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Compiled by Andrea Johnson

This issue is a celebration of generosity! The Gener(us) theme from the 2017 National Convention was too significant to confine to a one-time event, so we chose to expound on it in the Message magazine as well. Our Father in heaven is not poor; He has unlimited resources. Nonetheless He has entrusted many of those resources to us, expecting us to be generous and share them with those in need.

“He who is generous will be blessed” (Proverbs 22:9, NASB).

Mission Venture Plan (MVP) provides a wide variety of giving opportunities to ministries that already have connections to and are accountable to Open Bible Churches. Because of your generosity through MVP, lives around the world are being transformed. Celebrate some of these stories with us!

Celebrating Generosity through Generous Churches Community Awards Event

Surehouse-Open-Bible-Church-web2In addition to helping gang members on the streets find Christ, SureHouse Open Bible Church in Tacoma, Washington, pastored by Gary Wyatt, also hosts an annual Community Service Awards event. At this event church leaders honor community leaders, business owners, and other organizations who make noteworthy contributions to the city of Tacoma.

Honorees are given red-carpet treatment, treated to performances by the inspiring arts ministries at SureHouse, and presented with a custom-designed Star Award made of crystal. This event has given SureHouse OBC an even greater influence in their community, along with lasting relationships and partnerships.

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Community Care Project

Four years ago when local school leaders needed help to distribute food donations collected by second graders at Summerfield Elementary, they called New Life Church of the Open Bible in Petersburg, Michigan, pastored by Josh Ellis. The church is well known for its generosity to the community.

Church leaders did not hesitate to say yes and the Community Care Project (CCP) was born. The joy of the CCP begins when the church pastoral staff and families visit the second grade classes to say “thank you” in person for the donated goods. Students then excitedly begin grabbing bags off the mountain of donated items in their classrooms and bring them out to the waiting trucks, sharing smiles, high fives, and lots of laughter with the adults. New Life Church congregants add food items and $25 Kroger gift cards to the mix. Students, their families, and church members make a fun Christmas-themed evening out of the process, assembling the care packages, decorating Christmas cookies, and enjoying a hot chocolate bar and a Christmas movie. Each year about 100 bags of groceries are filled and distributed.

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Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Several years ago community business owners in Boonville, Missouri, offered a free Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. Unfortunately the restaurant that sponsored the event burned down. In 2013 Open Bible Praise Center in Boonville, pastored by Randy Richards, restarted the event with the help of Boonville schools and other community businesses.  In these first four years of the project, Open Bible Praise Center has served over 1,600 Thanksgiving meals.

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Celebrating Generosity through Chaplains Ministries

Open Bible chaplains go wherever their congregation is – in the air, on the ground, and in foreign countries. Chaplain (Captain) Doug Lumpkin and his chaplain assistant (shown above with their Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle) take the gospel to his soldiers and airmen congregation in Afghanistan and conduct formal and informal counseling. It is a “ministry of presence.” Chaplain (Major) Ben Hines, an Army chaplain with more than ten years of experience serving God and country, provided an opportunity for Army couples from his unit in Fort Bliss, Texas, to rekindle and enhance their marriage during a Valentine’s Day Retreat and Banquet (above).

Chaplains serving in the Armed Services serve on a mission field filled with people from around the world – well beyond the four walls of a traditional church.

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Celebrating Generosity through Biblical Education and Ministerial Training

INSTE Global

Inste Global Bible College, a church-based discipleship, ministry, and leadership training program, has partnered with INSTE Mexico to create a database for INSTE Global. This opens the doors even further for a greater reach into the nations. A student anywhere in the world can study in one of fifteen languages into which INSTE is currently translated. Web-based resources have greatly diminished the distance between INSTE and the nations, making it much easier to touch the hearts and lives of the people groups around the globe.

Currently 7 of the 28 books of INSTE’s curriculum have been
translated into Chinese. A generous family recently donated
funds to translate the eighth book. The cost to translate an INSTE book into both Simplified and Traditional Chinese is $4,000. Funds are available for translation of 25 of the 28 books that are being translated in Hungarian. The cost of translation into Hungarian is $1,500 per book. Pray and believe God with us that people will soon be able to study INSTE from start to finish in their own language.

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New Hope Christian College

After 33 years in Hawaii pioneering churches and equipping leaders, Wayne Cordeiro has accepted the call to serve as president of New Hope Christian College in Eugene, Oregon. The vision of New Hope Christian College is to equip those whom God is calling to lead and serve in our churches and mission fields. Its heart is to train young leaders in godly character and ministry competence through programs such as theology, homiletics, video, creative arts, business administration, sound-engineering, music, teaching, and pastoral ministry.

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Schools of Ministry

President Randall A. Bach said, “Our vision is for Open Bible Churches to be changed by a fresh impetus of called, gifted, and trained ministers who will not only assume the pastoral and leadership roles that exist today, but who will also be leaders of a vanguard of contemporary ministry for tomorrow.” Open Bible has recognized four official schools of ministry.

