We believe that planting spiritually healthy churches is impossible without first making the investment to equip the local pastors who will lead them. That equipping begins with the establishment of a TCCP at the EPPIC Journey (EJ) location eight to twelve months prior to the U.S. team arriving in country. Where the TCCP Omega Course leaves off, the Bible Seminar picks up. Whereas the Omega Course is analogous to military basic training and gives the local national pastors the basic knowledge needed to begin performing the duties and responsibilities of a church plant pastor, the Bible Seminar is a forty-hour intensive study on "The Theological Foundations of Effective Ministry" conducted by a seminary-trained minister with pastoral experience.
The Bible Seminar is based on the four components of effective ministry as defined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thes. 1:1-8. Those four components are: 1) Evangelism in the power of the Holy Spirit (verse 5a), 2) Setting the example (verse 5b), 3) Getting others to imitate you (verses 6-7), and 4) Teaching others to reproduce steps 1-3 (verse 8). An outline of the topics taught is provided below.
1. Evangelism in the Power of the Holy Spirit:
A. The Four Spiritual Laws.
B. Using the EvangeCube to present the Gospel.
C. Witnessing to Muslims or Catholics depending on the country.
2. Setting the Example:
A. The Five Functions of the Church.
B. The Three Types of Spiritual Fruit.
C. Rightly Dividing the Word (Detailed Lesson on Hermeneutics).
D. Rightly Knowing the Word:
1) The Doctrine of the Trinity.
2) The Gospel According to Paul (Study of Romans).
3. Getting Others to Imitate You: "It’s all About Discipleship"
A. Giving church members Bibles and teaching them how to use it (This should be the number one fund raising priority in every church.).
B. Teaching church members how to witness using the EvangeCube (The first verses memorized should be those needed to share one’s faith with others.).
C. Conducting age-based Sunday school classes.
D. Organizing into mid-week small group Bible studies in people’s homes.
E. Implementing expository teaching and preaching at all levels.
4. Teaching Others to Reproduce Steps 1-3:
A. Implementing an outreach/evangelism program.
B. Implementing a teacher training program.
C. Implementing a new believer’s discipleship program.
D. Developing ministries so that spiritual gifts can be utilized.
E. Communicating God’s expectation for His children and His churches to spiritually reproduce.
Below are a couple of videos containing brief personal testimonies from two of the pastors who have attended one of these Bible Seminars. Their own words best express the dire need for this training and the immediate impact that it has had on the effectiveness of their ministries.
In accordance with our Ministry Model, a Bible Seminar is incorporated into each EJ. Having graduated TCCP, each mission point pastor receives this final preparatory training one week before the U.S. team arrives in country, thus ensuring that they are fully equipped to disciple all the new believers that Christ will bring into their new churches during the EPPIC Journey. In June 2015, God led us to extend the Bible Seminar training to the pastors' wives, so now each church plant pastor's wife receives the theological training needed for her to be able to confidently assist her husband in the discipleship process of those won to Christ during the EPPIC Journey.
The need for pastoral training is so great, especially in the remote areas and villages in countries all around the world. So many of these dedicated servants of God have never had the opportunity to attend any formal theological training, and if we don’t take it to them, they never will. Therefore, we also want to provide independent Bible Seminars that are not necessarily connected to an EPPIC Journey. The all-inclusive cost of an independent Bible Seminar is $8,000. This includes the cost of feeding each of the fifty attendees breakfast and lunch for five days, which they could not afford to provide on their own. It also includes the money to provide each attendee with at least twenty New Testaments that they can use to disciple the members of their churches.
If you would like to help us equip local national pastors and their wives by donating to a future independent Bible Seminar, please click here.