May 19, 2010

June 2010


Our dear friends and partners in ministry, 

Recently, I, Steve, participated in CHIEF’s Native Christian Leadership Forum in Phoenix. These meetings are monthly to benefit Native pastors, lay leaders, Native students, missionaries, and board members of Native ministries in that area. The meetings are held at Phoenix Seminary. I team taught with my friend and fellow teacher, Rev. Ben Yazzie. We spoke on administration of the local church. Many of these pastors and leaders have not had the benefit of training in these areas. I have a special interest in teaching these leaders how to prepare messages that are scriptural and can help in the deepening of the individual and church. Ben is especially good at teaching the nuts and bolts of running a church. 

 

Native Bible Institute is a way of addressing the critical need for leaders among the Native American churches. The few churches who have leaders often fail to grow because the leaders are overworked. NBI hopes to give these leaders the encouragement and training they need, as well as, raise up new leaders to stand with them. 

Through NBI, we are hoping to develop an ordered learning cycle, where classes build upon one another, so as to add depth to the educational and practical training of those who desire to be leaders. 

Since leaders come from the ranks of mature, believing disciples, the foundational cycle is for developing disciples out of any who desire the training. This is intended, however, to create a pool out of which leaders will arise for the Native Christian churches. 

 

Last report we asked for your prayers for the Native Bible Institute. We had a kick-off in late May with our President, Huron Claus. Huron and I addressed several church leaders about the opportunity of some solid Bible teaching at NBI. 

On June 15th, we began with 8 students. We began with the first course in the Discipleship series, “Confirming the Gospel: the Gospel of the early church.” From passages like Acts 10:34-43, the class compared the gospel we often preach today to the one Peter and Paul preached in apostolic times. The early Church’s gospel was full of Scripture, expanding upon the prophecies of the Old Testament, and centering upon the death, and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This will be the first in the series which will emphasize the foundations of the Christian faith. The classes are intended to build upon each other in the manner of a catechism. This should give each student a good grounding in the essentials of leadership in their churches. I am writing these courses myself  and testing them as I go. Feedback is essential from the students, but many have not taken this kind of course before. There is much interest, but not so much commitment. Pray! 

  

Prayer Requests: 

  • For summer travel and church contacts sharing the ministry of  CHIEF.

    

  • Recruitment and prep for the Fall classes of Native Bible Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  

  • School Without Walls session scheduled in the Fall among the Choctaw Nation in Southeast Oklahoma.

   

Great fellowship with Col. John Schumacher, US Army chaplain and his wife, Martha

Lunch with Tom and Alfreda Claus, Founder of CHIEF

Chris and I vacationed at the CHIEF headquarters in Phoenix, where we enjoyed the hospitality of the visitor’s bungalow. 

Once again, thank you for your friendship and support in our ministry in CHIEF. Words can’t express enough the blessing that you are to Chris and I. Feel free to respond to us anytime by sending us your reply!
 

  

  

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