Karis Church is sending several leaders to plant Coram Deo church in North Carolina. Core team member Josh Matejka shares his thoughts on answering God’s call to plant churches.Read More
Ever desired to attend seminary but couldn't find the time or money? Do you learn better through conversation more than the classroom? Porterbrook Learning may be right for you. Originally developed in the U.K. by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester, Porterbrook (PB) has now trained thousands of believers around the world in missional theology. God has used PB to train folks in our church for almost ten years. We can't recommend it highly enough!
Porterbrook Learning takes place over two years, although you can commit to one year (and technically even one term) at a time. Learning takes place through outside reading and exercises and then, as participants come together to discuss the material, in a weekly cohort. Each term, which is composed of four units, lasts nine weeks. You can learn more about it here. Karis Church, as a part of Acts 29, also is eligible for a terrific discount. There will be one women's and one men's cohort held each week. The details are below. Email us for more information or contact the appropriate group leader. An example schedule, which corresponds with this fall, is below. Also, hear what Pastor Matt Chandler has to say about Porterbrook.
Kim Still - Women's Cohort - Thursdays at 6 am
Barry Still - Men's Cohort - Mondays at 6 am
Courses: Gospel Change, Gospel Community, Evangelism, Bible in Missional Perspective
Dates: Weeks of Sept. 11, 18, 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23; Nov. 6, 13
The Karis elders developed Lead School to help us grow to a deeper understanding of our Christian faith, along with its implications in the life of believers. While Lead School is very important for men and women interested in church leadership, it is highly encouraged for everyone in the church who wants to be challenged and learn more about God.
Most sessions are two hours long, divided in two one-hour “blocks.” You can come for one, or both. We don’t mind either way. The first block is devoted to an exploration of systematic theology: what Christians generally believe about various theological concepts. The second block is typically a Christian living/practical theology concept. Regarding the first block, while we think it will be beneficial to come to every session, each class is also standalone. Come to all or one. Either way, we think you'll be encouraged.
During Lead School, several books will be referred to as recommended reading. These books are not required, but the majority of our teaching materials will come from them. If you must choose one book, grab the first; the others just allow you to go deeper. However, no outside reading from these works is required.
- Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem
- Twenty Great Truths: Equipping Leaders in Biblical Doctrine by Scott Thomas
- Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
To make Lead School accessible to everyone, approved Karis Kids workers will be on hand to watch children during both blocks. The cost to parents is $3.00 per child. This price is per class, so if you come for the whole thing or just one of the blocks, it’s still $3.00 per child. You can pay with cash or check made out to Karis Church.
The courses for 2016-2017 are available here, so mark your calendars and plan to attend.
This past week, I sat across from a young man who told me the same thing I've heard many times. His church doesn't have a plan for developing leaders. When he pressed the existing leaders for one, he was told they didn't have time for that. What? I have a couple of problems with that.* First, developing leaders is meant to be a priority of church leaders. It's an important aspect of our calling as pastors. Let me explain. All believers are called to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), and that includes those called to be pastors. Christian leaders are called to pass on the teachings of Jesus to those who can then teach others (2 Timothy 2:2), and that responsibility can't be neglected. Pastors are entrusted to equip believers for ministry, and that must involve those set apart for the eldership (Eph. 4:12). Elders are also charged with leading local churches made up of people with diverse, spiritual gifts. Those gifts are meant to be utilized and cultivated, and that certainly includes teaching and leading. Here's the first problem. If this is a significant part of our calling, how can we not make time for it?
I have my ideas as to why. We've assumed two roles we were never intended to hold. One is that of a service-providing clergyman. They toss the money into the basket. We take care of church business - preaching, visiting, shepherding, evangelizing, even cleaning. This of course encourages professionalism. The laity aren't deemed qualified to contribute. Only those with seminary training or vocational ministry experience can serve. It also encourages consumerism. We provide the goods and services. They eat up. Our people aren't there to serve but be served.
Another role we've taken is that of the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) We oversee servants, moving them around like pawns as we will. This produces program-driven ministry. Religious services are provided. People serve only as cogs in the wheels of a machine. They are used rather than developed. This also results in separated, isolated pastors. We don't know the people. We just manage them, looking down from our elevated offices. We're ranchers, not shepherds. This is why we don't have time for leadership development. We're too busy being leaders - leaders our people depend upon - either to give them lots of stuff or to call all the shots. God calls us to something greater. We're meant to be gospel-centered equippers - men who equip and empower out of a deep confidence in, and dependence upon, the gospel.
That leads to a second problem I have with one who has "no time for training leaders." What do we call it when we don't do something God calls us to do? It's not just foolish, neglecting our priorities. It's sinful. We're disobeying the word of God. Yet, why do we do this? Put simply, we're idolaters. Pastors, like all others, have exchanged God for idols (Rom. 1:23). We've chosen the creation over the Creator (Rom. 1:25). There is a sin under the sin of not developing leaders. I'd argue, in fact, that there are sins. I'll take a look at several in the upcoming posts.
*Let me say clearly and honestly that my church isn't perfect, and no doubt has numerous holes that could be pointed out in blog articles.