EVANGELISM: Back to School

Back to School
Posted on January 4, 2016  in Blog, Evangelism, Prayer

Tomorrow morning I’m heading back into the classroom for the first time since graduating from Bible college in 2009 and I cannot wait. Last year we applied on behalf of the church to a graduate certificate being offered for the first time at Heritage Seminary, the Graduate Certificate in Church Health and Evangelism. You can watch the short video below to hear president Rick Reed talk about the program. You can also read more about the program on the Heritage website.
Having been accepted to the program, over the course of the next 15 months I’ll be in the classroom five different times, and outside of these times focusing on assignments and projects that have a direct bearing on our local church and surrounding community. The thought of learning and being able to immediately and directly apply what is being taught is incredibly appealing. Being able to bring others along for the ride is a wise component and will strengthen our church in multiple ways. Getting a foot in the door of a Masters degree is also a wonderful asset.
The program begins tomorrow with The Disciple Making Church. Here’s a brief description:
There is a lot of talk about making disciples in church leadership circles but what does that really mean? The typical church may do a good job at building believers but struggle with what it means to equip workers. Even more difficult is developing strategies to reach the lost. If conversion is a key marker of health then many of our churches are failing badly. How do you, as a leader, create an environment conducive to making disciples? Furthermore, because the life of a church is full, gauging how well your church is doing is like checking the oil on a speeding car: it is difficult to gauge the health of something as organic as a church. This course will assist leaders in bringing clarity to the discipleship process and help us to do what Jesus asked us to do—seek the lost, build believers and equip workers. This course will also focus on methods of measuring church health in authentic ways that do not rely on business models nor turn the church into a corporate enterprise.
I’ll be in class all day Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and I’m delighted to have Pastor Caleb join me. Originally, Wes Bright was all in for joining us too, but due to a family situation is no longer able. His involvement in our Awana program, high school youth ministry, and his unashamed approach to sharing the gospel with co-workers and peers make him a man we want to invest in as a church. At some point in the future we’ll plan to do just that. Instead, this time around, one of our life group leaders, Betty-Anne, is able to attend last minute. Discipleship is one of her passions making this a great fit.
One emphasis of those who have developed the program, and the main reason for writing this, is for the purpose of prayer. In the application process they have asked the church to commit to asking the Lord to work in and through what is being taught, being convinced with the psalmist, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it are labouring in vain.” Pastor Caleb has already communicated with Life Group leaders about the program to ask for prayer, and we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening, when it’s happening, and who the other churches are that are involved.
Would you labour with us in prayer so that together, as the Spirit leads, we would see people forever transformed as we seek to walk worthy of the gospel as a church?

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