The Global Baptist Schools mission is Ministry Preparation Where You Are, and in this post I would like to enlarge on this statement of what really matters here at GBS.
We often use the term “minister” to mean professional clergy. Bible use is broader, and the underlying terms translated minister or servant include all believers. We are all servants of the Lord, and Global Baptist Schools keenly desires to help Christians in all walks of life “improve their serve.” Distance education is particularly appropriate here because it allows Christians at any level of involvement to access needed education.
That said, some are gifted and called to serve in a vocational way. As they anticipate future responsibilities and, perhaps more importantly as a motivation to study, as they begin to serve more than the average church member, they soon sense an urgent need for help in their growing responsibilities. That’s good! A little desperation makes a great learner!
What does ministry preparation mean at GBS? It is whole-person oriented. First, we want to touch the heart. An attitude of absolute surrender to the Lord and a growing love and devotion to Him are vital. We are the servants, and He truly is the Lord. We encourage a strong devotional life. We expose students to great biographies to show what God can do through others. For instance, the first textbook a student reads is “Martirizado en México (available in English from oremundo.org). It tells the story of Ricardo Garcia, a semi-literate murderer, thief and alcoholic whom God saved and called to plant churches in the central highlands of Mexico. Before he was martyred by Catholic fanatics, he planted sixty churches. Over three thousand Mexican Baptist pastors and missionaries today directly trace their spiritual heritage to him. I love to see the light go on for our students when they realize God can also use them to do something great.
Second, we want to inform the head. It is tragic to see the damage preachers and other Christian workers do to themselves, their families, churches and the testimony of the Lord because of a lack of knowledge. It’s wonderful to see the positive things that happen when Biblical truth enters the picture. Jesus said “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Our program is basic, and there is much more we hope to add, but you have to start somewhere. GBS emphasizes the basic tools and conceptual framework to help students begin (the life-long process) to be accurate and independent interpreters of the Bible.
Third, we desire to strengthen the hand. Skills and the practiced ability to do ministry well are developed over a lifetime, and we want students to get a great start. Skills are improved as students are heavily involved in service in their churches. This sets in motion a frequently-repeated cycle of learning content, applying it immediately in service, reflection and then returning to learn more.