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Northeastern Presbytery Held Leadership Training

September 26, 2014

Ministers from the 7 states in the Northeastern Region gathered in New York City on Tuesday for the start of a three-day leadership training event that included lectures on organizing messages, delivering the message and keeping in mind the goal of a bible study student's commitment for Christ and God's Kingdom.

The first day of the event featured five brief lectures, several prayer opportunities and discussions on how to apply the lectures in the mission field. The retreat continues on Wednesday with a full day of lectures and activities, followed by the final day on Thursday.

LECTURES

ORGANIZING THE MESSAGES - In a lecture about organizing the messages being delivered, ministers heard about the importance of discerning the hearts of listeners in order to deliver the right messages to help their faith grow faster. 

The lecture goes on to talk about the biblical blind man, Bartimeus, who responded quickly and with passion as he heard that Jesus was walking by. The ministers were told that students like Bartimeus (Mark 10) that seek mercy from God would see Jesus as not only savior but teacher. For such people it was suggested that they receive as many messages as needed to satisfy their need for God's grace.  

DELIVERING THE MESSAGES - In a lecture for delivering the messages, the importance of approaching the word of God with fear and a trembling heart was stressed (1 Corinthians 2). Like the Apostle Paul, ministers were encouraged realize the limits of using human wisdom or arguments. Instead, they were encouraged to rely fully on God's word. Listeners were also urged to understand that God's spirit, not human effort, would lead the bible study students to faith.

GOAL OF COMMITMENT TO CHRIST - Another lecture focused on keeping in mind the goal of commitment to Jesus Christ and God's Kingdom. Ministers were told that even one bible study planted in a person's heart carries in it the hope for God's Kingdom. Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a tiny mustard seed that grows into the largest of trees to become a resting place for many birds (Matthew 13).

Missionaries heard that a person's commitment to Christ not is not only about personal salvation, but it is also a part of God's greater plan for the salvation of many more people for his Kingdom (Romans 8:29).

Jesus himself began his ministry by preaching repentance of sins, for people to turn around from evil ways and walk again towards God. That preceded entrance into God's Kingdom. "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near," Jesus preached (Matthew 3).

GROUP ACTIVITY

After each of the lectures ministers were guided to pair up with others who spoke the same native language to share more deeply about the way the training lectures could be applied in the mission field.

PRAYER

The day also included several periods of prayer for repentance and gratitude, as well as prayer so that God could open their hearts to receive the guidance he was being offered during the training.

The all-day event concluded with a prayer giving thanks to God for giving a hope for the mission ahead.

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