Henry Reyenga, the president of Christian Leaders Institute converses about the vision of Christian Leaders Institute to create operatives for Christ. In this blog, Reyenga will discuss the mission to train pastors, church planters, indigenous missionaries, elders, chaplains, evangelists, youth pastors, women’s leaders, and other ministry leaders. Christian Leaders Institute is a mission that is committed to deliver tuition-free advanced online ministry training for those seeking a Bible School, Bible Institute, Online Seminary, Bible College, Pastor Training Institute or Church Planter School. We are especially focused on training lay leaders to be bi-vocational or vocational ministry leaders. Our approach is to encourage our students to partner with local pastors, mentors or sponsors who will help them process their online ministry training. In summary, This blog will include recognition of ideas, feature stories, links and other means of promoting the vision, mission and approach of Christian Leaders Institute.

Communicate the Gospel – A Ministry Calling to An Unlikely Woman

Communicate the Gospel
by Henry Reyenga

I want to communicate the gospel to everyone. I want to raise up leaders who communicate the gospel in their communities. Christian Leaders Institute has met new Christian leaders in over 158 countries. These Christian leaders have been called in all kinds of life situations. I imagine the thousands of ways CLI students are mobilized to communicate the gospel to bring lives back to God. Kassandra Fleckinger shares of story that moves me to praise God. Here is a woman, a mother, a new Christian who is now being trained by Christian Leaders Institute to communicate the gospel to everyone that comes into her life. Here is her powerful story.

My Name is Kassandra Fleckinger. I am from Independence, KY, 15 mins outside from Cincinnati. I am a new believer that found my way back to the Lord. Growing up, I was raised as Roman Catholic in Ohio. There was no relationship established in the church. It was just the same old monotonous task; get up early, go to church, wait for the priest to sprinkle holy water on you, and then run off to Sunday Bible school. That all came to a halt when my parents decided to get a divorce. Obviously, this caused division and my mom packed my 2 brothers and me up and moved back to Kentucky. We had no choice but to move back with family.

Moving back to Kentucky, started a new chapter of my life. It was not a very good start. Upon moving back, there was sexual abuse that happened to me at the age of 10. This occurred for quite some time. I eventually told my mother but, to me, the damage was already done. I had question God’s motives. Time went on, and I became and very angry teenager. The more time passed, the more destructive I became. Suicidal thoughts became a daily thing, self-mutilation let me feel something, and blaspheming God made me so proud. I became a part of the dark world listening to heavy metal and using drugs and alcohol daily. This went on pretty heavy until I had my first child. It slowed down but did not stop. I was always looking for something to fill that void.

In February 2014, my beliefs started to change, only because I was starting to experience bad, supernatural things that are not of this world. Now, before this, I didn’t believe in angels or demons. Things started happening in my house to where my son would say he would see a man and other beings. Then I started to get attacked. Eventually, this broke me down so much and made me physically ill and weak. So I decided to get an exorcism done to my house, but not by a priest, I was far too afraid to go to a church and ask for help. So, I got someone that said they spiritually cleanse houses. I agreed to this, being uninformed to what could happen. I eventually saw this being before this exorcism happened. I was scared to the point where I asked a higher being for help, although I didn’t know who I was praying to at the time. The exorcism happened, and the malevolent presence left the house. There was still something wrong within myself. I felt as if I had no soul. I didn’t know who I was.

Then two days later my gut started telling me to go to church. I shrugged it off, but this voice was very persistent. So the next morning I woke up to feed the baby. It was Sunday, I was watching tv and I happened to land on a famous televangelist. He said, “if something is telling you to go do something, then that is God telling you to do it”. I was confident that message was for me, so I hurried up and got dressed and off to church I went. I went to the church up the street. That sermon ended up being exactly what I needed to hear, and I know God was speaking to me that day. The sermon was about being put under pressure by the unseen things of this world. Only God could deliver that message at that time. It was perfect. That day, April 27, 2014, the presence of the Holy Spirit over flooded my soul, and I gave my life to the Lord. I have not been the same. I have experienced my hardest trials since being saved. From 3 days to being homeless to my 16-month old daughter being diagnosed with cancer. God is a good God, and He has brought me through the storm and made me stand stronger each time.

Now from my testimony to where I am today. I have decided that I want to pursue further my calling. God is calling me to ministry. He wants me to, of course, spread the good news, but also help with the process of reconciliation with God. There are a lot of angry people out there, and they don’t know the true Jesus, they only know religiousness from legalistic Christians, and they view Him through the actions of those people. God wants me to show those people what real Christians are and show them what relationship is all about. It terrified me at first because I know exactly what these people are thinking and how angry they are. It only makes sense God wants me to go to this area of ministry. Knowing God is with me, and that He will use me as a vessel, I have jumped on board.

I have shared the things God has shared with me to my church family. They are extremely supportive and are encouraging me to keep on this path I am on. God led me to CLI specifically. I have checked out a lot of Bible schools, but I was always led back to CLI. I don’t want to go through another Bible school when the Lord has distinctively told me this is where I need to learn everything for my ministry. The Lord revealed that this had good, sound teaching that I can trust. From the classes so far, I have learned so much. I want to continue this. If God were telling me something else, then I would not be able to pursue this. I want what God wants for my life. That is my only desire. A scholarship would very much help me pursue the training I need for my ministry, whether it be in the church, on the street, at my work, or even in my home. The most important objective to get a scholarship for CLI is to be equipped with the info I need to  to those who do know Jesus or do not their identity in Him. My heart is to show people the truth, the way, and the life! I want to help people discover who they were truly meant to be. With the more knowledge, I gain, I can help people pull their gold out from among their dirt. From there Jesus could show them their created value. I will accomplish this task regardless, but CLI would greatly help me accomplish this goal more quickly.

Are you called to communicate the gospel in your community?  Will you join this ministry training community? Where will God take you? Meet us on Facebook to read more stories. 

Kimberly the Evangelist

Gospel Evangelists

I am excited about raising up a new generation of gospel evangelists who walk with God, are called to ministry and are well trained at Christian Leaders Institute. Gospel evangelists are not afraid of sharing Christ motivated by the truth that God desires humans to be saved through the blood of Christ. At Christian Leaders Institute we offer free training that brings gospel evangelists the basics of Christianity as well as many ministry training classes. Kimberly is a young woman who senses the call to proclaim Christ.

Kimberly is a young woman who senses the call to proclaim Christ. Here is her story.

My name is Kimberly, and I live in the United States of America. Here, we can freely live out our faith in Christ, and we can minister to whoever. I met God when I was 13 years old. However, I didn’t start living for Him until I was 30 years old (I will be 34 in April). I have a passion for the lost and broken-hearted. I want to minister to those who need to hear God’s message of hope. I want to work with those who need a second chance, the ones that our society deems unfit or unworthy, the ones who Jesus is passionate for.

