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Ranch & farm chores can mesh with small group initiatives

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–By the time the livestock is fed and the necessary morning chores taken care of, many ranchers and farmers in rural areas of Kansas and Nebraska don’t have a prayer of making it in time for church on Sunday morning.

Because of that, ministry through small groups has been a major thrust of church planting strategy in the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists, said Dennis Hampton, town and country strategist for the state convention.

Hampton, who addressed the June 27-July 1 Sunday School Week at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center in New Mexico, was killed July 28 in an automobile accident in Norfolk, Neb.

The small groups that Hampton helped coordinate focused on Scripture and relationship-based evangelism.

“We start with asking them to do a short Bible reading each day in the Book of John, then Luke, then move to Acts,” Hampton had said during his Sunday School Week remarks. “It’s maybe five minutes a day. Then when we get together, we talk about what they read. God reveals Himself to them through the Scripture.”

Hampton said that as the group members begin to learn what it means to be a church, they begin to ask, “Aren’t we a church?” The group is then directed to examine the Scriptures which explain church formation.

“Eventually, they just can’t stand it and tell me, ‘We are a church. This is just what the Bible says.’ At that point, we have planted a new church with believers who are ready to fulfill all the functions,” Hampton had said.
Sunday School Week is sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • Polly House