Who is raising a generation of ministers, disciplers and leaders?
“From this question, we began to dream,” says Michelle Collins. She and her husband Phil, pastor of Willow Park Church, Kelowna, B.C., drew on their experience of running discipleship training projects in the United Kingdom, and cast a dream for the Pursuit School of Evangelism.
“As we began to share the idea with our own church, local church leaders and conference ministers, there was a resounding, “Yes – go for it!”
Pursuit School will run its first year September 2017–May 2018. At press time, nine individuals, ranging in age from 18–60, have registered. They can accommodate 20.
Students will spend two days each week in classes and fellowship at Willow Park Church and four days in a ministry placement tailor-made for them.
The school year begins with a two-week intensive in which “student will focus on understanding their gifts and hearing God,” says Collins. Weekly classes develop skills in storytelling, welcoming, event planning and needs assessment, and deepen students’ understanding of the Bible, the work of the Holy Spirit and the principles of church planting.
Instructors will include evangelists, missionaries, chaplains, young workers, missiologists and counsellors. In addition to utilizing their own Willow Park staff, Pursuit School is partnering with speakers from the B.C. MB conference, C2C Network and MB Mission.
“A great candidate for Pursuit has a passionate desire to follow Jesus, to share the love of God with the world and to serve others and develop their God-given gifts and talents,” says Collins.
Students’ ministry placements could include supporting a church’s youth or children’s ministry, leading Alpha, doing street evangelism, preaching, or volunteering in a school or homeless outreach. Each student is assigned a mentor from Willow Park with whom they will connect weekly.
Accommodation, food, training and placement are $5,000, not including the cost of an overseas mission trip.
At the end of the course, Collins hopes students say they understand who they are in Christ; they have witnessed many coming to know Jesus and experienced opportunities to be stretched; they valued the mentor relationship; and that they are ready to serve the local church.
“My dream is that schools will be established all over Canada,” says Collins, “and a new generation of evangelists and ministers will be raised up.”