THE TRAINING PROGRAM
The Good Samaritan Leadership training program is primarily not an academic institution or Bible college or Theological college but rather a local fellowship under the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ where men are trained for ministry leadership in an atmosphere of practical Christianity. We seek to function according to the pattern of the Church in the New Testament. The program is established around a teacher-disciple relationship functioning as a unit of the Body of Christ with a course of study focussed on the students individual development and growth through the teaching of the Word of God and the development of an intimate and personal relationship with the Lord. We acknowledge that the basic requirements for any form of Christian service is a genuine consecration of heart and life to the Lord Jesus. We seek to foster spiritual aims in the life of each student that produce a Christ-likeness of character in preparation for Christian service.
How often a young man on fire for God has been sent to a Bible college only to come back cold. Professional theology is totally ineffective to meet the need of this hour. Here the time is devoted to “learning by doing method”. What we say, we believe, must become practical and workable in our daily lives.
We did not begin with building, professors and curriculum but with a definite vision to develop mature Christian Leadership with the revelation of God’s purpose in the Church and in the earth today. God is presently extending His work of restoration in bringing the Church corporately and individually into scriptural order. He is breaking down traditions and establishing divine standards at every level. He is restoring us back into the pattern in His word. We believe, He is presently extending to all, the greatest honor that has ever been conferred to mankind; the glorious privilege to bear the life and testimony of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to all nations.
Our Lord’s method of training was far more radical than anything we have seen any where. Jesus gathered a little group of twelve young men to be with Him. He never built a building, never scheduled a service or a class, had no curriculum, no courses. He simply told His disciples to follow Him and then began to walk off. They saw His miracles and heard Him talk to all sorts of people, to the crowds, to the sick and possessed to the seekers, to his opponents the Pharisees, the Sadducees etc. When there was time, Jesus sat down wherever they were and talked to His disciples and answered their questions. He did not pull rank on them but rather became their friend. They ate and slept together and were continually in the closest kind o fellowship. From time to time He seen them out on their own to put into practice what they had learned. Then they came back and reported and continued to walk with Him. Jesus obviously wanted to introduce an entirely new method and concept of teaching; because all of these were in direct contrast with the method of all other religious leaders and teachers of His day. When we read in Acts2 :42 that the Christian converts in Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost “continued in the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship”, we may be sure that Apostles used the same method that Jesus had used on them. They did not build big colleges but met in close, intimate fellowship in believers homes and broke bread and prayed together with them. The people learned quickly in this close, informal fellowships; and very soon they were able to become leaders. Paul used this same method in training Timothy, Titus, Luke and others. They were members of his team. They followed him around for a few years, occasionally being sent out to practice on their own and eventually sent out. In the traditional method of teaching theory always comes first for a long time followed by a bit of practice. In the Lord’s method, the practice usually comes first followed by explanation as time allowed.
To provide an atmosphere conducive to worship, prayer, Bible study and Christian Fellowship. To develop sensitive and mature Christian leadership with a vision of God’s purpose in the Church and in the earth today.
To reach and impart the five-fold ministry gifts as being restored and revived in the Body of Christ.
To encourage the development of a vital relationship and walk with God as the most important aspect of a person’s life.
A birds eye view on the function of the Local Church
A survey of the New Testament will reveal that every church is autonomous or independent. Every local church is self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating.
There is no headquarters or state level or district level oversight.
There is no medium between Christ and the Local Church. Though there are ordained ministries, such as the Apostolic and Prophetic ministries over the Local churches, each is complete in itself.
Elders are the ‘supreme court’ of the Local Church; though there are ministries that have raised them. Every local church needs to be under the Apostolic and Prophetic ministries that they may be nurtured and governed.
We are independent but yet interdependent.
The principles applied in the functioning of the Local Church
For a healthy local Church, we believe that the members should commit themselves to the following:
· The Leadership of the Church: In the Church, the Lord has drawn together men of different personalities and ministries to function together in leadership as ministries, elders, deacons & house group leaders. Accept these men and those whom the Lord has placed in responsibility. I Thess. 5:12-13. They are there to watch over the sheep’s lives, their joys, their problems and difficulties. The members have to share with the leaders major areas of decision in their lives that may effect the function and life in the Body.
· The teaching of the Church: The teachings and messages shared through the word on a Sunday is designed to encourage and strengthen the members. The members should seek to practically work it out in cell groups. If they have difficulties over things that are taught, they are to ask questions of the elders or cell group leaders. They are to beware of private interpretations. II Peter 1:20; I Tim. 1:3-4
· The direction of the Church: As God leads us as a body by His Spirit, we intend to move on and to be obedient to His ways. His Spirit has led us out of many traditions and into new patterns of worship, structure and church life. It has and will require flexibility and submission to His ways and His teachings, as we seek to follow the guidance of God.
· Our brothers and sisters: The Lord has brought the each member into contact with others who are not all like themselves. They have different views, personalities, opinions, gifts and ministries. In all the difficulties they face with respect to relationship they ought to remember how the Lord forgave them and accepted them and so act towards others.The early Church did not simply have services, but in daily life they met together (Acts 2:46), enjoying fellowship over meals and in homes. The home is an important place that the Lord can use. Exercise hospitality to others so that one may get to know others better. Be prepared to invite lonely and single people as well!As those under the Lordship of Christ, everything belongs to Jesus. In the early Church, no one had anything that they called their own. Acts 4:32. God is pleased with the sacrifice of sharing. Heb 13:16. We encourage the members to look towards sharing in practical ways with their brothers and sisters. Gal 6:10, but to be cautious that they do not fall into soulish affections and love just because they helped someone or someone helped them. These are good works that follow faith. I John 3:16,17; James 1:27; James 2:26.
· The purpose of our cell groups is to know a group of people in depths and that they may be helped in practical ways.
· Nothing can be built without unity. There is a unity that is by the Spirit of God and we have to maintain that unity. Gossip, grumbling and unresolved issues between brethren are deterrent to this unity. In the interest of the Body, refuse to hear criticisms or complaints of the brothers and sisters and leaders.
· Meetings: Our commitment and fellowship to the local church is expressed both in the use of our homes and also our attendance at the meeting of the church. Maintaining fellowship and avoiding personal feelings of isolation are important for spiritual growth. Church meetings and cell group gatherings should be priorities in our lives.
· Communion: In our gatherings we break bread and drink the cup as instituted and commanded by Jesus. In this way :
· We remember the love that Jesus had for us in dying for us.
· We re-express our commitment and love to the Lord and to His body
· We seek forgiveness of those we have offended.
· We seek to minister to one another in practical ways, remembering that we are the body of Christ.