Discipleship 2 Training
Eleven students (nine in the photo) in Manta completed the course in Basic Christian Doctrine and took the exam. This is the Thursday night Discipleship 2 Training. The students did a great job of continuing to study and meet weekly in spite of our absence. One of the men in the class, Juan León, encouraged the others to continue, reviewed the study materials that we provided, and led the group meetings. We are encouraged that the people in the church in Manta will continue to prepare themselves for service and for the ministry of discipling others. We are planning the next course for the months of June, July, and August, and expect these and other students to be enrolled.
In May, one of our Ecuadorian pastor friends, encouraged the church in Manta with a training opportunity. He taught a weekend theology module on ecclesiology (theology of the church). A good number of people attended the classes, and the students were enthusiastic about the subject matter. We are looking for options for more advanced training for our servant leaders in Manta, and this is a terrific option. Thanks to Pastor Jorge Rodríguez offering his time and expertise for building up the local church in Manta. Everyone looks forward to the next opportunity for similar advanced teaching and training.
Men’s and Women’s Bible Study Groups
Bible study has been central to the program at our church for the past several weeks.
February and March were months for Bible Study at the church in Manta. Two groups met each Friday night. Joy led a women’s group for a study of The Armor of God from Ephesians 6. The study included a video segment and take-home work. It was a very intense course about Spiritual Warfare. Joy had led the study for two women’s groups last year in our home. About 15 women completed the study at the church.
The other Friday night group was a men’s group. Tony led a study of the qualities essential for pastors and church leaders from 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Each weekly study included in-depth word study of three or four of the qualities listed in those chapters. Discussion and participation from the students was an important element as we tried to apply the Scriptures to our own lives as Christian men. Three men were especially faithful throughout the series.
Basic Christian Doctrine
On Thursday night we hold Bible Institute classes that we refer to as Discipulado 2 (Discipleship 2). In February we started a course called Basic Christian Doctrine. We are studying 20 essential biblical doctrines that all Christians should know and believe. The goal is to know what the Bible teaches about these subjects, such as the attributes of God, the meaning of the atonement, the resurrection, and the Second Coming of Christ. Seventeen students are participating in the course which requires outside reading and completing a weekly study guide.
“Romans” Sunday Sermon Series
On Sundays in February and March, Tony began preaching an expository sermon series from the Epistle to the Romans. Paul’s explanation of the Gospel in Romans is in-depth and detailed, so it is very interesting to prepare sermons and preach in a verse-by-verse format. The initial chapters include a personal introduction from Paul himself, and, more importantly, of Jesus Christ as the very central person in the Good News; then Paul points out the necessity of the Gospel — because all of us are sinners in need of a Savior.
Bible study has been an important part of our work in February and March.
Here is some of the latest news from Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Manta, and the new congregation in La Revancha.
A youth missions team from Pleasant Valley Baptist Church came and spent a week with the young people from IBB Manta. They made friends and had fun, but they also did ministry together, holding outreach activities in La Revancha. Pastor Darwin Moreira said that over 150 people from the community participated in the activities.
Dr. Chuck Lynch and his wife Linda came to Manta to lead a seminar on Biblical Counseling. IBB Manta was the host church, but pastors, church ministry leaders, and others were invited to attend. Dr. Lynch’s material is outstanding. It is very biblical and highly practical. He places a high value on discipleship and healthy relationships. Later in April, Dr. and Mrs. Lynch will be repeating the seminar in Latacunga.