Why am I here? I want to be one of those gospel evangelists who Christ will use to bring his love everywhere. I believe CLI is the best place for me to learn how to become the leader God has chosen me to be and how I can be an evangelist in today’s world.

If you are interested in getting training to be a gospel evangelist,  Simply Enroll at Christian Leaders Institute.

Click here to to like us at Facebook and read more stories and news at Christian Leaders Institute.  Christian Leaders Institute provides free training through the donation model. Please make a donation to keep CLI Free.

Single Mom Called Into Ministry -Melissa Dworchak

Dear Christian Leader,

I am very thankful for what God is doing at Christian Leaders Institute. I am thankful to God for the outpouring of support that keeps Christian Leaders Institute free for people who need and want high quality ministry training.

I am thankful that God is calling people in every life situation. Melissa Dworchak is a single mom called into ministry in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Being a single mom is challenging in itself, but Melissa is up for the challenge. Her story causes me to praise the Lord. Some people wonder if God is at work in someone’s life even before they are a Christian. Melissa shared her story with me:

My name is Melissa and I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I have lived here basically all my life. I Single Mom Called Into Ministrygrew up with no religious background, but a strong desire to learn. It wasn’t until I was 31 years old that I decided it was time to commit to a full time life of living for Christ. I have had my fair share of rough times, many ups and downs from addiction to divorce to infidelity. It wasn’t until April 2012, when I almost lost my 1 year old son to a brain malformation that I decided to find a church. I gave my life over to Jesus Christ in the summer of 2013 and I have not turned back!

These stories never get old to me. I thank God that Melissa is seeking God now. Even though Melissa’s parents did not take her to church as a child, God was preparing her heart. Even her very struggles with addiction, divorce and infidelity were preparing for her calling as a single mom called into ministry. God often uses something shocking to push us off the fence. Melissa almost lost her son, but through that experience found the Son of God. She is not turning back. She is now called into ministry.

Single Mom Called into Ministry

In less than two years, Melisa has been making a difference in the lives of people searching for God! She attends a growing non-denominational church. She serves on various volunteer teams. She especially enjoys the baptism team, “I love being a part of the baptism team and helping those folks, that have just been saved, take that next step.” Melissa is reaching out to women who have gone through some of the trials she experienced:

I currently lead a group for women that have been through similar situations as myself. I hope to be the light they need to see and hope they can achieve great things with their “little lights” as well!

Ministry Training – Single Mom Called into Ministry

Melissa found out about Christian Leaders Institute. Here is a single mom with little time and resources. She is busy with four young children, and she cannot leave her job. With the limited free time, she can log in to our website and take classes. She is called to serve in women’s ministry. She is open to God’s plan, to be used by God in whatever way God leads her at her local church:

I started with Christian Leaders Institute so that I can be more prepared. I have been called into women’s ministry.  Our church is continually expanding into multiple campuses, we have 4 right now, and I want to be able to be prepared when my pastor needs additional pastors.

Free Ministry Training – Single Mom Called into Ministry

Called Christian leaders are pouring into ministry training like rain. I see revival happening. I believe that the leaders coming to Christian Leaders Institute are a group of real ordinary people who have been saved for a great purpose. I believe that CLI must continue in the donation model where the entire ministry training education is free for single moms like Melissa called into ministry. Melissa commented,

Having CLI in my life has been uplifting. In a world where everything is expensive, it is so rewarding to have free education. As a single mom of four children under the age of 13, it can be very hard living paycheck to paycheck without even knowing when you will have your next meal. Knowing I can study in the comfort of my own home and receive quality and free education is such a blessing!

When I read what she wrote about the importance of free education, it touched me. I am so thankful to God! I look forward to seeing what God is going to do with this single mom called into ministry in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I look forward to seeing the impact on those children! Maybe one of them will be called into ministry like their mother.

Sometimes, people say, “Henry you are always promoting this free model to receive donations.” Yes, I am. I do it because I want to include others in the joy of helping a single mom called into ministry and letting nothing stop her from leading others to God. I have so much to be thankful for!  My wife Pam and I are going to give a thanksgiving offering this year to CLI for the work of ministry training. Will you join us thanking God for what he is doing in the lives of single moms like Melissa.

Yours,

Henry Reyenga

I want to make my thanksgiving offering to further the impact of Christian Leaders Institute!

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Donation Model of Ministry Training Changes the World

Generosity-Driven Model of Ministry Training Changes the World

Jesus set up the first free ministry training school.  Joanna, Susanna, and Joseph supported his ministry training school and his life work of redemption.  This donation model of ministry training changed the world and launched the early church.

Jesus started his ministry training school by networking with fisherman and calling them: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

Interestingly, I must defend the generosity-driven model of ministry training often. I must defend that it is not cheap training. I point out that our professors are noted in both their credentials and their ministry experience. I point to the non-traditional accreditation options open for mission-driven education.  I point out the opportunity of technology to deliver performance-based ministry training including lectures, quizzes, transcripts and certificates at a fraction of the cost of traditional education.

Why am I encouraged that the generosity-driven model of ministry training changes the world!

I am most encouraged that Jesus used this model of ministry training. This donation model of ministry training changed the world and can be used again to raise up leaders everywhere. I am encouraged daily by the stories of those who heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

One of these called leaders is Cassey Jansen van Nieuwenhuizen from South Africa. She writes,

I come from South Africa where everyone is free to believe what they like. On many occasions, the Lord has spoken to me in my past, but I never listened. Many times, the Lord helped me and kept me from harm. Many times, the Lord crossed my path through other people, but I never listened.

But one day, I heard Him, and it was the sweetest sound I ever heard. He called me, and I heard Him. I know now that He wants me to spread His word through evangelism. My dream would be to speak of the Lord freely and constantly to those who would listen, and let them hear His voice as I heard it.

When I read the calling of Cassey to be an evangelist, my heart is moved. I want to do everything possible to help her share Christ!  I’ll help Cassey get all the ministry training she needs.

When graduates summit the stories of their life and their calling into ministry, it strengthens my resolve to defend the donation model of free ministry training. Cassey tells about her life and how God raised up a local mentor:

I had a rough start to life, but made it through His glory. Eventually, God raised up a woman who mentored me and helped me grow in my faith. I did not know this lady was a strong believer in Christ, although I knew she believed. She showed me the way, and taught me how to listen. It was a long journey, and she never pushed. She allowed the Lord to do His own work within her and me. When I experienced this, I knew that after becoming a believer, I would also want to ignite the spiritual fire in others and allow the Lord to do His gracious work to allow them to believe.

Christian Leaders Institute values the work of mentors. We ask new students to include their mentors in their ministry training. We also ask local churches and pastors to get involved. Our ordination program at CLI helps students become ordained at a local level as a ministry deacon. The local church involvement for called leaders is vital. Cassey has that kind of support.

My local church has been very supportive as they have received me as a ministry deacon. It is very difficult to translate from English to Afrikaans as my home language is English and my church is Afrikaans. This is one challenge I face in doing ministry.

