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LACC

Latin America Resource
and Training Center
 

Influencing Generations of Ministers
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

It was a quiet milestone. After serving 16 years in pastoral ministry, we’ve now completed 16 years of missionary service.  It’s a good time to pause and reflect! Our focus during our pastoral years was Christian education and facilitating effective ministry. Our missionary ministry is guided by God’s call to raise up Christian leaders.

Influencing Generations of MinistersAs missionaries we have learned that our principle role is not to mandate ministry. We are guests in the countries we serve. We lead by influence rather than by authority. We are in charge of ministries that exist to serve. We are stewards of a shared vision; and even that vision comes from the Lord.

This describes the ministry of the Resource and Advisory Center. The Center serves more than 900 Bible schools, extensions and study centers in the 20 Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. If you’re up to the challenge and would like to strengthen your Spanish, please visit the Center’s website, www.ElAsesor.org.

In the last few weeks we have conducted some important meetings and offer the following reports:

Influencing Generations of MinistersNational Strategic Dialogue—Costa Rica, February 2009

One of critical needs we have observed in our work with Bible schools throughout Latin America is the lack of a cohesive national vision and strategy for ministerial training. As a result we began conducting National Strategic Dialogues (NSD) in different countries.

The purpose of the 10-hour intensive Dialogue is to:

  • Reflect upon the unique history and founding values of the Bible school(s) in the country.

  • Evaluate and revise these values based upon the perspectives of the national church, Bible school leadership, professors and students.

  • Express the purpose and values of the Bible school in a concise Mission Statement.

  • Begin strategic planning focusing on one needy component of the statement.

Influencing Generations of MinistersThe NSD in Costa Rica in February was the sixth that we’ve conducted. Although the same methodology is used, each strategic dialogue takes its own course. The 25 Costa Rica Bible school leaders present developed the following mission statement:

We are a Pentecostal theological institution committed to excellence in the integral training of workers, cooperating with the church in the expansion of the Kingdom of God.

Influencing Generations of MinistersThis, of course, is a translation.  Each Spanish word is carefully chosen and is packed full of meaning.  It’s safe to say that the mission statement loses a lot in translation. But this statement, especially the process used to develop it, now guide the team of Costa Rican leaders, pastors and directors to implement this vision both nationally and locally in each Bible school.

 

International Educational Leaders Dialogue and Bible School Curriculum Review Commission—Panama, March 2009

Influencing Generations of MinistersLess than two weeks after the NSD in Costa Rica, a group of 27 Superintendents, National Bible School Directors, missionaries and international ministry leaders gathered in Panama City for the 2009 International Educational Leaders Dialogue. We host this event every two years.

This year’s Dialogue was unique because we scheduled the Bible School Curriculum Review Commission meeting for the first two days and invited all to attend both meetings. All but a couple attended both meetings. The Curriculum Commission has been working for the last two years on updating the basic curriculum plan. The new plan will be presented to the Latin America Christian Education Committee that will be meeting in September. This committee is made up of the superintendents, directors of Christian education and international ministry leaders from the 20 Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Half of those leaders were present for this commission meeting, strategically important for preparing for the presentation of the new plan.

Influencing Generations of MinistersAfter two days of curriculum planning, the group was warmed up to move into the Dialogue. The Dialogue uses a tested and proven methodology that includes four segments:

1. Country and Ministry Reports.  Each country provides a report for the previous year that includes statistical information, new programs, needs and challenges. Each country is asked to identify a single urgent need for Bible School ministry in its country. International ministries also report and are asked to indicate a need. Each need is added to a list of nominations.

2. Selection of Themes.  The list of nominated needs is reviewed. Similar needs are consolidated. The large group then selects 3-5 needs to consider in the Dialogue.

3. Small Groups.  Attendees number off and small groups are formed. Each group draws a theme “out of the hat,” thereby leaving “to the Lord” the assignment of themes to small groups. Groups are asked to fully define the need, brainstorm a list of possible solutions and develop a preliminary plan and timetable. Each group presents a written report that is shared with the large group.

4. Planning.  The group in session serves as the International Bible School Committee. Time is spent reviewing and updating ongoing initiatives and agenda items from previous meetings, as well as considering new items based upon the Dialogue experience. This planning segment also includes preparation for the International Educators Summits that take place the following year.

Influencing Generations of MinistersThis year’s reports were interesting as always. We were privileged to have Osmany Cruz, the director of the Cuban Bible school program. It’s amazing to think that there are 3,628 Cubans attending the Bible school program. The Cuban program is distinct because they don’t have a building. They have 12 extension sites and dozens more study centers, mostly in homes. The single greatest need that the Cuban program has is the distribution of materials to the various study sites. One of the superintendents present, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, committed each country to raise funds to help purchase a truck for the Assemblies of God of Cuba! It was an incredible moment.

Influencing Generations of MinistersBecause of the larger attendance this year, five small groups were able to consider five different needs:

1. Equipment and Library needs for Bible schools

2. Unified educational program that includes standards, textbooks, accreditation, curriculum plan, national vision and Pentecostal identify

3. Effective and ongoing training of teachers that fulfills international standards

4. Improve training of students based upon established profiles that have a balance of knowledge and practice.

5. Encourage and maintain a contextualized Pentecostal emphasis in each Bible school

2010 Educators Summits
Managua, Nicaragua, March 1-4 and Santiago, Chile, Aug. 30-Sept. 2

Influencing Generations of MinistersWe are grateful to God for the opportunity and influence that our ministry has had to impact ministerial training. 2 Timothy 2:2 has long been a guiding verse in our ministry: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witness entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” With one heart, our international leadership team adopted this verse and “Priority 1: Transgenerational Ministerial Training” as the theme for the 2010 Educators Summits.

Join us in believing God for influence and impact that will leave a renewable legacy of competent, Pentecostal ministers throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America for generations to come!