Church Based Training

LDI believes that churches and pastors are uniquely equipped and commissioned for the work of raising up future pastors and leaders. This allows for an ongoing 360-degree view of the leader’s life by elders/pastors, deacons, staff, peers, and members of the congregation throughout the year and in countless settings.

Non-Formal Training

Classical training creates a fairly rigid learning environment to which each student must conform. Church-based training, on the other hand, seeks to adapt to each intern and craft an environment that will result in maximum growth and transformation. As such, LDI will not tend to focus on those areas of thinking, character, and leadership already possessed in great quantity and quality by the intern. In actuality, it’s quite the opposite. LDI is created to meet directly those areas in an intern’s life that need attention, enhancement, or correction so that their future goals in leadership are not hindered.

Chief Goal – Spiritual Transformation and Personal Growth through God

The chief goal is not the completion of the classes, mentoring, and ministry exercises. The LDI staff wants to make clear that spiritual leadership does not simply come through the completion of a series of tasks. The intern’s time in LDI will come to mean very little if it excludes the critical element of life change through Christ by his Spirit and the gospel.

Our #1 value at Hope Community Church is “For God’s glory.”

Simply put, it’s about Him. It ain’t about us. We understand this to mean that everything is about showcasing the value of God above anything else. God is first, best, most. It’s all about Him.
Thus, in considering the creation of a leadership development program, it is critical to be led of God, letting Him direct your steps. Many young leaders, eager to make a difference, make the critical mistake of dreaming up BHAG’s (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals) for God rather than receiving revelation from God. God’s revelation is infinitely preferable. What is God speaking to you, your leaders, and your church community? How is He leading you in your context at this time? If we grasp that it is all about Him and we are petitioning Him to make our steps all about Him, will He not answer?
So, if the first two points hold – that it’s all about God and His direction of your steps which are most valuable – why would LDI (arrogantly?) assemble a pamphlet detailing leadership development in our context believing that it would benefit you in yours? Quite simply, it’s because we resolutely believe in the first two points as well. We recognize it’s about God. And we recognize the need our church has to be led by Him.

Consequently, we can share resources and do so free from pride, envy, rivalry, and selfish ambition. And, we fully recognize, and quite frankly expect, that you will sift the wheat from the chaff for your context. This would not discourage us in the least! You have freedom to steal what you find beneficial and discard what is not. So, it’s with that understanding that we share what follows.

Ultimately, may God be glorified for all things are from Him, through Him, and to Him!

Biblical and Theological Thinking

Many people will see “Biblical Thinking” and immediately bring to mind something of a Bible Answer Man. This is far from what we’re trying to create in LDI.

For LDI, biblical thinking means very little to us if it isn’t incarnated (i.e. personified) into the life and ministry of the intern. Theology isn’t to be learned so that we can find someone else who is ignorant of such things and tell them what they don’t know. Just as important as what we might know is how we share this with others (ministry skill) and the manner in which we do it (Christ-like character).

As John Calvin aptly noted, “With how much better reason shall we detest flimsy sophists who are contended to let the Gospel play upon their lips, when, from its efficacy, it ought to penetrate the inmost affections of the heart, fix its seat in the soul, and pervade the whole man a hundred times more than the frigid discourses of philosophers?” Biblical learning is for the worship of God, love of neighbor, and personal growth in godliness.

Additionally, our class structure is a blend of lecture and discussion. LDI desires to see interns process through difficult topics and passages together around the table.

Christ-like Character

Let’s be honest. It’s easier to discuss and measure one’s knowledge of the Bible and skill in ministry. It’s much harder to take the time to discuss and measure one’s character.

Christian leaders with a lack of integrity are all too common. I’m sure as you read that sentence names came to mind of those who have “fallen.” And for every Christian leader that falls there is a wake of hurt, disappointment, anger, and confusion. Nothing wounds deeper than the duplicity of a leader.

I heard it said once that if you don’t have spiritual (i.e. Christ-likeness) as a spiritual leader, you got nothing. People need our holiness. They need to see in their leaders that “this works.” They want to see our claim that the gospel is powerful has proven powerful in our lives. “For my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and power that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:4-5). Do we have spiritual in our leadership?

It may be hard to discuss and measure. But, any time spent discussing such matters will not be in vain but surely bear fruit worthy of leadership.

