Sunday, September 25, 2011

Encouraging Moments

I often have conversations or receive messages that encourage and remind me why I’m here.  I’m thankful that the Lord causes this to happen because it keeps me focused and motivated.  One man who studied under our training ministry, the Expositor’s Academy for a short time, recently wrote me and asked for counsel regarding continuing his training for ministry.  He wrote:

            Hi Sean,

 …I would like to ask for your advice concerning studying for ministry.  I believe I am being called to pastoral or some form of lay ministry.  I would like to get some Biblical education behind me and am wondering on how best to do this.

Ideally I would like to go TMS (The Master's Seminary in the U.S.) but it just seems like a financial and logistical impossibility (I'm married, have two kids, will be 34 this Sept., and am pretty much broke).  I've been looking for schools here but most seminaries look like places where I'll have to fight for my faith rather than grow in it…Anyway, all this to say that I'd like to pursue ministry but don't have seminary credentials and think it'd be hard to get some, given my present circumstances…What do you think would be a good path to take?

…Right now I'm...educating myself by reading as much as I can by my favorite teachers and listening to hundreds of sermons (which is basically what I've been doing for the last 15 years).  I imagine the best thing would be to study at the Expositor’s Academy.  Can you kindly pray with me and lend me your thoughts on this matter on how to proceed?

It is men like this and the current state of many schools and churches in the Philippines that make it necessary for training ministries like ours to equip pastors and train up expositors here. 

In August I had the privilege of speaking at The Solo Christo Singles Conference at Higher Rock Church in Quezon City.  I was blessed to share from the Word on pursuing a life partner.  Those who attended received the Word with eagerness and I was encouraged afterwards by several texts and facebook comments.  Here is one of them…

Pastor Sean. How are you? Just to encourage you. Your talk about unequally yoked relationships in our Single's Conference has borne fruit. One of the guys in our bible study after hearing your talk decided to break up with his nonbeliever girl friend the following day. He has already heard many times of the folly of this relationship but he was hoping for a "missionary" relationship. He already had this girl friend when he became a Christian and he was pining that she also becomes a believer but it didn't happen that way.

Praise God....take care...

On another note, we have been getting some encouraging notes from our son Kian.  Although we miss him, we are very excitement about his studies and enjoyment of The Master’s College.  He wrote…

           I’m really loving it here and I love the reading.  The books we are required to read are sooooo good.  Sprinted through Genesis, literally 25 chapters due every other class period, but it was really cool reading it that fast, and seeing the progression and the history in a plot form, rather than out of order stories.

He also said that the week of welcome or “WOW week” made a big impression on him.  He said that after all the fun events each day a speaker would share a different distinctive of TMC.  He was very impressed with their commitment to The Word, Discipleship, Worship…and the challenge to live these distinctives out.

How you can pray for us: 
  • Pray for the Greene and Luciano families as they raise support to join our team in the Philippines.
  • Pray that God would continue to give us wisdom and favor as we seek to follow His leading of our ministry.
  • Pray for Kian as he studies at the Master’s College and that the Lord would continue to grow his faith and biblical worldview.
  • Pray that the Lord would continue to guide Jessica and I as we shepherd the hearts of our children.
  • Pray that God would raise more supporters for us to keep us on the mission field doing His work.