Equip by the Ministry | Cord magazine

When generous donors approached temple staff at First Baptist Church (FBC) about a large donation they wanted to make for a special project, Senior Pastor Joe Loughlin and Pastor of Education and Communications Evan Duncan began to dream.

The church had recently implemented a team approach to preparing sermons. The FBC temple has two sites on its campus, and a commitment to present a live sermon in worship meant that two preachers were needed to preach the four weekly services in each location. While Loughlin and Duncan preach the majority of the sermons, Worship and Care Pastor David Goddard and Missions Minister Josh Flores Olvera also preach regularly. This preaching group began to prepare their sermons as a team.

Thanks to the new team approach, each team member preaches their own sermon, but with input from the rest of the team on illustrations, language and text comprehension. The FBC Temple is a growing church and each service includes several generations, genders, ethnicities, origins and experiences. With the opportunity offered by their donors and given their new model of sermon preparation, Loughlin and Duncan considered adding a seminary student as a resident preacher to their team. The Resident, they believed, could gain the necessary preaching experience while adding a useful perspective to their preaching team.

Interested in exploring this idea, Loughlin and Duncan turned to a place where they knew they could find a knowledgeable, mind-led seminary student: the Truett Seminary at Baylor University. After a meeting between the FBC Temple teams and Truett, the Truett Ministry Resident Program was born.

Part mentorship opportunity, part ministry internship, the Ministry Resident Program is designed to connect some of Truett’s most gifted and motivated students with ministry opportunities in the major partner churches of the Truett Church Network. (TCN). For students, the program offers invaluable hands-on experience and training to better equip them for ministry tasks in addition to providing mentoring opportunities and gaining experience on healthy church staff. Churches then have the opportunity to integrate the training of young ministers into their mission while receiving an additional part-time staff member.

“Jesus told us that the disciples are no greater than their teachers, but those who are well trained will be like their teachers. Transformative seminary education requires both classroom instruction and learning opportunities in dynamic ministry settings.

Todd D. Still, PhD,
Dean of Truett Seminary

Interested students pledge to invest 10 to 15 hours per week in church ministry while partner churches pledge at least $ 10,000 to the Truett Church Network to support this student’s work over the course of ‘one academic year. One hundred percent of this donation is given to the resident in the form of a scholarship.

After creating the Resident Ministry Program model with FBC Temple, the Truett Church Network shared the new program with a number of central Texas churches closely related to Truett. The Program quickly began to multiply.

Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas and Primera Iglesia Bautista in Waco soon followed the FBC Temple as partner churches in the Ministry Resident Program.

Emmanuel Roldan, senior pastor at Primera, explained that over the past five years, many students at Truett have blessed his church in ways he never imagined, and the heart of the church has always been to provide tangible ways to bless them in return by equipping and sending them as they answer God’s call on their lives. The Truett Resident Program has brought together this desire to bless Truett’s students with the mechanism to do so as the church grows and needs ministers to lead the fellowship, discipling and equipping Primera members. .

“We believe that the ministry’s resident program will help us carry out our mission in a tangible way that will bless our students, devotees and the Waco community,” said Roldan.

Concord Church in Dallas first contacted Truett’s ministerial relations office for help filling several positions. During their discussions, Jack Bodenhamer, Deputy Director of Ministry Connections at Truett, shared with Charnay Parks, People and Culture Business Partner at Concord, the Truett Resident Program. After further visits with Truett administration, staff and students, Concord decided to jump into the Truett Resident Program with both feet.

“Our founding pastor, Dr. EK Bailey, is known as the preaching godfather of African American exhibitions,” said Aaron Moore, adult ministry pastor at Concord. “But, another component of Dr. Bailey’s legacy was his ability to train, train and reproduce pastors. During his tenure as Senior Pastor, Dr Bailey trained over 100 pastors who continued to lead their own congregations. The Resident Program gives us the blessed privilege of carrying on this legacy of growing disciples who are called to serve the local church.

“We believe that the ministry’s resident program will help us carry out our mission in a tangible way that will bless our students, devotees and the Waco community.”

