I think we have all been pleasantly surprised and excited that the Lord has called out so many men to attend our year-long Pastor Essentials Class preparing them to plant a church or pastor an existing church in our area. In 2015 we graduated 8 men; in 2016 we graduated 15 men; our 2017 class has 13 men enrolled. Enrollment is now closed for 2017.
Anything worth doing, I believe, is worth doing better, and this year we asked the Lord to show us some ways to make the class even more effective. He has given us some clear direction on how to do that.
So, even though the class is very similar to what it was the past two years, it is different enough that you might call this year’s version “Pastor Essentials 2.0.”
The improvements are so significant that five of last year’s graduates have decided they want to go through the class again to continue their own growth and to mentor and encourage the new students. Some of the changes are:
(1) We have three sessions instead of two each evening.
(2) There will be three written tests and three interviews.
(3) We will provide more help in developing and refining a resume.
(4) Students will develop and deliver a sermon during class.
(5) Each student will partner with another student to start and lead an evangelistic Bible study, including discovering and enlisting unchurched people to attend.
(6) We gave students a list of 29 “competencies” — things they will be competent to do after completing the class.
I believe these changes will raise the bar for the class and better prepare the men for effectiveness in ministry.
Thankful to be training men,