Christian Leaders Institute is passionate about training local leaders for local churches. This donation free model will help churches in every nation train more qualified leaders. As I promote and defend the donation-free model, I see everyday that the donation model of ministry training changes the world in nearly 15o nations with thousands of graduates. See Global impact.

Cassey understands this at a personal level,

A CLI scholarship is very important for me! In the past, one did not need to be considered “qualified” in order to render services of things to which one had experience.  But these days, we all need an “education” before people will listen. People want to see that we have qualifications and a quality education before they will even turn their faces toward us.

Cassey is right about that. In the 1990s, I was also about raising up local leaders and helping them do ministry. Most failed because of lack of training and lack of respect for their leadership. CLI was started so that every called Christian leader would get the training and respect needed to do well in ministry.  I am called to make this training available everywhere to everyone God calls!

This donation model of ministry training changes the world because of the leaders God calls into ministry. It is the Christian leaders that do the work of the gospel. Cassey understands this and she asks for prayer. She recognizes the role of God’s presence and power in her life:

My prayer I would ask for would be for the support to learn and reach new heights in the understanding of the Word. A prayer to help understand and translate my understanding so that others may understand. A prayer to allow others to see the Lord working in me and allow me to talk with them and allow them to hear.

I feel that way about the donation model of ministry training. I pray daily for the support to learn how to reach new heights for training called Christian leaders grounded in God’s Word. I pray that we will be able to reach the world by translating this training into more languages like French, Spanish, and Chinese. I pray that that the Lord will allow millions of called leaders to find CLI. I pray that God will enable the entire CLI team of professors, staff, graduates, and me to be used by God to change a world in chaos through the gospel of Jesus Christ!

 Donation Model of Ministry Training Changes the World Though Your Faithful Giving – Give Now

Starting a Bible Training School – Callie Mae Broughton’s Dream

Bible Training School

Graduates of any level at Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) are encouraged to start Bible Training School in their own church or area. This Bible training school could have only 1 enrollee or hundreds. At Christian Leaders Institute this is simple to do at a local level. We beam ministry training everywhere on earth that the Internet exists. You gather others who are interested in attending your Bible training school in your area. Everyone who attends signs up to get a CLI account. You meet when you want, maybe once a week or twice a month to encourage each other in your studies online. This encouragement and accountability bring much success in completing Bible studies.

When a  Bible training school is started by a local church, this school also has the benefit of mentorship and opportunities provided by the local pastors and leaders. This is a win-win for the students and the local church.

Christian Leaders Institute graduates are starting Bible training schools called mentor centers everywhere. In some places they are even providing internet connections for students to watch videos and take tests. Check out this Facebook home page in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. 

Read the graduate testimony of pastor Callie Broughton. She has a dream of starting a Bible Training school in West Palm Beach, Florida. Here is her story:

Pastor Callie Broughton pursues hopes of opening a Bible Training School.

Hi, my name is Callie Mae Broughton and I presently live in West Palm Beach, Florida, United States. I am married and the mother of eight children who are all grown up.

I am the third from the last of nine children; two brothers, six sisters. I grew up living between Shawnee Farms, Florida and Cassville, New York until I was ten years old. My family continued residence in Shawnee Farms, Florida until the passing of my father. My parents James and Nellie Broughton are both now deceased.

While growing up I was taught the Bible and taken to church regularly. At the age of ten a personal tragedy took place while my family and I were in Cassville, New York. This put me in the hospital for approximately a month and ultimately changed the course of my life. The Lord appeared to me in the hospital and let me know that He was with me. I was young and didn’t really know God, but He saw to it that I learned of Him.

I became very curious about God and from that time on I couldn’t stop thinking about Him. I began studying the Bible and asking questions. The more I learned about God the more inquisitive I became. As I grew in the Word of God I began to hear the voice of God speaking to me at times. I couldn’t believe that was what was happening at first. He continued to speak to me often and I finally became convinced that it was God who was speaking to me. My love for God grew tremendously and since that time God’s presence has been my comfort and peace. I continue to study, pray, and learn more about God’s Word.

I became very active in the church and by the time I was 21, I was licensed as a missionary endorsed by two bishops of the attending church. Later, I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. In West Palm Beach I started a program called “Save the Children that are caught between the gap”. The program is to help teens and working mothers who can’t afford after school childcare but need to work and support their children often on odd or inconvenient shift hours.

I now feel compelled to open a Bible Training School in our church for anyone interested in knowing more about Jesus Christ and furthering their walk. I want to help equip others, especially the younger generation. They greatly need to be encouraged and mentored in life and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are more young people at our church than older ones. I want to be as effective as possible in reaching out to our younger generation.

I believe continuing my spiritual growth and education with Christian Leaders Institute can help me to be a greater benefit to our community and the Kingdom of God in my dream to start a Bible training school in my area. It is awesome to have the support and assistance I found through Christian Leaders Institute.

Regards,
Pastor Callie Broughton

In-depth Ministry Training – “Get a Grip Elijah!”

In-Depth Ministry Training

A Broom Tree in the Wilderness

The need for ministry leaders has never been so pressing. It seems like there are too few Christian leaders. Sometimes we leaders can identify with Elijah in the Bible. He found out that there were 7000 in prophets in Israel that had not bowed down to Baal. Then in boldness, he proclaimed the Word of the Lord. After that he was persecuted by Jezebel the queen. He was feeling alone again when he was being chased down by Jezebel. We read in 1Kings 19:3  Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. But God refreshed his spirit. Soon after that God brought Elisha. They started a school of the prophets where they developed in-depth ministry training. God always has a plan for raising up his prophets.

As leaders in the church, we see many things that are sad and sinful. We see the spiritual warfare. We see divisions threatening to tear us apart. We feel the loneliness of feeling like we are alone. Are we the only ones in our congregation qualified and capable to lead this organized chaos?

How often do we cry out to God, “I am the only prophet left!”? How often do we look at the scene of our local church and across the world and believe things are hopeless? Like the prophets in years gone by, we see the immorality around us and cry out in desperation. We are waiting for God to deliver us. To reward us for our faithful service and perhaps acknowledge that we are, in fact, the only ones left to serve Him. Are we the last of the faithful who can lead His church?

We cry out to Him, and sometimes we may hear Him answer. As we feel his hand and listen for His voice, we wait for the words of comfort and reassurance. And then the words come. Words that astound us. Words that leave us with a totally new perspective. The message could often be paraphrased this way: “Get a grip Elijah.”

Here is a reflection from a student who has experienced this as she was taking the in-depth ministry training at CLI. Through the Church and Ministry class at CLI, she learned God has a plan to include others in the great work of the gospel. How exciting is that!

