We need local church Bible colleges

I am blessed to be the Principal of Vision Colleges, an independent distance education Bible college working with local churches to establish their own Bible college.

I often relate to leaders of many denominations because we all recognise the same thing – the growing need for a sound knowledge of the word of God. The need is greater today than ever before.

I believe that every church is a miracle of God’s grace and favour and has its place in the kingdom of God, regardless of size or location. God knew what he was doing when he established your church.

At the same time, it appears that over the past two decades, the Church has grown weaker in its influence on society and in the world of God.

First, fewer people are reading their Bible and even fewer are studying it. Christianity Today surveyed Christians in 2020; only 20 per cent read their Bible daily, down from 29 per cent in 2002.

The result of this lack of knowledge is disheartening and has consequences. Our ability to respond to other faiths is diminished, and these faiths are winning Christians in alarming numbers.

The Church (except for a few individuals) seems unable to respond to actual and proposed anti-Christian legislation. Our ability to respond to issues or realise the implications of some legislation is eroded. We have become the influenced and no longer the influencer of legislation.

Our capacity to give an answer for what we believe to our neighbour has declined as Christians lack a clear understanding of their faith.

Some churches have transformed into Christian entertainment to compete with the world. But we are not of the world even though we are in it; we are called to be different.

Too many preachers, fearful of offending others, present a diluted gospel rather than being bold in their faith. Yet, speaking the truth boldly and lovingly will rarely insult.

Of course, these comments do not apply to everyone in the Church and are not true of every church. Still, as a result of these issues and more, the need to know god’s word must be addressed.

We have to know, we must see, we need to understand that the word of God, the Bible with the Holy Spirit, is how faith is developed and leads to salvation.

God’s word: delivers, provides guidance, develops wisdom, lifts the broken-hearted, grows the saint to maturity, releases into ministry, brings biblical prosperity, binds families together, leads in the right direction, offers hope in despair, provides solutions to life’s problems, brings revelation, develops a relationship with Jesus and the whole Godhead, leads us in prayer, growth and development individually and collectively, and wins the world to Jesus and eternity with Him.

First, the biblical basis: We need to know God’s word

We are commanded in Scripture to study and prove ourselves worthy workmen for the ministry. It can only happen where our knowledge and understanding are tested. 2 Tim 2:15 3 Tim 2:16-17

We need to be able to answer for what we believe. 1 Peter 3:15

We are required to hold fast to sound doctrine Titus 1:9, 2:1 2; Timothy 4:3

Second, the Church

Each church is a miracle of God’s grace and is a place of worship, praise, ministry, and the presentation of the word of God. Yet no matter how good the ministry team is, a 30-45 minute sermon and a mid-week session cannot prepare the saints of God for ministry. Pastors have to minister to a broad range of people. The diverse nature of the congregation’s mix of people, the content of spiritual maturity, ages and life skills limit our capacity to teach in great depth.

Vision Colleges solution

Partnering with Vision Colleges is an ideal solution.

The pastor’s life is unique, busy, and demanding. Developing a curriculum is more challenging than many pastors can cope with.

Vision Colleges provide the element the pastor cannot – the teaching materials.  We have developed a sound doctrine that effectively addresses issues in a lively manner, bringing knowledge and understanding that develops faith, life and satisfies the academic and ministry qualifications.

In contrast, the pastor provides the element Vision Colleges cannot – hands-on training and development of the people of God.

Not everyone wants to be a pastor or pursue ministry, nor are all called to, but most want to know the word and know God better and be a better Christian.

Vision Colleges and your church are an effective and dynamic combination to teach God’s word, change lives and build church communities.

Reach out to explore more about setting up a Bible college at your church! Call Rev Dr Denis Plant on 02 9603 2077, or via email: [email protected]