Emmanuel Roldan, Senior Pastor at Primera Iglesia Bautista

These partner churches have high expectations of what the Truett Resident program will do in the life of the resident and in the life of their church.

“We hope that the Spirit continually shapes each resident to become a learned Shepherd,” said Moore. “We believe our partnership with Truett Seminary will help develop future pastors and spiritual leaders who are shaped and shaped by their work at Truett and Concord.”

Roldan adds that he hopes through this program, “every church member is challenged to ask questions about their particular calling. Important questions will be raised in the lives of church members as they see future ministers living their calling among them.

Each partner church will structure the residence according to the needs of the church and the donations of the Resident.

Primera recently called on Cintia Aguilar as a resident for the fall semester. Aguilar and her family worshiped and served at Primera while she was enrolled in Truett, so she knows the church well. Her work will focus on raising awareness in the community as she seeks to create opportunities for fellowship and partnerships with local nonprofit organizations while assisting in the pastoral care of the congregation.

After meeting with Truett’s administration, staff and students, Concord decided to hire not one, but two residents, Memory Jora and Marciel Whitehurst. Residence at Concord is designed to give their students experience in all areas of church life. Concord will provide access to a model ministry in one of the country’s leading African American churches, providing opportunities to work with children, students and adults in mission, worship, discipleship and evangelism. According to Moore, this access will help each resident shape their ecclesiology as they seek to develop their own personal philosophy of ministry. Moore hopes Concord will increasingly become a hub for training young ministers and their release to serve in historically African-American churches across the country.

“I have come to realize that effective discipleship and spiritual training are essential to my success and to my legacy as a ministry leader,” Whitehurst said. “Not only that, effective discipleship and spiritual training are needed to help others grow in their faith. Although I gain extensive practical experience, I look forward to leadership development. I think Concord is a great ministry to serve and to learn.

Jora hopes to grow spiritually, in wisdom and in discernment. She hopes “to come out of this experience by truly understanding what it means to work in the ministry and to dedicate her life to serving God and his creation.”

“I hope that any areas of weakness that I have will also be strengthened and that I will create lasting relationships with my Spiritual Leaders and Mentors.”

Just as church leaders initially envisioned, FBC Temple’s residency will focus on preaching. The church recently called Hannah Brown as its first resident. Brown will participate in weekly sermon development meetings with other staff pastors and preach monthly in several departments.

“I pray that our church will become a church that sends more and more Christian leaders into the world, and I look forward to seeing how the Spirit can speak through our Resident in our teaching meetings, our evaluations of. sermons and in the Resident’s own. preach, ”said Duncan of FBC Temple. “As news broke of Brown’s selection to be our resident, several young women have already approached her to express how seeing Hannah in this position opened their imaginations as to how God could use them as well as other women for the Kingdom. May the Spirit inspire all our imaginations in this way.

For his part, Brown, who hopes to continue pastoral ministry after graduation, said, “I hope this residency will equip me better for the ministry of the church, give me confidence in my preaching abilities. and leadership and will help me connect with passionate leadership and congregation. of the First Temple.

The Truett Resident program represents a huge and exciting opportunity for Truett Seminary. The program deepens the seminary partnership with vibrant local churches while simultaneously providing a high-level ministry experience for students called to serve the church. It is yet another way for Truett to accomplish his mission of equipping the women and men called by God for Kingdom ministry in and alongside the Church of Christ.

“Jesus told us that the disciples are no greater than their teachers, but those who are well trained will be like their teachers. Transformative seminary education requires both excellent classroom instruction and learning opportunities in healthy and vibrant ministry settings, ”said Todd D. Still, PhD, Seminary Dean. “The Truett Seminary Residency Program was initiated to give students and churches the opportunity to partner in the vital and dynamic work of ministerial training. Under the able and able leadership of the Office of Ministry Connections of Truett and the Truett Church Network, there is every reason to believe that the initial success of this new and necessary initiative is only the beginnings of a greater harvest. future. ”

To learn more about the Ministry Resident Program at Baylor’s Truett Seminary and how your church can get involved, visit www.baylor.edu/truett/residentprogram.

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