OA & OTCS Seek Co-work for Accelerating Mission, Evangelism
Representatives of Olivet Assembly USA and Olivet Theological College and Seminary met on Thursday, July 22 to discuss a way for churches and the seminary work together to accelerate mission development, with a special focus on immediate needs related to evangelism.
The conclusion of the meeting will be that OTCS in New York City will seek to speak with the local church to find a way to engage in co-work in the weeks and months ahead. The meeting on Thursday provided an opportunity to understand the needs of mission and ways that the university and seminary could possibly assist in the mission.
Exchange of Ideas, Broad Goals
The exchange of ideas included a briefing of OU's goals for recruitment of students this year as well as a desire by OTCS to work at the local level in New York City to create a model for engagement between the seminary and church to advance mission.
"The university, churches of OA and all ministries are united in desiring to collaborate to find ways to save more souls one day sooner. Understanding how our goals for University enrollment, church membership and leadership training are interconnected is important to help the work of reaching out to new people to share the gospel message," Helguero said.
In discussing the needs of evangelism, Helguero said that finding a way for the university and churches to work together for increasing attendance for churches through better outreach was something that had immediate relevance for churches, since OA USA is seeking a way to 1,000 more churches. Dr. Gebhardt noted that the entire university is seeking to extend enrollment on-site students in the U.S. in 2016 and at least 150 online.
Initial Ideas for Possible Collaboration
He also noted that there are ways to systematize technical training to provide ministers and members with resources that could organize the best practices for various activities, including the specifically noted topic of evangelism.
Creating a series of well-organized sheets with technical information on how to do a certain activity could become a useful resource, he noted.
In the conversation, Helguero noted that ministers and members of churches and ministries would be most excited about finding ways to accelerate mission, especially if they are convinced that taking part in University-related activity will bring about good results for increasing the believers.
While the University and Seminary, have programs that include undergraduate, graduate doctorate degrees, Lafleur had previously noted the possibility of establishing a certificate program that could possibly also provide credits if a member decided to later take on a degree program.
She also expressed interest in OTCS possibly providing a short "appetizer" course that would let participants engage with the University's offerings even without much initial commitment.
Lafleur said that she will follow up with staff at NY Immanuel staff to discuss possibilities for engaging at the local level to create greater awareness and participation in OTCS, noting an example of other universities that hold events to serve the local community by providing a forum where speakers can discuss relevant topics. She noted that this was just one of many possibilities that exist.
Please pray that the collaboration between churches, the university and seminary can increase to provide solutions that will benefit the mission in the weeks and months ahead.