June 2021 – UPDATE

Dear Friends,

This May marks my third full year as the director of training for the Artizo Institute, and the move to refresh and refocus our training program. We’ve pursued this by consolidating our training within St. John’s Vancouver while developing and strengthening our curriculum. After three fantastic years of growth, learning, and experimentation, it’s time to actually articulate what we’ve developed with an eye towards the future growth and sustainability of our program.

I must admit that training people well is a weighty endeavour. It involves lots of organizing and administering, mentoring and feedback, and both teaching and listening. The importance of gospel work and ministry makes it even weightier, as this training has eternal consequences. What a delight it is to see changes in character, competency and conviction in our apprentices. Coupled with my other ministry work at St. John’s, the weight of this work has not given me the time to make our training program accessible to other trainers who might want to benefit from it. While we are running a fantastic ministry training program now, we are not yet multiplying  our resources or vision of training into the wider church.

To this end, the Artizo Institute and St. John’s Vancouver Church boards have set aside the month of June for me to work solely on curriculum development and documentation, while I pause my usual training, recruitment, and ministry duties. I hope to develop what Artizo does to the point where we can transfer it to other trainers and other churches.

I’ll begin by succinctly laying out the vision and values of Artizo, the imperative of gospel training given to us in Scriptures, and our vision for good word-based, gospel ministry. That’s the “why.” But we also need the “how” – which involves our pedagogy (how we teach) and our methodology (how we train). These are the most important layers and will open the door for us to explore how we can go beyond simply training, to training trainers. Of course, I’ll also spend some time developing the “what” as well. This will include actual content and tools which can be picked up by other trainers and easily used in this work alongside their other duties and responsibilities.

Artizo, as well as our supporters, yearns to see gospel ministry flourish within Canada by training and equipping young men and women for this work. The task is much larger than St. John’s and the training we do here, and I am hopeful that my work this month will contribute to the adoption of a training mindset by churches, ministers, and trainers across Canada. As Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

To that end – will you join me in prayer this month for the task ahead of me? Here are some specific requests:

  • Please pray that God would grant me the gift of wisdom, endurance, and discernment as I work to develop this curriculum.
  • Please pray that all the logistics including organization, graphic design, and presentation would fall into place.
  • Please pray for Artizo – that God would continue to send us people to train, and that we might begin effectively training new trainers and building relationships with training churches.

I am very grateful for the support of the many who pray and fund the work of Artizo, and look forward to seeing what new tools we will have to deploy from our training storehouse come July.

Your fellow labourer in Christ,
Rev. Ben Roberts, Director of Training