 Reflection on the In-Depth Ministry Training of the Church and Ministry Course

As I reflect over the course and the materials of this class, I am still amazed at how the Christian Leaders Institute is so thorough in-depth Ministry training.  I know people that are attending Christian Institutions for this in-depth ministry training and I must say that I have learned what they have been taught and more! I feel so proud to be a part of this endeavor.  All of the classes that I have taken have been exciting and insightful. I also must add that some of them have been quite challenging (Church History). Nevertheless, I will press forward to my prize in the high calling in Christ Jesus!

When I first started these classes my knowledge and power of Church and Ministry was probably at the brightness of a 20Watt bulb. The Church and Ministry course really opened my eyes as to what was the real purpose for the Great Commission. To GO! I was raised in Church. My family was always in church. My Mother and Father had nine kids, and the only place you can take nine kids, is too church! In all my days of being very active in church, church administration, and ministry, I was never taught to go. We were taught to stay, and stay, and stay.  We didn’t go out to the highways and byways and minister to the lost. We were taught to just invite people to our church.  We were never evangelizing, and developing leaders for discipleship. It is like we have totally missed the point of what salvation is all about. We have forgotten about bringing in the lost sheep. We are so caught-up in church doctrine and traditions, that we forgot the commission.  We were planting our seed in the barn!  In the BARN, nothing grows in the barn! Oh my goodness, we have missed it. That Church where I was raised has gone for 250 members to 25 (barely). There is no growth, all of the sowers plant there seed in the barn. The barn light was only at 20Watt, so I could not see the seed. Every time I went to another week’s section in this course, the light got brighter and brighter. Every new section brought more light, and it started letting me see more opportunities for sowing seed.  “That is why the bible said that “The Sower sows the Word”. We sow the word in the world not just in the barn.

I was so touched when I read about mobilizing leaders to replace me, and start their own groups. Recognizing their gifts and allowing them to utilize their gifts for the Kingdom of God. As Ministry leaders we sometimes think that we have to do it all. We can’t. We are acting like Elijah, when he said Lord and “I’m the only Prophet left”. The Lord should have responded with get a grip Elijah;there are 7000 others that have not bowed down to Baal”. There are people out in these small groups that want to use their gifts for the Lord. It is our duty to train them, show and teach them hospitality, and then let them go and sow into the world’s harvest. This in turn will allow them a place in the barn to worship God and not to just which the seed start to decay.

In conclusion, I must add that this course has lit a fire up under me. The fire light is shining so bright in the barn (in me), that I think it is now a 100watt bulb.

So this is the message. If you’re in a leadership position in the church, you’re not alone. God has set aside from His congregation many others who can ease your burden of leadership. Ask of Him, and He will provide all that you need and more. That is what God is trying to tell us. “Get a grip. You don’t have to do it alone. I’ve provided helpers for you.” God helped Elijah and even started a school of the prophets.

Mother Teresa to the Muslim World

Mother Teresa lived from 1910 until 1997. She dedicated her life to blessing the poorest of poor and even creating an organization of women warriors who still passionately love the unlovable. Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 4.01.04 PM

Mother Teresa once said,  “Keep the joy of loving the poor and share this joy with all you meet. Remember works of love are works of peace. God bless you.”

Wikipedia says this about Mother Teresa:

She began her missionary work with the poor in 1948, replacing her traditional Loreto habit with a simple white cotton sari decorated with a blue border. Mother Teresa adopted Indian citizenship, spent a few months in Patna to receive a basic medical training in the Holy Family Hospital and then ventured out into the slums. Initially she started a school in Motijhil (Calcutta); soon she started tending to the needs of the destitute and starving.In the beginning of 1949 she was joined in her effort by a group of young women and laid the foundations to create a new religious community helping the “poorest among the poor”.

Her efforts quickly caught the attention of Indian officials, including the prime minister, who expressed his appreciation.

But This Story Isn’t About Mother Teresa

The woman in this story isn’t Mother Teresa, but she has the same vision. She wants to bring Christ to a world where he is mocked, persecuted, and even despised. When her efforts are recognized by the authorities, her reward is not thanks for her servitude. She is not revered and honored by the world for her piety. Rather, she is rewarded with beatings, false accusations, and hatred. Despite this, her love for her people pushes her ever forward to preach the gospel. This is the story of God’s love that surpasses all human understanding. This is the story of Elizabeth, a woman of love in a harsh place:

My name is Elizabeth.  I live in Senegal a Muslim dominated country where Christians are few and mostly foreigners. Ministering in this country hasn’t been an easy task.  Eighty percent of my country is Muslim. And a good portion of them are traditionalists, ritualists and occultists.

Most in my country see Christian leaders as evil and at times will beat you or throw one accusation or the other at you. So it takes determination, tolerance and sacrifice to do ministry in this country.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 4.42.41 PMI grew up as an orphan in a Muslim family. My education was sponsored by Roman Catholic reverend sisters, who told me about Jesus Christ. I struggled before I knew Christ. I almost died because of the sinful life I led. But thanks be to God, his grace saved me. At the age of 15, I attended a crusade by Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke that totally changed my life, I became so inquisitive to know Jesus and by his grace I have been able to know him.

I became passionate to share Christ here in this country seeing so many atrocities and wickedness going on. Our people are lost in sin, they don’t know about heaven or hell.  Even many who call themselves Christians here are very worldly and weak. I am called to evangelize and win souls to Jesus and teach them about the kingdom of God. I am also called to preach the Word of God to the unsaved souls, turning the hearts of dying people to know Jesus Christ.

I am called to be an EVANGELIST. I want to go to the villages, rural areas and many other places to preach the gospel of Christ. I have had so many challenges in my life. I especially have a passion for orphans and less privileged and I have adopted two of them. I have received beatings and accusations because I want to bring Jesus to my adopted children and others.

My local church has been so helpful to me, they encourage me when I feel like giving up. This church gave me a job, and the pastors pray for me.

This scholarship at Christian Leaders Institute will empower and train me for this great calling in the ministry. It will teach me so many things I need to know about myself, God and ministry.  It will help me to be presentable and effective not just as an evangelist but as a trained evangelist. Thank you for sponsoring my education!

Christian Leaders Institute is blessed to train a new generation of leaders who, like Mother Theresa, have no regard for themselves, but they have a calling to love the unlovable and proclaim the love of God even in desperate places like Senegal.

Damascus Miracles Happen for a Calling into Ministry

Syria is not a welcoming place for a calling into ministry. This Islamic country is struggling politically. Christianity is not technically illegal but it is discouraged in the cultural system. A calling into ministry is rare in a place like this. It is here on the road to Damascus that the apostle Paul encountered the voice of Jesus. It is here that he received his calling into ministry. As Paul neared Damascus on  his journey to persecute Christians, “suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:3-4) In an instant, Saul (Paul) became a new man. He met Jesus and Jesus changed him.

God still does miracles in Damascus. Hasem was watching porn in Damascus seven years ago when he was visited by God and given a calling into ministry instantly. Let him tell his story,

I have been involved for almost seven years in full time ministry after and amazing encounter with God as I was watching Porn.  A voice called me to change the channel and as I did I stopped on an Arabic Christian TV program.  I heard I felt the power of God touching me and I become a new creation without even knowing that at the beginning.

