Ministry Academy Training Week in Lagos – By Michael Burns and James Becknell
The Leadership of the ICOC, Lagos was truly enriched by the visit of two incredible brothers and teachers from the USA to train the Lagos staff, the West African School of Missions and the Church-wide Bible Talk leaders.
Michael Burns and James Becknell are both from the Minnesota and Chicago Churches of the Midwestern Region of Churches in the US. They trained on “Christ & Culture” and “Spiritual Disciplines & Character Formation respectively”.
Sessions with the Lagos staff and students of the WAM School of Missions commenced on Tuesday morning after their arrival on Monday night. They taught this group for four days in a row with daily sessions beginning at 9:30am-6pm.
It is worth mentioning that the leadership of the Lagos Church has decided to extend the Ministry Academy Training (MTA) to also include the Bible Talk Leaders across the Church – this led to an abridged version that was taught on Saturday from 10am – 4:30pm in the Ikeja facility.
Some key takeaways involved the re-envisioning of discipleship as an apprenticeship, distinguishing faithfulness to church activities from true discipleship, understanding the role of spiritual disciplines in the life of an apprentice, the elements of spiritual formation and the importance of understanding culture in our spiritual life. A better understanding of culture will help resolve a big part of our conflicts and challenges as an international family of Churches.
Each of the courses were accompanied by reading material and assignments for follow up.
It was recommended that the Spiritual Disciplines be worked upon one at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Students are urged to follow up on the reading assignments and ensure that the newly acquired knowledge benefits both our individual and corporate lives as disciples and as a community.
Because of the deep impact of both courses, we all look forward to having these two brothers and great teachers revisit us in the very near future.