Feb '16 Update

Preparation continues for the upcoming trip to the Philippines. But in the meantime I wanted to give you an update on how my work towards the Doctor of Ministry degree is progressing.

Trainers Need Training Too!

As I mentioned in a previous update, in July 2015 I began the pursuit of the Doctor of Ministry which has a rather ironic abbreviated form. In fact, I often get this puzzled look when I tell people that I am getting my D.Min. because they think I’m saying something else. So I have to make sure I enunciate it clearly lest they wonder why in the world The Master’s Seminary is giving out demons.Jmac - SteveAnyway, some may wonder why I am pursuing yet another degree. It isn’t because I like have lots of letters next to my name or want to be called doctor. Actually, I loathe such things. I desired to pursue this degree because it provides an opportunity to be better trained in expository preaching. The program is singularly focused on equipping men to be more informed and effective preachers of the Word of God.Steve Lawson has put together a wonderful new D.Min. program at Master’s Seminary where he has invited several gifted and experienced preachers to teach. We have had the opportunity to learn from John MacArthur as well as Alistair Begg, Daniel Block, Joel Beeke, Ligon Duncan, Michael Reeves and several others. Their wealth of knowledge and experience has been invaluable.The program is a three year program, designed in modular fashion. Thus lectures are confined to twice per year—one week in January and two weeks in July. Pre-class assignments are given in preparation for each session which is then followed by post class assignments that are due before the next session. These assignments include reading (lots of reading!), papers, sermon evaluation and various other projects. Philip DecourcyOverall, I have greatly benefited from the program from not only being taught from such gifted preachers but also in reading many good books on preaching, theology, and pastoral work. I can already see how this will enhance my own pastor training ministry both locally and overseas.I have attended two sessions to date and am still working on the assignments from our January session. Our third session together will be this coming July. Please pray for me in this effort—not just that I would complete all the assignments but that I would be better equipped to preach as well as assisting fellow pastors to that same end. As Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

Prayer Requests

Speaking of prayer requests please also add these to your prayer time:

  • Support: we are still hovering around 75% of the support needed. Please pray that the Lord would provide all that is needed. I will be meeting with a couple of potential supporting churches this month.
  • Philippines Trip: pray for my preparation for two conferences at local churches as well as two weeks of pastor training on the islands of Mindanao and Cebu. Please pray for my health and safety in travelling as well as being an encouragement and help to the Filipino pastors
  • L.A. Training Center: the launch of the urban pastors training center has been delayed due to a number of details being worked through in regards to the administration and oversight. Please pray for wisdom in getting them taken care of.
  • Family: we praise the Lord that our oldest daughter, Hannah, is expecting (our first grandchild!). Please pray for her as it has been a difficult pregnancy and she has not been able to hold much food down at all.

May the Lord bless you this coming month as we celebrate His death and resurrection.

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