I started to read and study the Bible after the change happened in my life.  I noticed from John chapter three that what is happened with me was the born again experience and I am glad that the Lord choose me for His glory.

God may be giving you a calling into ministry today. God still does miracles like this. Maybe God will do a miracle for you. What do you need from God? Even in places like Syria where Christianity is oppressed, God is calling people into ministry like Hasem. I have noticed that many of the students at Christian Leaders Institute have a story of how God stopped them on their journey to destruction. At one moment they are persecuting God, then God shows up and gives them a calling into ministry no matter where they live.

Recently, I was in Israel. I saw the wonder of what Herod built. I also learned how in control he was of that land. In tyrannical control he even tried to kill the newborn Jesus. But in a vision to Joseph and in fulfillment of a prophecy, Jesus was kept safe.

Calling into Ministry and YOU?

All the world’s power, wealth, philosophy, scientific illusions, political control, and religious oppressions can not stop the interruptions of God as he calls his leaders to proclaim his love and salvation. Is God’s speaking to your heart right now? Do you need to be healed? Are you called to a purpose higher than yourself? What are you going to do about it? Are you sensing the calling into ministry? Like our Facebook page

From Chaos to Peace – A Call For Difference Makers

Each day more news of chaos bombards our senses.  Recently in Kenya, we heard of terrorists who would kill innocent lives seeking to make a media point for their cause. Now more news at LAX airport where a killer showed up and killed a TSA agent and wounded many others. The Christian Science Monitor reported that the scene at the airport was chaos everywhere. The result is that more and more of us are are beginning to conclude, chaos is the new norm. Chaos seems to be getting out of control. The “chaos” difference makers are getting all the headlines, shared instantly via Facebook and online media sources.

Personal Chaos and those difference makers like Miley Cyrus

What is also reported is the personal chaos that is plaguing beautiful and famous people. Each week we read another story about

some famous person who is teetering on the edge of chaos. Miley Cyrus once was the promoter of wholesome values. Those values have been rejected by her now and she is living the “party” life, which may careening into more chaos. She is the most gossiped-about media star right now.  The fact is that young people are looking for a happier life and Miley Cyrus “looks” like she has it all. Many young people admire her and want to be like her. But many of the media star have crashed and the media moves on to talk about the next young star who is fun to gossip about.

Difference Makers are Needed Now

At some point lost souls will ask themselves if they are really happy.  Will there be a difference maker of peace who will introduce a different way of life?  Often difference makers of peace are those who used to be mired in chaos themselves. I have met many of them at Christian Leaders Institute. I have met former “party girls” who crashed so hard into the wall of chaos. And just when their souls were dying, some difference makers showed up into their lives. Some times those difference makers came from unlikely sources. A former lover found lasting happiness and shared how God brought peace out of the chaos. Some times the difference makers were trained Christian leaders who were used by God to bring life to a dying soul.

Joseph R. Pelkoski is married to a beautiful woman of God, named Susan.  They have three children living at home.  Eleven years Josephago, Joseph was using crack cocaine. The “party life” was running its course and Joseph was heading down fast.  God sent several difference makers into his life, one of them was his sister Marilyn who invited him to come live in her Christian home to help him get off drugs.  Within a week, he accepted Christ and started attending “Celebrate Recovery.” He unfortunately fell back into drugs shortly there after; God humbled him again. Now off drugs again for quite some time, Joseph has found greater peace than the chaos he used to sniff.

Joseph wrote, “After God humbled me, I feel a strong urge to share Christ with others, first in my town of Windber, PA, second in Somerset County and Cambria County and third the world. I am not sure if God is leading me to be a pastor or to become a missionary.  For now, I just know God is leading me to share the Gospel.  I will go anywhere God leads me.” Who knows how God will use this difference maker.

Revival Leaders Vision

Revival Leaders Vision – I saw a vision or it was a wonderful dream. Whether a vision or a dream, I have lived my life directed by it. I was 28 years old. The year was 1989. I was planting a church near Chicago, IL.

In my dream, I saw people wandering and seeking the Lord. I wanted to be part of reaching them. I wanted to find ways to get others to help me reach people for Christ. Someone said to me. “You will be part of raising up thousands of church leaders.” I woke up and told my wife my dream. Since I was not part of a Pentecostal tradition, I did not attribute this as a “divine vision”, but in my heart I began to look for ways to help others lead people.

On that morning in 1989, honestly, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to be part of raising up revival leaders to reach more people to Christ. But I took that dream as a CALLING to spend the rest of my life finding and helping leaders reach people to Christ. This was my revival leaders vision and the dream was planting.

In the 90’s I kept planting churches, co-planted a ministry, and worked at an international Bible ministry called the Bible League International. In the 90’s I learned that new potential revival leaders were going to come from ordinary people, bi-vocational leaders. I also became convicted that these potential leaders needed high quality ministry training. But I did not know how this was going to happen.

Then on September 11, 2001, our world changed. My life changed. I was there in Manhattan, NY when the twin towers were downed. During that visit, the “vision” heated up in my heart as I saw in living color how our world needed Christ. Many people were desperate to be reached, there were not enough “reachers”. As I was making my way back to the Chicago area, I resolved to start a new organization.

I called my long-time mentor, Rich DeVos, Sr., and I visited another mentor, Ron Parr, to process what I was going to do next. I resolved to leave the Bible League and begin a new ministry called Christian Leaders.  So on January 1, 2002, Christian Leaders started. I immediately began to research the use of the Internet to aid in the training of leaders. By 2005, we figured out how to open an online institute for ministry training and began classes in 2006. We named this institute, “Christian Leaders Institute”. At this time, I also co-planting a Church with Christian Leaders Institute Provost Dr. David Feddes called Family of Faith Church.

Now seven years later, we have met thousands of Christian leaders who are being given high quality ministry training. Christian Leaders Institute has been blessed with an able team of high quality leaders. In 2006, Jerry Lorenz started fulltime. In 2008, Dr. David Feddes assumed the responsibility of being provost. Many valued staff leaders have made a major contribution. The revival leaders vision remains vivid.

Revival Leaders Vision – Today

My vision and calling is to gather tens of thousands of revival leaders for training. I am resolved to keep Christian Leaders Institute “FREE” so that nothing will stand in the way. I am called to make this training more effective.

I am praying God will continue to bring supporters in prayer and resources.

I am praying that God will continue to inspire you to be part of the vision to reach the world for Christ.

In these last days, let it be that everyone who is called gets high quality ministry training.

I still see the dream. I still bask in the thinking that a dramatic time of reaching people for Christ is upon us. I still feel the urgency I felt in 1989. And I believe that God has been preparing leaders for a great revival to God.

