The vision of Artizo is “to fill Canada with the sound of God’s word”, and our strategy for accomplishing this is to train gifted young men and women for gospel ministry. But after twenty years of training, it became clear that our program needed to be refreshed and refocused. In particular, our curriculum needed to be developed into a more robust tool that could be more effectively and widely used for training in other churches and ministry contexts. More than simply developing resources, however, it needed to encapsulate our convictions around why we train others and how to train them well. To this end, my most challenging task as the Director of Training was to develop a curriculum that could carry our work forward and outward, and guide the next twenty years of training.

Over the summer, I asked for your prayers as I spent the month of June in an intensive process of writing and development. As we come to the close of the year I thought it would be helpful to update you on the current status of our Artizo curriculum development. My time spent writing in June was very fruitful and the outcome was a solid structure with which I am very pleased. The foundations and girders are laid in place, with our vision and ministry philosophy having been carefully described. There are walls and a roof in place with the description of our training methodology and pedagogy. Finally, there are numerous resources to be used in the day-to-day work of training. All these exist as an ordered collection of documents – with over 40 completed – that can be drawn upon as needed by the trainer and the apprentice.

The existence of this curriculum also makes the training process more transparent for our apprentices. While they are themselves being trained, they can now readily see how training is accomplished. It is our hope that our apprentices will themselves go on to train others, and the existence of a tangible, documented curriculum makes that distinctly more possible.

While I’m immensely satisfied with what was accomplished over the summer, quite a bit of work still lies before us. There are a number of resources that have been developed and written that still need careful editing and shaping before they can be easily deployed by others. Additionally, our online platform for holding and sharing these resources is still being developed, and I’m very grateful to Stephen and Pauline Hale and our Artizo Board who continue to assist in that portion of our project. Finally, there are also a number of projects and improvements I have in mind which remain to be completed

Despite the work yet to be done, I’m grateful for your prayers through this process and feel they have been answered in all that has been accomplished so far. Already I’ve seen the fruit of this curriculum in the training we’ve done this fall. What a joy it is to be able to open the curriculum and easily find just the right resource for the training needs at hand. It is appropriate that the word curriculum began as the Latin verb currere – “to run”. Having a clear course marked out makes the running of the race much faster and more enjoyable! I’ve also been gratified to see that despite having four apprentices this year with very different levels of experience and capability, the flexibility in how the curriculum can be applied is able to take them from where they are individually and push them one step further in their growth. This gives me confidence that what we’ve developed will be useful for other trainers in other training churches.

I’m very thankful for your ongoing prayers and financial support of Artizo as we move through this process of refreshing and refocusing. I very much look forward to seeing how God might use this work to further his work of raising up labourers for the harvest

May God grant us fresh wonder at Jesus’ incarnation this Christmas, in whose name we labour.

Ben Roberts, Artizo Director of Training