Monday, September 03, 2012

The Expositor's Academy's First Graduation

It didn't really hit home until I started seeing their families and their pictures and posts on Facebook. Reading the congratulations from friends and family caused me to reflect on what they had done after almost five years of teaching, studying and assignments.  Our first class graduated from the Expositor's Academy on June 1 and it happened so fast that it felt like just another class gathering or worship service at church instead of the climax of finishing their courses.    It wasn't until a few days after the graduation that I began to process this milestone.  As the posts of our students began to emerge on facebook, I was reminded that this ministry is not just important to me, but it is also important to the 23 men and 2 women who graduated as well as to their churches that they minister in.

Over the years, I watched many of them grow in their convictions for the authority and sufficiency of God's Word.  I saw their regard for God's Word increase and their resolve to accurately proclamation what it says.  I saw them develop a biblical world view and a biblical philosophy of ministry; concepts that were foreign to many of them before they began their studies with T.E.A.

Vincent Greene

Since Vincent Greene flew out to help teach a couple of one-week modules for us just a week earlier, I asked him to deliver the commencement message for our first graduating class.  He shared from 1st Thess. 2:1-12 exhorting our graduates, telling them how a biblical framework for ministry and preaching impacts our lives.  He said that it will 1) make us more passionate for the gospel, 2) keep us centered on the biblical text, 3) keep us humble 4) develop a servants heart in us, and 5) It will keep us holy.

Here are just some of our graduates receiving their diplomas from the Expositor's Academy.  I wish I could put up everyone's pictures and stories, but time and internet speed just do not permit.

Vincent was accompanied for part of the time by his home church Cornerstone Fellowship in Riverside, California.  Pastor Mike Berry led the team as they helped serve at the graduation and with ministry in the community with a local church and the urban poor.  Mike also helped teach a Biblical Interpretation Module with Vincent.

During the graduation we have a short time to allow students to share testimonies of how God had used the Expositor's Academy in their lives.  This was unplanned, but I just felt the Lord prompting me to ask if any one would like to share.  The results were humbling and a blessing to me.  Several of them shared how they used to give a talk on sunday morning and stitch it together with some verses going where ever the wind carried them.  One shared how he has grown in his discernment and expects to hear what God has said in His Word when he hears it preached, and now strives to say what  God intended to communicate when he is the one preaching.  Another shared how they are more series about their faith and are now serving in ways that they had never done before.

Many of our graduates are eagerly sending friends and church mates to join the start of our new class that is planned to start in September.  Some of our graduates will also go on to be a part of our first master's level courses which we hope to start in 2013 if we have the man power and support.

The Expositor's Academy Class of 2012

Sean and Jessica Ransom
To all our graduates, Jessica and I wish the Lord's blessing on you, your ministries and your families.  We look forward to partnering with you more in the future and seeing what you do for His kingdom.