Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Worthy Investment

As many of you know, we are now based in Southern Michigan so that we can spend a greater percentage of time working on the Log College Network. We will still be traveling, preaching, and singing, but I would like to share with you the burden God has given us for coming along side pastors and churches as they endeavor to disciple their own leaders into productive ministry.

We completed the first year of the Log College Network just as the first Sermons in Song tour began, and we were delighted to participate in the ordination of the first candidate to work through the ordination preparation program. He continues to minister faithfully to his congregation in Fremont, California. Then, this past year saw a group of men the Lord brought together in Hillsdale County, Michigan, and we joyfully watched as those men have gone on to minister in their respective ministries. This year we are excited to have another group formed in St Clair County, Michigan, while we also have a follow-up year with a few of the men from the Hillsdale County group.

There are many men who desire to be mentored into ministry, but the most common solution of obtaining seminary education is inadequate to the task. While the classroom can educate the mind of the pastor well, Scripture lays the task of training these men at the feet of their pastor. This responsibility of leadership development was modeled by the Lord’s training of His disciples, and it was modeled by the apostle Paul’s relationship with Timothy.

But what happens where the art of mentoring into ministry has been passed off to Bible Colleges and Seminaries? We end up with churches who don’t see pastoral training as part of their mission, and we end up with pastors who are poorly equipped to reproduce themselves. Some educational institutions see this need and institute some sort of mentoring, but the educational environment is not well suited to such relationships. The church, however, is ideally suited for the task.

Thankfully, many pastors and churches are increasingly aware of the need, but where is a busy pastor going to find someone to model the mentoring relationship and help them through the process? For those who press on, the resources that are available to them are scattered and disconnected, so training a young leader becomes a daunting task. LCN exists to collect resources and organize them in a curriculum that enables local churches and their leadership to reclaim their responsibility to mentor men into ministry. We also aim to use technology to facilitate the sharing of experience and expertise between churches that share this goal.

LCN provides a rigorous (but flexible) curriculum designed around the best materials collected from centuries of Christian scholarship. Then, using that curriculum as a framework, participating mentors are guided through the year-long process of training a future leader. Along the way, the mentors are invited to collaborate and encourage one another as they discover the invigorating joy of seeing a leader’s ministry blossom before their very eyes. For every leader who is trained, a congregation is blessed beyond measure, but when both that leader and church capture the vision to reproduce themselves, the potential for the spread of the gospel is staggering!

We are convinced this is a worthy investment, and we are committing much of the time and resources God has given us. In addition, we would like to invite you to partner with us this coming year; your prayers and continued support are vital to this endeavor. If you would like to hear more about LCN or schedule a personal tour through the curriculum, please call or get in touch with us through this website, Facebook, or email. As always, we earnestly covet your prayers.

Your servant,
Tom Pryde