Applied Ministry Philosophy

Are you an aspiring pastor? Are you a seminary student? Are you already in pastoral ministry, and you’re eager to broaden your understanding and experience of local church ministry? If so, then you may be excited to learn that FBC Diana is particularly interested in investing in you!
 

OVERVIEW

 
Our goal is to expose the ordinary life and ministry of the church and to simultaneously provide a biblical rationale for the undergirding ministry philosophy to those who are interested in serving and leading in a local church context.
 
Local church ministry creates a whole host of ecclesiological, doctrinal, and practical challenges; so, we seek to create a constructive setting in which students may engage some of these challenges. Below are three primary ways we do this.
 

THREE OPPORTUNITIES AT FBC DIANA

 

1. Guest Preaching

 
We are happy to welcome guest preachers. FBC Diana has a monthly Sunday evening service, which is a wonderful forum for new and inexperienced preachers to gain experience. We gladly offer pastoral guidance for preparation, and we also give constructive feedback and encouragement to the preachers who present sermons on these Sunday evenings.
 
Contact Pastor Marc Minter (marc@fbcdiana.org) to learn more about guest preaching at FBC Diana.
 

2. Weekender

 
Guests may participate in something we call a “weekender.” Meals and lodging are provided for free, and students will also receive free books.
 
Preaching: Participants observe and even contribute portions of sermon preparation with the senior pastor. Participants form an exegetical and a homiletical outline, and they also share in discussing possible pastoral applications for the assigned Scripture text.
 
Ecclesiology: Participants attend several sessions on various ecclesiological topics (such as church membership, theology and practice of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and church polity). Participants may interview church members, sit in on an elders’ meeting, and are encouraged to ask questions along the way.
 
Service Planning and Evaluating: Participants attend the morning and evening church service. After the Sunday evening service, the students join the elders in a review of the day’s activities, evaluating the quality, value, and biblical basis for all church activities.
 
Contact Pastor Marc Minter (marc@fbcdiana.org) to learn more about the weekenders at FBC Diana.
 

3. Pastoral Development

 

What is our purpose and method?

Our goal is to promote biblical ecclesiology by clarifying doctrine, learning historical practices, and exposing the ordinary life and ministry of the church and its pastors/elders.

Local church ministry creates a whole host of ecclesiological, doctrinal, and practical pastoral challenges; so, our development efforts aim to create a constructive setting in which to engage these challenges and to stimulate biblical convictions.

A good foundation for faithful pastoral ministry necessarily includes strong ecclesiological convictions which are deeply rooted in Scripture. Therefore, our approach is designed to help current and aspiring pastors form, test, and fortify such convictions.

Some of the principal questions our program is designed to address:

  • What is a church, and what is the church’s fundamental mission?
  • What is a pastor or elder, and what must these men do?
  • Who should lead the church, and how should they lead?
  • What does the Bible teach about church membership and governance?
  • How does church polity affect church functionality?

Our method is to lead participants through a theoretical and applied study of ecclesiology.

While participants may gain experience from some opportunities to serve FBC Diana (preaching, teaching, leading, etc.), the program is not primarily designed to serve this church. Instead, FBC Diana understands this program as one aspect of our responsibility to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) and also to raise up another generation of church leaders (2 Tim. 2:2).

Therefore, participants should expect to spend the bulk of their time in studying, observing, discussing, and contemplating the ecclesiology and ministry practices of FBC Diana.

Who should participate in this development program?

We welcome participants who aspire to serve in pastoral ministry (1 Tim. 3:1) as well as those who are already doing so.

Participants may or may not have prior ministry experience, and they may or may not have a desire to serve in full-time vocational pastoral ministry. Also, no seminary training is required.

It should be noted that this program alone is not sufficient to affirm or disapprove of any participant’s sense of pastoral calling. Any man aspiring to the office of an elder should seek evaluation and affirmation among the congregation with which he is united in membership.

Time

We offer a 3-year program, requiring a genuine commitment of 10-20 hours per month, most of which will be spent in reading, writing, and discussing matters of ecclesiology.

Involvement with Church Pastors

Participants will meet regularly with the elders/pastors of FBC Diana in order to observe elders’ meetings and to discuss reading and writing assignments. Elders’ meetings normally occur on the first and third Sunday evenings of each month, but this is subject to change.

Reading and Writing

Reading and writing are a major feature of our program, and participants are expected to spend most of their required hours each week diligently working to complete their assignments.

Reading: Participants will read approximately 6,900 pages from assigned books and articles.

Writing: Participants will write numerous reflection papers on the subjects and contents of their reading, especially emphasizing pastoral ministry applications.

Discussions: Participants will regularly discuss their reading assignments and papers during FBC Diana elders’ meetings.

Commitment

This program is designed to progress and build throughout. The time invested in reading, writing, discussing, and forming relationships will be comprehensively and cumulatively priceless. Therefore, we expect participants to commit wholeheartedly to the entire program. Specifically, we expect participants to complete reading and writing assignments, to prioritize discussion meetings, and to persevere.

Cost

All books will be provided free for participants, through the generosity of the members of FBC Diana. Participants must use their own word-processing device, but they may print as needed from the church office printer.

 
Contact Pastor Marc Minter (marc@fbcdiana.org) to learn more about the internship at FBC Diana.