Purpose: The Immanuel Ministry Cohort exists to equip and affirm future gospel ministry leaders through education and experience in the context of the local church.
Who: Men and women who want to be further equipped to lead in gospel ministry.
– Ecclesiology Reading & Roundtables (1st Summer)
– Mission Trip to Partnering Church (2nd Summer)
– Missionary Biography Reading (2nd Summer)
– Biblical Theology (2nd Summer)
What kind of gospel ministers do we want to produce? At Immanuel it is our desire to always be equipping the body of Christ for the the work of ministry. We believe to equip others for ministry means to further equip saints to be gospel servants. We believe this because the word “ministry” in Ephesians 4:12 literally means service. We believe this as well because this is Jesus’ call in Mark 10:42-45. We are not called to lord it over one another as the world does. We are not to see opportunities of service in the church or opportunities for theological education as tools of leverage for “greater” opportunities of ministry, but rather to be equipped to minster to the local church and those outside the household of faith is to be equipped to be a servant of all. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and ultimately lay his life down for sinners. We, as gospel ministers, are to embody such a service to our families, the church, and the world so that the glory of Jesus would be put on display. Our goal at Immanuel, therefore, is to raise up humble leadership in the local church that reflects the leadership of Christ.
Who are gospel ministers? Every person who is in Christ is a minister of the gospel. If you are in Christ, you are an ambassador for Christ. If you are in Christ, then Peter in 1 Peter 2:9 would want you to know that you have been saved to proclaim the excellencies of Christ. If you are in Christ, Christ has particularly gifted you with spiritual gifts to build up his church, gifts that are to be affirmed and cultivated in the context of the local church. So in one sense there is no need for structured leadership development and equipping pipelines because if you are a Christian in a church that is faithful to teach and admonish the gospel, then you are in a context where believers are being equipped to minister to the saints and thus build Christ’s church.
Why a Ministry Cohort then? Though we do not believe structured pipelines are necessary to equip the people of God for the work of God, we believe that an intentional system can help Immanuel equip, mobilize, raise up and send out leaders all the more. We have intentionally named it a “Ministry” Cohort because we want the end goal not to simply be theological education, but we want the end goal to be leaders ministering the gospel and equipping others to minister the gospel.
Is this just for prospective pastors? This ministry cohort is not just for prospective pastors and future vocational ministers. The purpose of this cohort is to equip all leaders to be more faithful in the spheres of ministry that the Lord Jesus has particularly gifted them to serve in. This ministry cohort therefore is open to those who are helping coordinate children’s ministries, future deacons, those longing to be sent out internationally, Community Group leaders, Women’s Ministry leaders, and those wanting to lead their church in engaging the local needs of their communities. The intention of this cohort is to invest and raise up future leaders in the church, who will either remain at Immanuel, plant another church or strengthen another work in New Orleans, help revitalize in North America, or be sent out internationally.
What do we mean by “Equip, Entrust, Elevate”? “Equip, Entrust, Elevate” is just a simple alliteration to capture what we are trying to accomplish with this cohort. We seek to equip those in the cohort through teachings, assignments, and opportunities to shadow other leaders. Equipping, therefore, doesn’t just come by education, but by experience as well. By entrust, we mean entrusting those in the cohort with ministry. We would characterize this entrusting in two different ways: Strengthen or Start. A member of the cohort will either be strengthening an already existing ministry in the church or starting something new. All new members of the cohort will spend their first couple of months strengthening another’s ministry so that they can be assessed in order to understand if they are gifted to continue to strengthen or start something new. Lastly, by elevate we mean raising up these potential leaders in the local church to train other leaders or be raised up to be sent out to lead elsewhere.
***This schedule will be repeated in the years to come, and it will be modified by the pastors as needed.