by David Young
The Springs Academy for the Saints is the newest addition to the Springs Academy and is designed for laity. Its format is similar to the Springs Academy for Pastors, introduced in 2013. The Springs Academy for the Saints enables laity to discover their gifts and train for ministry as saints, as Paul says in Ephesians 4:12, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.”
Saints Academy participants experience a guided course on learning and practicing spiritual disciplines that lead them in a closer walk with Christ. They study servant leadership from scripture and learn a renewal process that builds on the strengths of a church. They practice dialogue and spiritual discernment and to learn how to apply it in discovering a biblical text that will center and lead them into to a vision and plan.
Two special guest speakers will be featured: Elwood Hipkins, who served in Brethren Volunteer Service in Falfurrias, Texas, who will speak about his witness as a Christian farmer; and Musa Adziba Mambula, a leader in Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), currently an international scholar at Bethany Theological Seminary, who will speak on the importance of discipling and understanding the concept and conditions for discipleship in the church.
Classes are held via telephone conference call on the following Sundays from 4-6 p.m. (Eastern time): Sept. 17, Oct. 8, Oct. 29, Nov. 19, and Dec.10. The registration deadline is Aug. 31. Those who register by Aug. 15 will receive a CD of Anna Mow speaking on anointing. A “no church left behind” policy applies. Through one church’s generosity, scholarships are available. Tuition is $80. If more than one person from a church takes the course, a group discount applies.
In addition to and concurrent with the Academy for the Saints are five sessions of the Springs Academy for Pastors, held via telephone conference on the following Tuesday mornings from 8-10 a.m. (Eastern time): Sept. 12, Oct. 3, Oct. 24, Nov. 14, and Dec. 5. They are designed for both full-time and bi-vocational ministers. Classes will follow similar topics as the Saints. A team from their church will walk along with each pastor to have dialogue during the period of study.
Along with the Bible, the two needed books for both classes are “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster and “Springs of Living Water, Christ-centered Church Renewal” by David Young. Both books are available from Brethren Press. Additional resources, such as videos produced by David Sollenberger and essential background articles, are on the Springs website at www.churchrenewalservant.org .
A Springs Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to the laity who participate, and ministers may earn 1.0 continuing education credit. Subsequent classes on implementation are anticipated in the winter or spring.
-- David and Joan Young are leaders of the Springs of Living Water, a Brethren-related initiative for church renewal. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-615-4515.