Teaching Ministry of the ICOC

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Year-End Good News from ICOC Teachers

L-R: Arturo Elizarraras presents newly appointed congregational teachers, Jose Carlos Alaniz, Oscar & Carolina Figueroa

L-R: Arturo Elizarraras presents newly appointed congregational teachers, Jose Carlos Alaniz, Oscar & Carolina Figueroa

MEXICO CITY: the Latin American School of Missions was initiated in February of 2018 with 10 young interns being paid and trained full-time.

On April 29, 2018 an historical congregational event was held. Over 7,500 were in attendance to witness the appointment of the first elders ever in the Mexico City Church, as well as the recognition of three new teachers for the congregation — the first since the appointment of Arturo Elizarraras in 2003: Jose Carlos Alaniz, and a married couple, Oscar and Carolina Figueroa, were all three appointed congregational teachers (photo at right), Maestros de la Biblia! What a glorious day of celebration of the power of God and the power of becoming one!

Arturo Elizarraras introduces the ten new students in the Latin American School of Missions

Arturo Elizarraras introduces the ten new students in the Latin American School of Missions

 

LAGOS, NIGERIA — On Sunday, August 19, 2018, the first brothers appointed to the role of Teacher on the continent of Africa by our movement of churches were recognized in the church in Lagos. These three men are Fred George, Emmanuel Emeh, and Gilbert Kimeng.

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For the last several years, New Jersey-based Teacher Steve Kinnard has been an active part of their training and mentoring. “It’s been a thrill to work with them,” says Kinnard. “I want to personally thank Dr. Douglas Jacoby for his work in West Africa. Douglas initiated the first Ministry Training Program which helped equip Fred, Emmanuel, and Gilbert to rise up and become teachers. Also, thanks to Joey Harris and other teachers who taught in the training program. I also want to thank the Rocky Mountain School Of Ministry and Theology for their work in training ministry leaders in our churches. All three of these teachers have taken courses at the RMSMT, and two of them are pursing degrees there. The RMSMT specializes in helping students in developing countries work toward advanced degrees in theology. Also, a big thanks to the Beam Fund for sponsoring a program that allowed me to focus on training and mentoring potential teachers in West Africa, French West Africa, and East Africa. The appointment/recognition of Fred, Emmanuel, and Gilbert is the direct result of their investment in the teaching ministry. Thanks to the Board of Directors of the Beam Fund for your partnership in this endeavor. Thanks too, to Chris and Rolayo Ogbonnaya and to the elders in Lagos for your warm invitation to me to help train and mentor teachers in West Africa. Your partnership has meant much to me over the years. My time spent in Africa training teachers has been one of the most satisfying tasks of my life. I appreciate your allowing me to use my gifts to help the disciples in Africa.” 

Prayer over newly-appointed teachers, Lagos, August 19, 2018

Prayer over newly-appointed teachers, Lagos, August 19, 2018

 

TORONTO, CANADA — We are experiencing exciting times in the congregation in Toronto, Canada, as God continues to raise up men and women to serve his church. On November 11, the whole church gathered together to witness the appointment of Kevin Robbins and Darrel Shaw as elders. They are recognized as shepherds, men of faith and maturity who have been called by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the role of overseers. They join Ed Bahula in this noble task.

Also, at this historic service, Dr. Scott Warlow was appointed a teacher. Scott is known for his deep love of the scriptures and desire to use his gifts to serve the church. We request your prayers as we build by faith and the help of the Holy Spirit, a teaching ministry that will provide opportunities for deep Bible teaching, practical application and enriched faith for the maturing of the saints and ultimately, for the glory of God!

Read the full article by Ed Bahula on Disciples Today

Dr. Scott Warlow, appointed congregational Teacher in Toronto on November 11, 2018

Dr. Scott Warlow, appointed congregational Teacher in Toronto on November 11, 2018

 

Watch this space for more year end updates from the Teachers Service Team

2017 Teachers Service Team Meeting Report

The Teachers Service Team met in early April in Dallas of 2017.

Here are the items we discussed:

The Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (RMSMT) 

We began with a report from Glenn Giles, the director of the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology in Denver. The school offers both online and hybrid (online and face-to-face) classroom courses toward three state authorized Master’s degrees, one in Christian Ministry and one in Biblical Studies and now a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies with Languages (Greek and Hebrew). The school also in its relationship with Lincoln Christian University provides for students to transfer up to half of the credits taken at RMSMT toward LCU accredited Masters degrees in ministry and theology, including specifically the Master of Arts in Bible and Theology and the Master of Divinity degrees. We have just had our first RMSMT student (Jan Louie Uy) transfer graduate credits into the LCU Master of Arts in Bible and Theology program.