Creekside School of Ministry

Creekside School of Ministry in Rapid City, South Dakota, is based on Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV): And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Creekside takes that concept one step further, however, in their goal to equip the saints for leadership of ministry, specifically as pastors, church planters, and missionaries. CSOM’s flexibility is key in meeting its ministry training needs.

Creekside began with ten students in August of 2016 by formulating a plan of study for each that would help them answer the call of God on their life. One CSOM student has taken on leadership of the church’s new Royal Rangers program where he’ll learn firsthand what it takes to introduce a new ministry. Another student is seeking training via the missions track. She attended her first missions intensive in March 2017. Through a partnership between Creekside and School of Global Leadership (SGL), this student will be attending one of the Taste and See sessions at SGL this year.

For a glimpse of Creekside School of Ministry, visit their website at creeksidesom.org.

Discover Ministry School

Discover Ministry School is a ministry of Pacific region which exists to equip passionate followers of Christ in God’s Word and create a pathway for missional leadership and lifelong learning. This education option will allow more people to follow Christ’s call on their life, whether for the purpose of vocational ministry or personal growth.

One of the most distinguishing factors of Discover is its accessibility. Each weekly class will be delivered via video-simulcast to multiple locations on the West Coast, allowing students to stay in their local communities and churches. Local church or business leaders who cannot leave their circumstances to further their education will have the opportunity to be challenged and involved in a learning community. Anyone considering a career change to vocational ministry will find Discover to provide a viable path into a new season of their life.

The school will be intentional in creating a practical learning environment so that students know and experience a life in ministry concurrent with their studies. Classes will be both monitored and instructed by current pastors with an effective ministry background.

For more information, please visit discoverministryschool.com

Harvest Bible Institute

Harvest Bible Institute, in Des Moines, Iowa, endeavors to be biblically accurate, academically challenging, intentionally hands-on, and purposefully affordable.

Although the cost of a traditional Bible College education continues to increase, the size of the average American congregation remains 75 or fewer; often negatively affecting the salary a local church can offer a pastor. Many Bible colleges and Christian universities encourage student loans in order to pay for the educational experience; however, accumulated debt hinders a graduate’s ability to remain ministry focused and impedes a minister’s capacity to go wherever God leads. HBI will remain purposefully affordable so that students may graduate debt free and fulfill their God-given call.

For more information, visit harvestbibleinstitute.us

The Toledo School of Ministry

The Toledo School of Ministry in Toledo, Ohio, is based on the same model Paul the Apostle used, recapturing God’s missional way of advancing the Kingdom of God. Students daily experience God’s Word in a college classroom setting located at City Light Church (a recent church plant committed to raising up leaders) and then move into real-life ministry opportunities to activate the Word in hands-on practical ministry.

Besides studying INSTE Global Bible College courses, TSOM students receive practical ministry training in finance, relational leadership, homiletics, church planting, evangelism, and more. Students receive the education and experience necessary to be eligible to apply for credentials with Open Bible Churches and other organizations that will accept the student’s academic credits.

For more information, investigate TSOM at toledosom.com

Celebrating Generosity through Hispanic Ministries

The fundamental purpose of Hispanic Ministries is to develop leaders who will in turn develop other leaders in their respective regions and districts to plant churches and reach a new generation that will be prepared in the Word and strong in their faith.

Hispanic Ministries East partners with Inste Global Bible College and further equips potential church planters through mentoring, workshops, and Bible studies. Hispanic Ministries also works with Doug Thomas, Latin America Regional Director for Global Missions. They look forward to partnering with the Open Bible Schools of Ministry and New Hope Christian College in Eugene, Oregon. Hispanic Ministries East has a goal to plant ten churches in 2018; some are already underway.

Hispanic Ministries leaders work closely with the regional and national office to help process applications for credentials from Spanish-speaking individuals. They provide ministerial applicants with forms in Spanish and then walk applicants through the process from beginning to end. Hispanic Ministries is represented by two sectors: Hispanic Ministries East, directed by Raul Escalante, and Hispanic Ministries West, directed by Jorge Navarrete.

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Celebrating Generosity through MOVE (Men of Vision Evangelize)

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MOVE (Men of Vision Evangelize) gathers together men with varying levels of skill and expertise to build churches overseas. Sacrificing finances and vacation time, these men partner with Global Missions to build facilities around the world. This partnership aids our churches in reaching those seeking the Lord and ministers to men by providing them the opportunity to serve on a short-term mission trip and to
draw closer to the Lord.

A team of 27 men from the U.S. traveled to Papua New Guinea May 2-19, 2016, to the city of Port Moresby to build a church there. The congregation had outgrown their building so the MOVE team built a new, bigger temple for them to worship in.

A team of 30 men from the U.S. went to the South American country of Argentina March 13-29, 2017, to the town of Luca where they built a place of worship. The church there had been worshiping in a rented building.

Open Bible Churches is generously investing in new church plants, the training of new leaders through its schools of ministry, and resources for current leaders, all with the intention of generously ministering to people around the world! Won’t you join us?

About The Author

Andrea Johnson
Managing Editor

In her spare time you will most likely find Andrea Johnson with family or friends, or outdoors hiking. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with four children and five grandchildren.