MINISTRY DEVELOPMENT


by Dr. Philip Gagnon

 

We believe that an Independent Baptist Church has to be born of an established Independent Baptist Church. All the New Testament churches have their foundation in the church that Jesus began in Jerusalem with twelve members (Matthew 16:18; Marcos 3:14; I Corinthians 12:28). El Apostle Paul was sent as a missionary commissioned by the church of Antioch (Acts 13:2-3).

 

Six years after beginning La Iglesia Bautista La Gracia in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, we agreed to help a brother missionary maintain the Bible institute that was in his church. In the following five years we had five graduates.

 

When Roberto Pineda became pastor of La Gracia he began classes. In the following eight years we had eight graduates. Having trained men enabled us to move to the city of La Esperanza to begin another institute at the request of a fellow missionary.

 

To be accredited we became an extension of the Landmark Baptist Theological Seminary) in Fort Worth, Texas. An accredited diploma testifies to the academic preparation of the Lord’s servants.

 

The fruit of the missionary’s work is seen in souls saved, churches strengthened and new churches established. For that reason the following testimonies of fruit are given.

 

Pastor Leonel Maldonado asked for help in beginning a Seminary Extension in his church. Of six graduates who are pastor five have begun a new church.

 

Missionary José Boanerges Morán began an Extension as a part of his ministry. His success encouraged him to be a voluntary representative. He has motived pastors in El Salvador and Mexico to begin classes in their churches.

 

In IBENIL’s radio program Dr. Morán emphasizes the Seminary’s value for the local church. The fifteen minute weekly program is broadcast four times weekly from Bible Broadcast Network’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. With ninety stations in nine Spanish speaking countries their potential listening audience is almost two hundred million.

 

 As a result of the program seven pastors in Puerto Cortés, Honduras, requested help to begin classes. Four years later twelve students graduated. Five graduates are pastors who then began classes in their churches.

 

Missionary Jason Tate is the voluntary representative in the capital city area. Besides serving as pastor of two new work, and helping in a third, he has three Extensions with seventy students.

 

Presently there are Seminary Extensions in nine countries. The Holy Spirit has directed every step of this ministry. It will continue to grow because pastors who have Extensions encourage others pastors.

 

Every pastor and missionary’s ministry is the preparation of the believers for the work of winning the lost through the local church. As Paul said in II Timothy 2:2, And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Those prepared believers that do not leave to begin a new church strengthen their own local church.

 

The most difficult part of developing a church is a God called man to become the pastor. This difficulty is resolved when a spiritually and academically prepared man begins the new work. The local pastor provides the spiritual development and the Seminary provides the academics.

 

We see the need because of what Jesus said in John 4:35, “I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”  We pray because of His command in Matthew 9:38, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”  We act because it is our responsibility (II Timothy 2:2).