Announcement: Three New Training Churches

From Lesley Bentley, Artizo Chair

Artizo is expanding. We welcome St. Peter’s Fireside, St. John’s Richmond and King’s Cross as our new Artizo Institute training churches. The ministers at each of these new training churches have all begun meeting with Ben Roberts, Artizo Director of Training, to learn the expectations of each church as a training base and how to help and mentor the apprentices.

The characteristics of a training church are threefold: expectation and acceptance of failure, prayer and financial support, and integration of the apprentice into ministry to provide real opportunities for hands-on training. This is a significant commitment on the part of these new training churches, and we thank them for their participation in this vital work.

As a training church, St. John’s Vancouver is expected to fulfill the same commitments. You will have seen how our apprentices stumble and eventually mature into seasoned ministers. We accept their failures and provide encouragement. Our apprentices fill vital roles in our many ministries and are given challenging opportunities to organize and lead – sometimes far outside their comfort zones. And finally, our members show commitment in their prayers and in their giving to this response to the gospel mandate to train others.

These new training churches will be using the exact same proven curriculum and mentorship model that Ben has developed over the last several years. All of our nine apprentices at all churches will meet weekly with Ben to work through the curriculum, work on sermons, and support each other. The apprentices from every church will also continue to meet monthly, one-on-one with either Ben Roberts or Artizo trainer Susan Norman for personal mentorship and formation. This component will ensure the personal connection, support and mentorship of each intern – a relational aspect of Artizo that will remain at the forefront of what we do.

Sharing curriculum, strategies and techniques with other churches is vital to our mandate to train and equip people for the ministry of God’s word across the country. These placements outside of St. John’s Vancouver allow us to greatly expand the number of interns we can train at one time while providing them with sufficient opportunities to practice ministry. Getting the program right has required substantial planning and forethought. But with the curriculum content and delivery well established and tested we feel confident as Artizo takes this next step.

Training is an exponential affair. By training the ministers at the new training churches the more potential trainers we have. This “train the trainers” component of Artizo is new and will enable Ben to work with not only the three new churches but also allow him to try various techniques to see what might work in the future as we look at the possibility of extending Artizo into other regions.

Of course, it helps that each of these churches has former Artizo apprentices as ministers currently serving in their churches, with two of them, St. John’s Richmond and King’s Cross, being directly planted by former Artizo apprentices.

We ask for your prayers as this new initiative is introduced, that it will serve the apprentices and their training churches and congregations well. We also ask that you pray even more broadly that this will help us to understand and refine how this model might be expanded to other geographical regions of Canada to spread the gospel and grow the church from coast to coast to coast.

This is an exciting time for Artizo, and we thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support.