Monday, December 31, 2012

Impacting Churches, not Just Men

Sometimes it's easy to get so caught up in your day to day ministry that you fail to see the over all impact that your ministry is having.  During our classes it was evident that what we were teaching was impacting individual students during class as I saw them grasping concepts and growing in their biblical convictions.  However, on December 14th, I was blessed at The Expositor's Academy Christmas party when I heard the testimonies of some of our students.  They reminded me that our training ministry is not only impacting them individually, but it is also impacting the churches they minister in.

Pastor Ted
Pastor Ted is a great example, for instance, because he was a hard student to read.  He has been preaching for many years and already seemed to have a good grasp of scripture when he first started with us In the classroom, he always smiled, had good input when he shared and did very well in our preaching classes.  I sometimes wondered if he was getting much out of my teaching and thought that maybe he went to our school simply because he enjoyed the teaching and fellowship, despite being well versed in what we were teaching.  That is why I was surprised by his testimony.  He shared that before he came to TEA he used to jump all over the place, from topic to topic, when he preached! This was a surprise to me, He went on to share that after studying under TEA, he now preaches expository messages through books of the Bible at his church.

Pastor Rey
Another dear pastor, Pastor Rey, shared how TEA shaped his philosophy of ministry.  By training, he is a CPA and was serving as an elder in his church till the pastor retired and basically told him it's all yours now.  Pastor Rey left a good paying CPA career to shepherd his church, and in his desire to grow his ministry skills, he invited TEA to hold classes in his church.  I learned that when he became the pastor of his church, he inherited the elders and leaders there  and that they were not familiar with what Scripture has to say about the qualifications for elders.  Through TEA he learned what Paul taught in 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1 regarding church leadership and over the past few years his church has worked to get all their elders on board with what Scripture says regarding the qualifications of elders.  Because he is such a wise and loving pastor, he was able to lead several godly women to change their roles in the Church so as to follow God's design for the Church.  Pastor Rey did this without losing or shaming any of them.

Pastor Erwin
About a year ago I shared about Pastor Erwin who is now committed to expository preaching.  He made the switch and is currently preaching through Romans on Sundays and Leviticus during mid-week bible study.  His elder board and worship team are also going through a reformation as they are seeking to honor God's Word.  

Pastor David
Brother Mon
I am pleased that at least three of our men are planting churches: Pastor David, Brother Mon, and Pastor Rudy.  I often get the opportunity to counsel these dear brothers as they seek to minister God's Word, God's way.
Pastor Rudy

Many more stories like these have been shared with me, and, Lord willing, I'll share them sometime in the near future.  What a blessing it has been to reflect and share with my students what God has been doing in and through them outside of our class rooms.