What do two Swiss missionaries an Austrian pastor and a professor of veterinary medicine and me have in common? This sounds like the start of a joke my father-in-law would tell but this is not a joke. 🙂 Last Tuesday the five of us were in one of our meetings for the BAO (Bible Training on Location) curriculum work group. We meet three or four times a year to review current training courses and discuss what if any new projects need to be started or revising older courses.
BAO has been around for over 20 years and has been one of the leading sources for training leaders in the Austrian church. With Austria being less than .5% evangelical there is not a high demand for good quality Christian training resources. So being able to help in the process and production of resources for Austria, Switzerland and Germany is quite a strategic ministry. One of which I am excited to be a part of.
Right now we are involved in two main projects. One being the Christian Education course I am writing, I will write on that at a later time. The other being a set of one time lessons that centers on the Worship Service.
We have come up with a series of 5 lessons (stand alone or they can be taken together) that intend to help the small churches and their leaders think through the main aspects of what it means to lead worship. We are targeting this for both knowledge and praxis (putting to use what one knows). The five areas we are addressing are 1. Theological foundations of worship 2. The Leader and leading the worship service 3. Worship and Church growth/health (the meaning gets a little watered down when translated into English from German) 4. Music and Arts in worship 5. Communion.
One thing that is exciting about this series is up until now BAO has primarly borrowed articles from published books. We always have to ask for permission to translate and print these articles. But these lessons are written by the people that minister in this culture and context. It is quite a step. Not an easy one by any means but we are learning a lot through this process.
These modules are not yet finished but know they will help the church think about these things and we pray will make them healthier, and stronger in as they worship God and live for Him.