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Many students are taking advantage of this affordable means of getting training in Bible study. Third World students are taking courses for one-fourth the tuition or less than first world students pay. It is one of our main mission goals to provide affordable graduate Bible and Ministry education to third world students. Students from the third world are very grateful for the online courses. They can have online discussions and learn from one another.

The school has been asked to create a Bachelors program. The certificate program is on hold right now as we look more at the Bachelor’s degree program for worldwide students. We had two students who began our trial certificate program but neither one has completed their first course successfully so we have discontinued the certificate program. What we are looking at doing is creating a regular MTA program here in Denver separate from the graduate or undergraduate programs of RMSMT. It would be for those students who may not be able to do graduate study or who do not want to do the full blown graduate or undergraduate level programs. But this has to be developed and would not be in our RMSMT catalog. It would be a separate entity.

Rolan Monje commented, “There has been an increase in interest for Bible knowledge in the last few years. This is especially true for older Disciples. The international component gives extra ‘sinews’ for connecting the worldwide moment. The students appreciate the teachers being active ministers.”

Steve Kinnard commented, “The school allows students to get a degree for a much reduced price before getting into Lincoln Christian University accredited degree program. The international fellowships brings a great dynamic to the online discussion. It is mutually beneficial for 1st and 3rd world partners.”

Dr. Glenn Giles is to be commended for the work he has put into the school. It was his dream to launch a theological school among our movement of churches, and the dream has become a reality.

Some of the accomplishments this year:

  1. Student enrollment has now increased to 46 students, half of which are first world students and half of which are third world students. We now have students in the Philippines, Singapore, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, UK, Haiti, and the US.
  2. We had our first transfer of credits of one of our students to LCU validating the quality of our programs are on a level equivalent with regional accreditation standards.

Ministry Training Academies (MTA)

The Teachers Service Team completed a core curriculum of twelve classes for our MTAs across the world.  The curriculum was approved by the Evangelists and Elders teams. Many MTAs have been started in various regions of the world. 

Most recently a MTA was started in Lagos, Nigeria to train and educate interns throughout English-speaking West Africa. Fred George is directing this school. 

Also, Steve Brown reports from Ecuador:

This year we started teaching the MTA curriculum online in Spanish for the South American churches (with the help of Sebastian Sierra and the help of a number of other teachers). We are talking with Glenn Giles about becoming the Spanish arm of the Denver school. We had over 200 students sign up for the first course.

We plan on making a directory of the schools in the near future. We also plan on making a directory of the recognized teachers across our churches. 

Committee Reports

  • Women’s Committee
    • A committee has been formed to research the women’s role from a biblical perspective and to discuss ways that the gifts of women can be utilized in a greater way to glorify God and strengthen our churches.
    • Although we have spent time discussing this issue, no paper has been started. Some of the teachers in the Chicago church and the US Midwest churches have been working on a paper.  We need to spend more focused and directed time on this important topic.
  • Technology
    • We continue to use various teaching platforms like Blackboard to get classes to our people.
  • Teacher Development
    • Valdur Koha encouraged us to take a fresh look at what we want to accomplish here. Some congregations, like Boston, do have programs where teachers are being trained. Steve Kinnard asked us to take a look globally. Steve has been training teachers in Africa and the Caribbean.
    • We should ask:
      • What goals can be set for regional families?
      • What are the regional needs?
      • What are best practices?
      • What are the best models?
    • Also, we must have local buy-in for this to be effective. It is crucial that we work with regional chairmen for this to make progress.
  • Disputable Matters & Hermeneutics
    • Although this has been a committee for years, we aren’t any closer to working on a paper than we were years ago. Although we understand the importance of the topic and some of us have written individually on the topic, it is difficult to get momentum as a group here. This is where a lack of resources hurts us. Most of us are working as full time staff in the ministry and doing the teaching ministry. If we could only focus on teaching, then these projects would be easier.
  • International Teachers Seminar/Biblical Study Tour
    • In October of 2016 Douglas Jacoby, Steve Kinnard, and Joey Harris co-led the 2016 Biblical Study Tour to the Holy Land. Everyone had a great time walking in the steps of Jesus. The highlight for most people was the Sunday church service with prayer time in the Garden of Gethsemane.
    • In August of 2017 Jacoby and Kinnard will lead another tour. 85 people from 20 different countries are attending.  The weather will be hot, but that will not not squelch the spirit of the participants.
    • Another tour is scheduled for late October of 2018. Information can be found at https://www.douglasjacoby.com/2018-biblical-study-tour/
    • We are discussing hosting a Teachers Conference alongside one of our upcoming Teachers Service Team meeting in 2018 or 2019. Be on the lookout for more information concerning this Teachers Conference.
  • Divorce and Remarriage: A paper on marriage, divorce, and remarriage has been completed. It has been sent to the evangelists and elders service teams for review.  After they review the paper, it will be posted for everyone to read and use.
  • Congregational Teaching: We want to capture and highlight what is going on currently in many of our churches. Some churches are doing an excellent job here. Resources are being created, but we need a way to advertise and distribute these resources.
  • Church Discipline Taskforce: A template and some background has been generated. We must figure out a way to disseminate this material to other people.
  • The Teachers Corner: The Teachers Service team has a presence on Disciples Today. It is called The Teachers Corner. Tammy Fleming has done an amazing job on this project. The material can also be found at teachicoc.org. We want to continue to add material to these sites.

