used by a multitude of churches simultaneously, each church can design Ministry Grid to display content specific to their church by offering the training tracks and skills assessments that each church requires to meet their individual ministry needs.
In a promotional video introducing the Ministry Grid program to church leaders at the SBC, the narrator notes that each church has "an army of people waiting to serve." And said, "It's time we fulfill our Holy calling" by training leaders "to build up the body of Christ until we all reach unity in the faith. …Because the church should be so much more than just a gifted pastor."
"Training church leaders is a concept that is as old as the church itself," the video added. "From Moses to Paul, biblical examples abound of individuals who led and served God's people while raising new leaders to continue the work. The need for church training hasn't changed, but training approaches have changed over time. For instance, the needs and culture of a small, rural church is likely not the same as a multisite church in an urban setting."
The Ministry Grid website includes information on how churches can customize features, such uploading the church logos, choosing color schemes and linking to the church websites.
"We're excited about the Ministry Grid product and resource," Rainer said about the program that enables pastors to track the progress and success of each church leader who's enrolled in the Ministry Grid leadership and training development program.