Monday, January 12, 2015

Best of 2014: I Never Realized...

This post, the first of a six-part series about the best in ministry last year, focuses on the Garífuna Bible school classes.

What Happened
  • Pastors and leaders from multiple Garífuna communities met four times throughout the year.
  • Each session was an intensive week covering (1) church planting and (2) basic fundamentals of the Christian faith.
  • Frequent discussions provided opportunities for questions and ideas about how to apply God's Word to specific scenarios among Garífuna people.
  • Several students are using the basic fundamentals material to disciple church members and potential leaders in their own churches.

Helpful Hands, Servant Heart

One of God's gifts for seminary staff and students was Deiby (far right):

Deiby joined the team and contributed his gifts of service and administration, preparing logistical details such as housing, meals, and class materials. His work enabled Fernando and the other leaders to focus more on teaching and interacting with students. Deiby plays guitar and sings; he led worship during morning devotionals that focused everyone's hearts on the Lord to start the day.

Perhaps what mattered most what not what Deiby did but how he did it: with love for the Lord and people, and with a servant heart. Praise the Lord for his life and service to the body of Christ.

"I Never Realized..."

As students shared what they learned throughout the year, these three themes stood out:

  • They realized they had misunderstood and, as a result, taught incorrectly parts of Scripture. Praise God they could honestly voice their questions, receive clarification, and discuss together how to improve their teaching of the Bible.

  • While the term "leadership disciplines" brings to mind prayer, study, and ministry tasks, students were most impacted by the discipline of investing in their own families. Many realized that they were focusing on their congregation's well-being while neglecting to care for their own marriages, children, and grandchildren. They were compelled to take to heart how the Bible teaches that solid church leadership requires solid families and to adjust their priorities accordingly.

  • "The Great Commission is about making disciples, and the best way to make disciples is planting churches." Participants realized that the common error of focus only on their own congregations, and they learned that church planting should be a central purpose of their churches.

2015: Plans and Vision
  • Students will meet for another four sessions to continue studying church planting and fundamental principles of the Christian life.
  • Our prayer is that young pastors and leaders will be equipped for and committed to planting churches and, consequently, reaching more people with the good news of Christ.
Praise God for how He worked in students' lives and ministries!

Coming up in Part 2: Which Story is Your Favorite?

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