My name is Jay Gordon. My role at Brook Hills is as Adults and Small Groups Minister. The call on my life to work in adults and discipleship started 32 years ago. I was serving a small church in Danville, Alabama during college as both worship and student pastor. My plan was to be a worship pastor and I had already been accepted to Southwestern Seminary. Those plans all changed one day as I was driving down the road. Out of the blue, I had a strong sense from God that I was to stay where I was another year and continue to serve Danville Baptist Church. I didn’t understand. I wasn’t even praying about staying. But the impression was clearly from God and I obeyed.
Within a couple of months, the church had a need for someone to teach the Young Adult Sunday School Class. Once I started leading that group, a light came on and a passion developed in my heart for leading people to Christ and helping them grow in their faith. It’s clear now that God had me stay another year in order to change the direction of my life and ministry. Since then, I completed seminary and served two churches in Alabama and one in Arkansas.
The desire to make disciples continues to grow. Unfortunately, I was not discipled well as a teen or young adult. I ended up getting it, but not by the most direct method. Therefore, I have a desire to continue to learn how Jesus made disciples and to help people follow His plan. That plan includes the truth of God’s word, relationships, and intentional leadership. We aren’t always careful to have all of those components; therefore the results can be less than stellar.
I love to challenge our Small Groups to look up, look back, look down, and look ahead. Those four components should be in every Bible study session we lead. We look up in prayer; we look back to see how we applied last week’s lesson; we look down into God’s Word; and we look ahead to see how we can obey today’s Bible study over the next week.
I also encourage people to be on a Bible reading plan if they aren’t already consistently studying God’s word. It’s especially helpful to be on a plan that we discuss weekly with another believer or small group of believers. If you don’t have a plan, join me in reading Colossians over and over this month, one chapter a day. And find a friend to read and discuss it with you, applying the four “looks”!
Words can’t express how important other believers are to our spiritual growth. The Bible has many “one another” commands—love one another, serve one another, pray for one another. I realized recently that we can’t be obedient to the “one another” commands if we don’t actively engage in a Small Group. I can really tell that my spiritual walk is stronger when I have a group of people with which I can be honest, accepted, and challenged.
If you don’t have spiritually encouraging relationships yet, the best place to start is with joining a Small Group. We can accomplish much when we enter relationship with other believers for the purpose of biblical community, discipleship, and mission.
Over the next few weeks, Brook Hills is hosting Small Group Connection. As you leave Worship, starting August 14, you’ll notice six tables set up in the lobby, hosted by Small Group Leaders of various life-stages. You can stop by and meet a leader and find out about their group. Our hopes are that this will be one tool that helps everyone at Brook Hills experience the joy of biblical community.
Please consider taking your next step to be obedient to God. The best steps usually involve other people.
Jay Gordon has served as our Adult & Small Groups Minister since 2014. He and his wife, Liz, have been married since 1985. Liz has a heart for the nations and her outlet for that is working with E3 Partners, a missions organization. Jay’s had the joy of going with his wife nine times over the years to Peru and Ecuador. Jay and Liz have two children. Their son, Andy, is 25 and lives in Philadelphia where he is a mechanical engineer. Their daughter, Emily, is 21 and is within a month of being married to Daniel—they’ll live here in Birmingham. Some things Jay enjoys are college football, Atlanta Braves baseball, and wings from Bob Baumhower’s.