But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5 (NET)

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Grand Junction Co

Men studying LOC 1When you think of URBACAD, you think of Urban Christians, studying the Scriptures and learning to be disciples and leaders in big-city churches (both large and small), right?

But Albany URBACAD has been supplying TEE materials (Theological Education by Extension) to churches all across the US and Canada for nearly 20 years. That includes small rural churches, big suburban churches, independent churches, denominational churches, Spanish- and English-speaking churches, from northern Alberta to McAllen, Texas.

Kurtis Weeks recently checked in with a report on his most recent group, studying the Life of Christ series in Grand Junction, Co. They are presently in Book 5. Here’s part of what he shared:
We have been having great groups. Today we talked about ministry and its definition. All my guys are very involved in the church and have ministries they are working on. This group is a little different. I have a pastor, a retired missionary from Turkey, as well as two future elders Men studying LOC 2and a past elder of the church. Today our group meeting lasted from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. These guys are very dedicated and every meeting is great. This is my fourth time to go through it and I’m learning a lot also.
The Life of Christ series is also called the “Compendium” or the “Matthew course,” because it is based on the gospel of Matthew, with correlating studying in the other gospels and Acts. It’s a six-part series, and is usually worked through with a group in a particular church over a three-year span. The “Compendium” is designed to ground leaders and future leaders in the truths of God’s Word, the tools for effective leadership, and the personal walk of a true disciple of Christ.

Graduates at Ministerio CoMision, Austin TX

posted September 3, 2018

GraduatesWithPaty
Graduates of the SEAN Compendium class at Ministerio CoMisión Church, Austin, Texas: (l to r) Patricia Cano, Patricia Mendoza, Paty Lang (group leader), Erica Miles, Nathalie Ferrer. (Not in this photo: Martha Walker)

In October 2016, Paty Lang contacted me, seeking permission to begin teaching the SEAN Compendium (The Life of Christ) to a group of seven women in her church. Sister Lang had studied and completed the Compendium in a student wives SEAN group, led by Virginia McDole, at Columbia International University (CIU). Paty’s husband, Ken, was a student at CIU, and now Ken is pastoring Ministerio CoMisión, in Austin, Texas.

Over the past two years, Paty has faithfully led the women in her group in a concentrated program of study and ministry, and she has reported their grades to the URBACAD office at each level of the Compendium course. In July, five students completed the program, and the church celebrated their accomplishments with a joyous graduation event. We add our heart-felt congratulations to the students: Martha Walker, Patricia Cano, Erika G. Miles, Nathalie Ferrer, and Patricia Mendoza.

Paty told us, “For me the twenty months of tutoring/learning was a challenge and also a delight to repeat the course in my own language. Lord willing, we will probably start again the Compendium, with a new group next year.” We are excited to see these sisters’ enthusiasm for the Lord and his Word, and pray God’s special blessing on their ministries in days to come.

"THE BIG PICTURE" IS ESSENTIAL FOR NEW FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST

The Big Picture coverWe live in a society which has become largely ignorant of the basic history and key historical records of the Bible. Even well-educated men and women often can't distinguish Abraham from Aaron, Moses from Noah, Matthew from John, or the Old Testament from the New. But when a person puts their trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, the Bible becomes the most important guidebook for their lives.

The URBACAD program provides a wonderful textbook to bring new believers an understanding of the importance of the Bible, and an initial working knowledge of the contents of the Bible, and the flow of God's plan for human history. It's called The Big Picture (in Spanish, Panorama de la Biblia). For those churches which use Abundant Life as a guide for one-on-one or small group discipleship, The Big Picture is a great next step.

The Big Picture uses the same programmed instructional format as other SEAN materials, in ten units of study which can be paced one per week, or in "lessons" which would extend the study period to about 20 weeks. I recommend The Big Picture be used in a small group, less than eight students, to allow time for questions and interaction. We have developed a list of suggested Bible memory verses to reinforce the theme of each unit, available on request.

The workbooks are available for $12 plus P&H; a leader's guide for $10. Please contact me with questions, comments and orders. (Michael)

Men’s Ministry Will Be Strengthened by the URBACAD Life of Christ program

Last month I had the privilege of visiting the First Baptist Church of Bloomfield, NJ. It's a great, multi-cultural church pastored by Jimmie Van Sant. I brought the Sunday morning Bible message, and then met with 20 men from the church for a cookout. At their request, I presented the URBACAD Life of Christ program, as well as Abundant Life and The Big Picture.

The men of First Baptist had been searching for a way to go deeper into their spiritual life, and to prepare for effective leadership in the church. One man said, the church's women have their Bible studies already, but we need something that challenges us to work hard, to discipline ourselves, and to grow together in Christ. Of course, the Life of Christ program fits all these criteria very well!

Pastor Van Sant sent me word last week that the men of his church have organized themselves into three small groups, meeting at differing times and places, to begin working through Book 1 and doing ministry assignments together. Two groups are starting this month, and one in September; about 20 men total are beginning this adventure together!

I'm available to help these groups implement the goals over the next three years, and I hope to see these men complete the program, and to see real spiritual fruit in their lives!