On Saturday March 19 2011 we held another Barnabas School of Ministry Seminar at Trinity Church in Bacau, Romania. I was excited to be with these students again, with some to renew friendships begun last November with others to greet for the first time. Our participants represented seven churches from the region, and numbered over thirty. And notice how many are young people!
The day of study, prayer and instruction was fruitful. Everyone took extensive notes in addition to the english outlines I provided. The Rhythm of teaching with translation is not difficult to establish, but it does require a little concentration! I loved preaching/teaching this way in Hindi while in India in 2009, and now in Romanian in 2010 & 2011. Pastor Marian excels at translation, and the few times there is any hesitation, voices call out out from the classroom with suggested possibilities. Ena & Kjeld Olesen, missionaries in Onesti from Denmark, attended again – and Ena translated into Danish for Kjeld. Like the United Nations!
Our topic this time was “Building Great Churches: Principles from the Book of Acts.” My introduction was a survey of global trends, changes and movements in the way we “do church” over the last 60 years. We explored concepts & movements such as church growth, charismatic renewal, seeker-friendly, missional, multi-site/satellite, emergent, … and a review of Natural Church Development (Christian Swarz) and Healthy Church Traits (Stephen Macchia). We then proceeded to look in depth at various principles clearly evident in Acts:
* Acts 1: Follow Instructions & Make the Connection to the world, to each other and to God.
* Acts 2: How to Preach a Powerful Sermon
* Acts 4: Shaken so as to Shake: persecution pressure & the response of prayer
* Acts 4& 5: Care to Share? Unity, Sensitivity & Generosity Changes Everything.
* Acts 6: Status Quo Does Not Grow – the challenge of too much work, the need to raise new leaders, the absolute need for effective churches to be ready to change
* Acts 12,13,15:Mentored for Ministry – Team Building in the midst of Team Trouble
* Acts 16: Ministry GPS: What to do when God asks you to make a big change … directional detours in the leaders life
In May, with God’s help to raise the travel funds, I want to bring Patrick Voo to teach in the area of How to do Outreach/Evangelism in a Post Modern Culture
The blessing, inspiration and education I am receiving through this partnership is simply amazing. Thanks to my many supporters who have made the trip possible! Thanks to my Presbytery and to First Church Brockville for releasing me to take study leave in this manner. You are helping to build the Kingdom of Jesus by strengthening servants & leaders in an area where ministry education is not available and affordable.