By Matthews Varghese, Central India Network
The training and developing of leaders along with the partnership of BILD in our churches have made a huge impact upon the believers. It has really uplifted the church in its every aspect of life such as pastoral, ministerial and missional. It has taken away the misconception that existed among Christian leaders as well as among believers that theological education is only meant for pastors and evangelists, and they are trained only in seminaries. So this new paradigm has shifted the perspective of leaders and the believers regarding church and their role in the local church.
During the pandemic, the cohort gatherings were continued through online media. In fact, it became wider and more regular as we did not have to travel around to different places to conduct the cohorts. We had regular cohorts conducted in Hallelujah Church Bhopal, Raipur, Mandla, Goa etc. Our Doctorate Of Ministry cohort also regularly met every Thursday.
One of our candidates who is pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry shared his experience. His name is Rev. Jinu John; the name of his church was The City Fellowship Church in Bhopal. He has most of his believers from a non-Christian background. Ever since he joined with the BILD study program, he started teaching the believers The First Principles Series. He says it has helped the believers to be strongly founded in the gospel and in its implications. Oftentimes the preaching alone that is only on Sundays does not help the believers to understand what the gospel is and to walk in its implications. But the teachings of The First Principles Series regularly in small groups helps the believers to learn and understand it. They have been taught on the transformation of their character, i.e. how to behave themselves in the household of God, and in societal life. All these teachings—not as a one time event but as an ongoing process of developing the believers—have brought tremendous change in the lives of people. Rev. Jinu John had also chosen a few for leadership series courses and was teaching Acts with them. So altogether the philosophy of the way of Christ and His Apostles has changed his perspective in the ministry as well as in the lives of people in the church.