ICOC 3.0

A big part of the April meeting was the discussion ICOC 3.0. Ed Anton opened our discussion with a couple of questions: Why is it needed for us to do this rethink for ICOC 3.0? How can we do a better job of bringing Jesus to the entire world? Then Ed suggested, “We must try to forge something very different from what we have done in the past–The cooperation of hierarchy with the benefits of autonomy.”

Here are a few points that were made by various people during our discussion:

  • Is the delegates system working?
  • We must ask the question–Is what we are doing working well? 1.5% growth is low with no plan or expectation for change.
  • We have lost a mantra as a movement. Our problem is not leadership. In Boston, discipleship was fantastic and simple. In ’86 to ’88 we grew fastest when we were assimilating as a movement. In ’97 Europe, Africa and the Middle East got stretched. We must revive the moment. That is more important than the structure. We must be clear about what our problem is. It takes 25 disciples to make a disciple now.
  • We don’t seem to be united on a global vision. What is the best global vision for us as a movement. Is there better wording that inspires us. What is our ethos and mantra?
  • We have set structure for the solution, but many people in our churches don’t understand what the problem really is. We have a concern about understanding the structure versus the mission. We are missing the component of diversity, younger people, and women in this meeting
  • We need cooperation and purpose. We must be cooperative with a structure that has a clear function.

Conclusion 

This discussion was healthy and vibrant. The next couple of days were spend in small group discussions on the topic.

To help prepare everyone for the ICOC 3.0 discussions, the Teachers Service Team was tasked with developing a few video lessons. The following brothers did an excellent job with their presentations:

  • Ed Anton – Cooperation in the New Testament 
  • Steve Staten – Cooperation, A Look Through the Church History
  • Gordon Ferguson – Cooperation and Autonomy, a Comparison
  • Valdur Koha – Organizing For the Future

Teachers Service Team Subcommittees:

  • Teacher Development. Valdur Koha, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard, Joey Harris, Rolan Monje
  • Congregational Teaching. Ed Anton, chair
    •        Fred Faller, Douglas Jacoby, Joey Harris
  • Technology. Arturo Elizarraras, chair
    •        Joey Harris
  • Accreditation/RMSMT: Glenn Giles, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard
  • Disputable Matters and Hermeneutics: Steve Staten, chair
    •        Douglas Jacoby, Joey Harris, Kay McKean, Steve Kinnard
  • Women’s Teaching Ministry. Kay McKean, Deb Anton, co-chair
    •        Suzette Lewis
  • International Teachers Seminar: Douglas Jacoby, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard
  • Divorce and Remarriage, a re-examination. Valdur Koha, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard, Suzette Lewis, Courtney Bailey
  • Church Discipline: Steve Staten, chair
    •        Deb Anton, Glenn Giles
  • Women’s Role
    •        Deb Anton, Suzette Lewis, Kay McKean, Steve Kinnard, Courtney Bailey
  • Teachers' Corner
    •        Tammy Fleming

Members of the Teachers Service Team:

Ed Anton, chair, Virginia Beach

Dr. Deb Anton, Virginia Beach

Kay McKean, Northern Virginia

Steve Brown, Buenos Aries

Steve Staten, Chicago 

Dr. Douglas Jacoby, Atlanta

Joey Harris, Augusta

Andy Fleming, Kiev

Tammy Fleming, Kiev 

Dr. Glenn Giles, Denver

Fred Faller, Boston

Valdur Koha, Boston

Courtney Bailey, Kingston

Arturo Elizarraras, Mexico City

Suzette Lewis, Toronto

Dr. Rolan Monje, Manila

Dave Pocta, San Antonio 

Dr. Steve Kinnard, New York