And it shall be in the last days, saith God,

I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh:

And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

And your young men shall see visions,

And your old men shall dream dreams:

Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days

Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18)

Revival Leaders Vision

Missionary Movement: The Legacy of the Missionaries

Missionary Movement- In the last 200 years a Christian missionary movement was characterized by leaders being sent from churches or denominations to culturally different or geographically distant places. Check out this link to find out more.  While that is still seen today to some extent, a new missionary movement is occurring. This is a missionary movement where the “children” of the historic or current missionaries are the indigenous missionaries.

This new missionaries movement will  literally live out Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”(NIV)  The fact is all Christian leaders are missionaries, starting in their own communities, then expanding out from there. These ‘children” of the missionaries will reach their communities, their regions and beyond. Some have said that missionaries from Africa and Asia may someday be sent to the USA or Europe.

Missionary Movement Leaders Are Getting Ready

These new Christian leaders are motivated. They ready to take the mantle of leadership. There are tens of thousands of these leaders ready to take the next step and be trained for this new missionary movement.  This means that at Christian Leaders Institute students are generally very committed to staying in their countries. They sign up because they have access to high-quality ministry training in their local context. They have not been asking if CLI training will help them move to another country. They want to stay and minister where they are placed by the Lord.

This new missionary movement may include people like Vic Lyndon Ariar of the Philippians. Vic has finished his Christian Basics Certificate on his way to more advanced training. He is vitally interested in being trained to proclaim the Word of God worldwide.

missionary movement - Vic Lyndon Ariar Vic writes, “I am also a student of Bible School, taking up subject in Theology and soon I will become a pastor and will do more teaching. My ministry dream is to preach the Word of God worldwide and I dream to have a church”.

Why does Vic need training for this new missionary movement?   Vic has no other way to get the in-depth training needed to be a missionary pastor. Vic said, “CLI is important because I can learn more about GOD,  new revealed lesson, purpose of preaching, teaching and reaching. The Glory and Honor belongs to our GOD for ever and ever.”

Vic continues in his studies to become a pastor thanks to generous donors of Christian Leaders Institute.

Make a donation now to help Vic Lyndon Ariar and thousands more like him get a high quality Bible school training for free. Donate now!

Online Preaching Class

Online Preaching Class – At Christian Leaders Institute, Students evaluate the online preaching class and share their reflections. In this class, students survey teachings from some of the great preachers in our era. I thought I would share one reflection with you tonight.

HOW SERMON CONSTRUCTION HAS HELPED ME IN MY PREACHING

Sermon Construction and Presentation was a great online preaching class for me. I have learned a lot from it. It is now helping me in my ministration as a Sunday school teacher in my church, Personal preaching to people and Christian discussion with people to help their faith.

The Following are the things I learned in the online preaching class.

 Online Preaching Class: FIRST WEEK LEARNINGS AND ACTION STEP

I learned here what preaching/sermon are and the different types of sermon that we have.

What is a Sermon: It is declaring the unchanging truth of God’s word in a fresh, new, and life-changing way.I Learned that My Sermon Must engage the biblical context, proclaims the gospel, Connects God’s word to the life my audience, Be well organized and Easy to understand, Engage the imagination of my audience, Delivered effectively and orients my audience towards life in God’s word.  This online preaching class was very helpful!

I learned Different types of Sermon: Of all the various types of Sermon, i found expository better as it helps into expanding what the Word of God is to the hearer compare to others like Personal Testimony, Bibliography, historical incident, topical, textual, springboard etc.

Online Preaching Class: SECOND WEEK LEARNINGS AND ACTION STEP

I learned how to begin a sermon. In beginning a sermon, I must do the Following

  1. I must put God First and allow Him to guide me in the messages to preach so as to come out with a message From Him to my audience. I must pray before and throughout my sermon.
  2. I must pray my way through sermon preparation because I  need guidance in what to say and how to say it to my audience
  3. Preach to the need of my audience
  4. Know the occasion. Is it birthday, Sunday service, funeral, revival, bible study service
  5. I must research
  6. Know where I am preaching.
  7. Gather sermon materials, select bible scripture

This online preaching class taught me that my sermon must have 3 things which are: The seed-the seed of the sermon is the word of God) ,The Soil-The soil of the sermon is the People Hearing the Word, and The Spirit-The Success of the Sermon is the Holy Spirit.

 Online Preaching Class: THIRD WEEK LEARNINGS AND ACTION STEP

I learned studying and putting together of my sermon.The study for My sermon must have the following 5 things: The study of the culture of Christianity, The study of what it means to the first hearer, The study of what it means to me, The study of what the word means to others, The study of what the word means to me.

 Online Preaching Class: FORTH AND FIFTH WEEK LEARNINGS AND ACTION STEP

I learned how important my introduction must be.

I have just 90 Seconds to convince my audience. During my introduction I must reveal the problem to them. Make them understand the importance of my message and why they really need it in their lives. I learning that I must use the 7 Gears in my Introduction which are:

  1. Opening Illustration(starting in their world)
  2. Personal Connection(Connect With them, preparing them ready)
  3. Reveal the Problem, the fallen condition Focus(FCF) that only Christ can Solved
  4. Scripture/Passage Connections. explain how the passage is God’s Word to them
  5. Series Connection: explain How this Message will fit into their lives and their needs
  6. Proposition; Providing Answers to the Problem
  7. Interrogative Questions: How to apply them to their lives

Online Preaching Class: SIXTH WEEK LEARNINGS AND ACTION STEP

I learned how to prepare the body of my sermon and the body language to use. I did not expect this from an online preaching class!

In writing my Sermon body I must

  1. Start with a sermon skeleton :I will begin by determining the title, theme, central idea, outline, and other elements that make up the framework of the message
  2. Put the Meat into the bones i.e. Provides Write up for my Outline
  3. Write for the Ear. What am writing must first make sense to me before my audience. As I am writing,  I must think about those who will listen to what I am saying, not those who may read what I am writing
  4. Make it simple, clear to understand and properly edited.
  5. Put in Proper usage of my body language .e.g. Hands, Voice, feet, body etc
  6. I must watch out for pulpit plagiarism

 Online Preaching Class: SEVENTH WEEK LEARNINGS AND ACTION STEP

I learned how to explain/illustrate my sermons. Here I learn that that my sermon must be/Have:

  1. Concrete: I must not be abstract in my word/illustration
  2. Connotation: I must start with the head to get to their heart and mind
  3. Conflict: I Must explain the Problem to my audience
  4. Conclusion: I Must Provide the Solution to that problem
  5. Connection: My Illustration must link to my sermon/Message
  6. Christ: My Illustration/Message must @ all or any time Point my audience to Christ.

 Online Preaching Class:  EIGHTH AND NINTH WEEK LEARNINGS AND ACTION STEPs

Here I learned about my Conclusion when writing or developing a sermon. The Following are my learning.

