Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sharpening our ministry focus

With our ministries of teaching increasing, Jessica and I are forces to make some tough choices for some ministry transitions. Starting the first week of August I'm teaching a group of men who minister to the Philippines military on Mondays. On Tuesdays I teach a group of men who minister to the poor living south of Manila. On Thursdays Jessica and I will teach a group of bible students. I will teach them the basics of how to interpret the bible and Jessica will help them to sharpen their English. We also meet others throughout the week for bible studies, mentoring and discipleship.
In addition to the above ministries I am preparing and improve syllabuses for several classes, (how to interpret the bible, Old Testament Survey and preaching). Jessica continues to work on material for teaching English as a second language. Lastly, I have to continue working on my studies for the doctoral program in taking at Talbot.

With all these ministries and a few others not mentioned we are finding ourselves having to cut out some ministries that are not essential to the vision that God has given us. So after two and a half years we are stopping our home bible study. We had a great time taking our friends through Luke and Acts and were blessed to see them grow in the Lord. We will still see many of them as we encourage and counsel them. A few others we will try to integrate into a cell group we work with.

The other area of transition is my involvement at the bridge. I will still be involved in ministry there, but the way I have been doing it will change. I will be more involved with mentoring pastor Rick and developing leaders there. I will be less involved with the day to day ministries at the Bridge and the surrounding area. Even things like giving medicine to the sick or rides to the doctor will be done through pastor Rick whenever possible.
I met with pastor Rick yesterday to discus future plans for out reach to Manalo Bridge and the surrounding Manggahan area. We are planning to do a monthly outreach where we will show films like the Jesus Film, cartoons for the kids, testimonies, drama, and a gospel message. We hope that this will give us more opportunities to start new bible studies in the area. Pray for God's favor as we ask local businesses and land owners to let us use their property for free or a small price for these events.
Pastor Rick and I also began planning his preaching schedule. Pastor Rick has not taken any formal training for preaching and does that best he can, but I believe that I can help him a lot in this area. I gave him two books for us to study together ( "How to read the bible for all its worth" by Fee and Stuart, and "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon Robinson). In addition to these books we are outlining the Gospel of John together and writing out its main preaching ideas. I am going to help pastor Rick (for the first time) preach through a whole book of the bible. I believe that this will greatly help him and the biblically illiterate people that he is teaching. I will keep you posted on his progress. Please pray for us all.