Empower & Equip

Igniting That Spark For Ministry

In This Edition:

  • A Special Mid-Week Edition

  • A Conversation with Seth Madaris (Spiritual Formations Minister, Gateway Church of Christ, Pensacola FL)

  • Podcast Locations: Where To Find Us

  • Shameless Plug: This Mid-Week Recommended Resource


A Special Mid-Week Edition

I usually send out the Avenue for Faith newsletter each Saturday morning. However, we have so much good stuff to share, I couldn’t fit it all in one! A new podcast drops every Sunday afternoon, and I want to catch up on all platforms. So, here is the special mid-week edition of Avenue for Faith. Enjoy!

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A Conversation With Seth Madaris

Seth Madaris is the Spiritual Formations minister for the Gateway Church of Christ in Pensacola, FL. I sat down with Seth for episode 6 of the Avenue for Faith podcast, where I got to ask him about his passion and for ministry, and what it looks like to have a day job focusing on inspiring others to use their talents for ministry. Here are some highlights:

Q: Seth, you say our churches should be missional. How do you move people toward greater discipleship and finding their ministry?

I love this question, and I think this question is actually at the crux of some of the biggest flaws I see in some of our current church expression. And this year—2020—has really challenged that. I mean, what is church? When we come together, it should be to absolutely encourage each other. But it has to be to empower and equip the saints to then go and do the good works. Those good works are not sitting there in the seat. The seat is where you learn about the tools that you need and the way to grow in following Jesus that then take you out. What is “missional”? Missional is just what we are called to do. It’s the good works. It’s going out and being like Jesus. And I do believe it is completely interlocked with being a disciple. Because if you are a true disciple of Christ—if you are following in the footsteps of your Rabbi, Jesus, and he is your teacher—then you are going to be on mission everywhere that you go, with every interaction.

Q: How do you recruit and train teachers?

This is something I love doing. One of my favorite things to do is to teach teachers and to train life-group leaders. I love seeing somebody who has a little bit of a spark, they are passionate about something; and the first thing I want to do is say, “hey, let’s chat for a little bit, and let’s get it to where you are so excited about that spark that you are teaching whether you know it or not.” So the first thing I did was get my crop of teachers together and we wrote a teacher training curriculum all together; and then we offered a teacher training. We invited anyone who has ever been interested in teaching and anyone who has ever thought about teaching. We hit on everything: lecture classes, discussion classes, choosing your topic, etc. And then I partnered them with one of my experienced teachers, and they taught a class together. So my experienced teacher kind of walked alongside the new teacher. They kind of learned by doing, but also not thrown into the deep end. And in two trainings, my teacher pool expanded exponentially. Because what I realized is that sometimes people have never been given the opportunity to teach, because no one has ever thought to ask them; or they’ve been asked to teach, and they wanted to, but they’ve not quite known exactly how to do certain things, and they are just too adult to ask for help. And then the main thing I would tell them is “what are you excited about?” Get excited about that and share it. We are hard-wired as humans to share that which we love. Find that thing, and teaching for you might not actually be standing in front of the class, but helping the teacher write the curriculum.

Q: What can I do if I’m interested in forming people spiritually in my own congregation?

Look to become passionate about sparking the missional discipleship quality within people. There are all these beautiful facets of God’s love that we all get to experience in community, and how blessed am I that I got to be put in this role to awaken the avenues in people in which they can love people better in the name of Jesus. Almost put yourself on a mission to find the thing that you know is going to spark their excitement, spark their passion, and then just throw yourself into making that a reality to them. It’s incredibly rewarding. It’s organic; it’s fun. And when you can equip the saints to do that good work, and then you see that happen—oh, praise God for that! It’s just so much fun.

Excerpts taken from my interview with Seth Madaris on Episode 6 of the Avenue for Faith podcast. You can find the podcast on all major podcasting platforms.

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Shameless Plug: This Mid-Week Recommendation

Weekend Seminar to Empower & Equip: The Teaching Guys

Katie and I offer an interactive training workshop to help your church dream big and accomplish more when it comes to education.

To put it simply...we help your church educational program thrive. Our training program is designed with you in mind. Paying special attention to curriculum, teaching methods, and resource material, we show you how to make your children's Bible classes and adult learning communities become a greenhouse for learning, growth, and discipleship. Whether you need to polish an existing program, or start one from scratch, we are here to help!

Katie has a deep love for both children and education, so her job as an elementary & middle school dyslexia interventionist at Mars Hill Bible School is a perfect fit. She also has been able to share her passion for education in a church setting as a children's education facilitator. I love my professional role as President of Mars Hill Bible School, and also as the adult education minister for the Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama. I served for 13 years as a Bible professor at Harding University, and have served as an adjunct instructor for schools such as Abilene Christian University, Heritage Christian University, and St. Louis University.

We are next scheduled to share our Teach It training in Columbia, Tennessee, in early fall. If you would like to book The Teaching Guys, let us know!

Here are some comments from past workshop participants:

Beebe, Arkansas

"I feel very convicted and inspired to pour more into the classes I teach! If your church is looking for a workshop for Bible class teachers these Guys would be a great choice!" 

​"Thank you for this workshop. Even though I am a teacher by trade, I don't feel as comfortable teaching a Bible class. This set a great framework for me to build upon. I am excited to look at my Bible lessons in a new way." 

"I thoroughly enjoyed today's workshop. I had planned to only stay for the adult part of the workshop but I stayed for both. So glad I did. Both sessions were very informative and practical and offered information that could be used across all ages."

"Helpful content & clear. Immediate application for volunteer Bible class teachers. Thanks for doing this for our church!" 

"Great learning experience. By the end of both sessions, I felt better able to teach and be an effective teacher, no matter the age. I want to educate the mind AND heart! Thank you, Nathan & Katie."

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

"The workshop was very helpful to me because it gave me either new or better ways to set and reach the goals and lesson plans that are given to me. I realized the need of teachers, organization, and new ideas."

"This has been wonderful. I loved the examples that were given of how a successful class can be run. Thank you for your time, for your knowledge, for sharing with your experiences and giving us perspective."

"Thank you for your tips and thoughtful strategies to help support our children's education. You were very uplifting and encouraging and I appreciate your enthusiasm and time."

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Avenue For Faith is a publication of the Adult Education Ministry of Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama. My name is Nathan Guy, and I am the Minister of Adult Education. I am happily married to Katie and also serve as President of Mars Hill Bible School. You can find more resources on our website over at avenueforfaith.org. Follow us @avenueforfaith (FB/TW/IG).