  1. I must have the sermon conclusion with my introduction in mind
  2. I Must end sermon with the beginning turned around i.e. I will adds a very simple twist .
  3. I must build a burning consideration within my audience or congregation. When am ending my sermon, I must end it in a way that it lives on throughout the week. This can be done through prayer and proper choice of Word. It’s the Holy Spirit that convicts; He will help when I call on Him.
  4. My Sermon must point people back to Christ and I must offer an opportunity to receive Christ and expect people to respond.
  5. My sermon must have an argument in it so as to anticipate the objections the audience might have and logically refute them.
  6. My Sermon must have warning in it so as to warn them of the consequences of disobedience.
  7. My Sermon must have compassion in it so as to express God’s love and concern for my audience.
  8. My Sermon must have vision. I must be able to Paint a picture of what is possible if they obey God
  9. My Sermon must have encouragement. This will tell them they can do this with God’s power.
  10. My Sermon must be personal so that the person listening will feel like I am talking to him or her.
  11. In My Sermon I must Use a compelling illustration so as to helps make the message memorable.
  12. My Sermon must have piercing question. This engages in processing and applying the message.

This was an amazing online preaching class for me. I highly recommend this online preaching class for those who are interesting in serving in ministry.

Check out this great resource for sermons, click here

Ministering in the Rough Areas – Lisa Popejoy

Ministering – There are places in the world that most churches have abandoned. These places are stronghold’s to the Devils work. In these places prostitution, drugs, mental illness, alcoholism and crime are the pervasive culture. It is here that student Lisa Popejoy is ministering. Her church is This Ain’t Your Mama’s Church Community Biker Church. This church is headed up by her mentors, Pastors Eug & Gwen. This church has recently moved to an even more depressed area of MinisteringMerced, CA.

Ministering Student Lisa Popejoy

Meet Lisa Popejoy, I am a married mother of 4 children and two grandchildren. My husband and I are servant leaders, ministering in our church. I came to this church only because I wanted to be married in a church as it is my 4th marriage. I never intended on having a personal relationship with God, and He changed my heart and that of my husband and family. I feel God has been calling me to preach to women. So my goal is ministering to other women in the biker community.”

Ministering To A Rough Crowd

Lisa writes, “My ministry dream is to touch the hearts of women who have been beaten down and are hurting, they are of a rougher crowd and have high walls to knock down to reach them. They are women who think God has no purpose for them and that’s just not true, I am a living example of what God’s love can do! I want to be able to go into the prisons and to other places that people are afraid to go and talk to these women.”

Lisa is taking the Online Preaching Class, called “Sermon Construction and Presentation” at CLI. Her first assignment was to write a short sermon that she would give to the group she is ministering to. I am going to share her sermon with you. She writes about her sermon assignment, “This message would be for the audience of bikers, ex drug addicts and felons.”

STRONGHOLD OF ENEMY TERRITORY

by Lisa Popejoy

The term Stronghold means an area where a power exerts control over an individual, group or territory, and, in reference to an evil spiritual stronghold, it is in direct opposition to the will of God.

Satan goes beyond just routine harassment and temptations; his forces seek territory to establish long term strongholds in which they may dominate and hold captive. The evil forces of Satan search for people, cities and areas in which they are not resisted and where they can flourish.

Our new church home is smack dab in the middle of enemy territory.  Prostitution, drugs, bars, drunkards, mentally ill, and the homeless have taken over that side of town, and with all the crime that comes with that way of living, the influence of darkness has flourished. You can see and feel it in the air.

The apostle Paul talks about what we are dealing with in Ephesians 6:12,

For we do not wrestle against flesh & blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We all know the saying “You don’t come preaching in my bar and I won’t go drinking in your church.”

Many of us lived that concept when we were out and about in the world and that approach has worked well here at the CLC building on the nice side of town, until now, because This Ain’t Your Mama’s Church just changed the playing field.

We are moving in on enemy territory and we are establishing the presence of the Lord.

We are the army of the Lord on earth; you can’t go into Satan’s domain and cover up the problem. Soldiers do not go into a war and make everything nice; they don’t cover the battlefield with pretty stuff without the expectation of being shot down. You can’t cover up and mask the influence of evil by planting flowers and covering up the graffiti and removing the shopping carts and making it look nice and think Satan’s presence is gone. You have to get to the root of the problem and it’s a spiritual problem.

The enemy is not prostitution, drugs, mental illness, alcoholism or crime, the real enemy is Satan’s presence and his stronghold on that area. If you think you can wage a war against Satan and his army by making stuff pretty to the eyes, then you are welcome to plant a few tulips and see where it gets you. Just remember, when you come back beaten up and defeated, we tried to warn you that it’s not about flowers and fluff but about “spiritual darkness in high places “and all your efforts will have been for nothing.

We are going into battle, to conduct Spiritual Warfare on Satan’s domain. Our goal is to advance the Gospel, pull down the stronghold and bring people into the Kingdom of God. Matthew 5:14-16 we are to bring the light into the darkness.

We are not riding in with guns attached to our motorcycles and cars, helping the police to wipe out the bad and make it a pretty side of town, planting flowers, No, we are going into the midst of the battlefield with Power and Authority in Christ Jesus’ name to overcome the stronghold with SCRIPTURE & PRAYER.

It is not a mistake that our church is moving to that side of town, isn’t it fitting that God chose us to represent Him in that area? We are a peculiar people, we who were the drunkards and addicts, and prostitutes and homeless, all of us convicts and felons, we who have by the Grace of God been saved from exactly what we are waging war against. We are on a mission for God. It’s time to suit up and let’s go do some Kingdom business. Jesus gave us His marching orders. Are you ready to move April 13th?

Amen.

Lisa is thankful for the opportunity to study at Christian Leaders Institute, “You can pray that I will fulfill the direction that God is leading me. I prayed to God that I would find a school that would take me without money, and he directed me to your web page. So please pray that I will finish what God is preparing me to do.”

I am impressed with the calling of God on Lisa’s life. Ministering in the name of Christ is never easy, and when you are ministering in a blighted area, it can even be more challenging. At Christian Leaders Institute, we train operatives for Christ whose goal is spreading the gospel. These bi-vocational leaders are ministering taking on personal risk.They are fierce followers of Jesus who need our prayers.

Online Preaching Class – CLI Student Shares Learning

Online Preaching Class – I am so impressed with the students at Christian Leaders Institute. In my president’s blog today I want to feature a final paper in the Online Preaching class. This paper was written by Duane Smith. Duane is in his late sixties, is passionate about ministry and he is close to receiving his ministry diploma.

Preaching Construction and Presentation Second Semester 2013

by

Duane Smith

There is an old saying about preaching, “The mind can take in only what the seat can endure.” We chuckle at that saying, yet unless some of the following “rules” are followed, it may be true.

Our congregations may be “bored” to death –that is, they may not grasp the true message of the Gospel – and in effect are headed for hell. So what are we to Preach? “Preach the Word, be prepared in season and out of season – be prepared…” 2 Timothy 4: 1-2 As Preachers of the word, we are to be prepared to preach, on that most of us would agree. The problem that is not necessarily what, but how? I believe we can be effective and have impact in our communities, by prayer, preparation, effective communication, and by developing a realistic and challenging application. I learn the importance of the following elements in this online preaching class.

Online Preaching Class –  First – Prayer.

Prayer is essential in preparation; it is the Holy Spirit that makes our sermons effective, not the words of our mouth, the God’s message through our minds and from our lips to the ears of the audience. It is at the urging of God that we choose the right verse for the right time and for the right audience. None of that will happen without prayer.

Online Preaching Class – Second – Preparation

Preparation is more than just sitting down in your study or office reading some printed material, looking up what commentators say, and then writing out your version. Preparation is work! Of course it means study, study and more study, not just of commentaries but mostly of the Word, comparing scripture with scripture. Sometimes struggling with a passage, as you work through it, learning where it was written, who is the audience, what is the context, etc, etc.

This is where we also pray for illumination and clarity of mind. Decide (after prayer and contemplation) what kind of sermon you will work on, it might focus around someone’s personal testimony, or someone’s biography. Perhaps it will be a history perspective or a message on a particular topic. One certainly cannot exclude both the topical and/or expository studies and presentation of God’s message to us -where the pastor expounds on the meaning of a verse or chapter, and then focuses on that as the core of the sermon before applying that word to everyday life. For many a template makes this part of the pastor’s preparation easier – it adds focus, structure, organization.

While these may sound like the same words many of us have learned in a public speaking class, a sermon is much more than that. We are communicating God’s truth, not just telling a co-worker that sales are up and down, that a certain kind of process works best in manufacturing, or convincing ourselves that it’s up to us to become successful. On the contrary, God is using us to present the truths of the Gospel; that He made the world, and that He sent His Son to be born of the Virgin Mary, who lived, died, and was resurrected while here on earth. It is communicating that because of Jesus we can have eternal life. This is our message, far more important than temporal matters. One must be willing to edit, edit, edit. Not just to shorten the message but to focus the message on the core or main point of whatever scripture you are using.

It’s interesting in Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy, chapter 4 verse 2b, Paul says that we are to “correct, rebuke, and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction” no where does he say “with a lot of words”, bringing us back to my opening statement, “the mind can take in only what the seat can endure.” Especially in this 21st century, our brains for better or worse, have been conditioned to sound bites, we have the audience’s attention at best for seven minutes, and those minutes had better be focused, clear, concise, and well crafted.

Online Preaching Class – Third  Presentation

Without proper preparation, your presentation will “flop”. It is in this third step that our preparation pays off. If properly prepared, we can peach with humble confidence, passionate enthusiasm, with clarity and with a refined manner. If we don’t know our stuff then we run the risk of the congregation not grasping the point of the message, our words will be just words that bounce around the auditorium’s ceiling and walls. While sermon presentation is a calling, and we are equipped by the Holy Spirit to proclaim God’s message to a needy world, it is also a craft that must be mastered.

We must preach clearly, focused, using all the tools of communication that God has given us. We should not hide behind a pulpit, reading a sermon in monotone as Jonathan Edwards, did. We are empowered by the God Himself, through the work of the Holy Spirit, we must have passion, and know our audience – we must walk in their shoes as we preach to them. We must stay focused on our main point, using a language and method that is customized and works with our audience.

Technology can be extremely helpful and can serve as a catalyst in keeping the audiences attention, especially video clips, photos, and power point but we must be discerning on the appropriate tool and when to use it. We must also be careful to not get too enamored with the techie stuff that we lose our focus on what God is trying to say through us to our congregations. Our body language, use of our eyes, our hands, our walking around the stage, are important to be effective, but must always compliment and enhance our presentation not distract from it. This is not a show, or an oratory contest, but serious business. Likewise our grooming must always be in good taste, again not to take away from the message. This is not a fashion show and most of us won’t make it to national evangelical TV stations. If necessary, we should use stories, poems, etc. There is a common saying especially among those of us from a reformed theological background that the good sermon must have three points, a Psalm and a hymn, along with a poem. Note it doesn’t say we need to take an offering (that’s a joke). Most of Jesus’ teachings were in the form of parables (earthly stories with a heavenly meaning). It’s ok to abruptly end, to add a little drama, and hold the listener’s attention and they may retain much more of the message. Just as the “preacher” needs to hook to get the audiences attention at the beginning so an effective close is necessary.

Online Preaching Class – Fourth -The Application

Perhaps an often over looked part of the sermon is the application. How should they apply what you have taught to their lives? Besides worship, the preaching of the word needs to have an application to be effective. God’s word contains all the answers to all of life’s questions, though it is not a science text book or a math text, or reading primer, it sets the parameters on how life can and should be lived. It is our guide in living and our comfort in dying. Our preaching done in love and compassion can and should change people’s lives. Conclusion – It is with “fear and trembling” that I approach the calling of preaching. For me this course has been one of the most beneficial in a practical way. This is where the “rubber hits the road”. Your prayers are hoped for and anticipated.

At this online preaching classes students watch and evaluate over 10 different preachers. They also read articles, materials and blogs that help improve their craft. This assignment was complete by Duane Smith a student at CLI. Check out one of the links you will study in this online preaching class.  This online preaching class link is from John Piper

Minister Training – Training the B Team – Jesus Did It

Minister Training – Pastor Bob De Vries preached a stirring message yesterday about the training method of Jesus. Jesus called ordinary people, some of them hardly educated, the “B” team. He schooled his leaders in an 18 month minister training course, which included mentorship, teachings, and practical experience.minister training We call that discipleship.

Minister Training – Three Lessons

First, He really did call a “B” team. Jesus called leaders for minister training who had much less than a college diploma (Fisherman). He called leaders with a past (Saul of Tarsus). Jesus called outsiders (Matthew, the Tax Collector).

Third, minister training is necessary. Jesus did not just call them and send them. He spent time with them giving them teachings about the kingdom and solid doctrine, which have been passed on to us. He mentored them about life issues. He also sent them out two by two into ministry situations. Then he helped process their experiences in order to prepare them for ministry after he was gone.

Christian Leaders Institute is seeking to mirror that method of Jesus for minister training. Jesus still calls leaders into ministry. We welcome all leaders, but we specialize in training “B” team types. People who have a past and are now outside the normal curve. People who would not get into a seminary, but have a calling. Leaders who have little money, but will give their lives to Christ. These leaders are from everywhere the gospel has been preached. They are the spiritual children of the missionaries. They live in the inner cities of the US and Nigeria, for instance. They are the children of single moms and the poor. They are older than 70 sometimes; they are younger than 20 sometimes. They all have a story and we are glad to be part of it!

God is gathering this “”B” team and Christian Leaders Institute has found a way to keep them with their local mentor/pastor.  CLI will deliver high quality minster training to these leaders with free tuition.

Are you called to ministry? Do you want to receive minister training? Click here to start filling out your application into a getting started class that secures your scholarship. Get your advanced minister training on the web brought right where you are!