Ministry Skill

As was stated earlier, we want LDI interns to find their unique S.H.A.P.E. We want them to respond to what they learn about God’s creative DNA in them so that they can more effectively serve. Joy and peace accompany those who recognize themselves to be a certain part within the body.

And though we rely on our interns to carry out quite a bit of ministry, nothing is dependent on them. So, they can move freely from one ministry to another as they seek to find their niche within the body. Some training environments don’t allow interns this flexibility. We feel it is critical.

For those pursuing full-time vocational ministry, they will be required to undergo a self-assessment, to be reviewed by a mentor, and then presented to the LDI staff. At this point, an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) will be created to meet that intern where they’re at. Goals within the three pillars will be established. Mentorship, reading, course work, and integrative exercises will be mapped out. All of this is to provide the intern with the best possible opportunity to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10).

TREK 1

Goal:
TREK 1 participants aim to build a strong foundation for their lives and potential future ministry. TREK 1 does not aim to produce a certain type of Christian worker. It is much more important for the participant to give attention to building a strong foundation for their lives. Along the journey they invite God to build upon that sure foundation whatever structure he desires. In the end, this structure may be vocational ministry. But, TREK 1 participants are encouraged to seek God’s design for their future vocation.

Expectation:

1) Participation in all of the TREK 1 Biblical and Theological courses over a 10-month period producing a thorough knowledge of God’s Word, skills to faithfully interpret God’s truth, and greater passion for God and neighbor.

2) Commitment to put on the character of Christ through prayer, mentoring relationships, mutual accountability, and observing the lives and teachings of historical “greats of the faith”.

3) Diligence in ministry through fulfilling the role of small group shepherd leader, playing an active role in the community of LDI and Hope, and engaging in other chosen ministry fields.

Qualification:
TREK 1participants will become part of the intern staff of Hope Community and, as such, need to meet the qualifications of a deacon. The qualifications are biblically outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Commitment:
Time
– A great benefit of TREK 1 is that it is structured to be a full time commitment of 45 hours per week. We believe this commitment lends itself to maximum impact in the lives of our LDIers. Any additional desires for alternative schooling or employment need to be discussed with and approved by the LDI Director.

Financial – We realize that participants of LDI have many considerations, including financial, when making the decision to join LDI. Hope Community Church and LDI have made every effort to keep the financial obligations of this journey to a minimum. In comparison to other leadership development avenues, we believe that LDI is the most affordable and will give you the most “bang for the buck!”

LDI Program (Includes cost of classes, required textbooks, additional class materials, and      all LDI-specific retreat expenses) $180 per month | Total $1,800

Living Expenses (including housing, food, clothing, transportation, insurance,                                                loans, etc.) To be determined

Cross Cultural Experience (optional) $200 per month | Total $2,000

Participants are encouraged to develop a team of ministry partners that will support them financially and prayerfully during the duration of their LDI journey. Donations can be made on a monthly or yearly basis. All gifts are tax-deductible. Participants are also encouraged to consider other financial obligations when developing ministry partners. Needs to consider are, but not limited to, housing, food, student loans, ongoing bills, and health insurance. These financial needs should be planned for and included when the invitation is made to possible partners.

Application

TREK 2

Goal:
TREK 2 participants aim to become strategic players ministering on the front lines in the advancement of God’s kingdom and mission. While it is not the philosophy of TREK 1 to produce a specific type of Christian worker (e.g. church planter), the aim of TREK 2 is to take proven Christian leaders and build them into kingdom impact players.

In doing so, we believe God uses a particular environment – the church – to best accomplish his purposes for training kingdom leaders. No other setting, we believe, provides as much potential for the personal, mental, and ministerial development than a local church. As such, the elders of Hope Community Church play a significant role in the identification, development, affirmation, and commissioning of each TREK 2 participant.

Qualification:
TREK 2 participants will become part of the intern staff of Hope Community and, as such, need to meet the qualifications of a deacon or an elder, appropriate to their proposed ministry endeavor. The qualifications for deacons are biblically outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, and for elders are in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4.

Expectation:

This is a 3-year journey that entails:

1) Successful participation in and completion of TREK 1 which makes up the first year of this 3-year trek.

2) Creation and implementation of an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) to get the participant in line with where they and we believe that God is calling them.

3) Belief that God’s designs for their future vocation involve full time ministry including, but not limited to, global or local church planting, global missions, local church ministry, or pastoral ministry.

4) Participation in a 1-week assessment for the purposes of highlighting factors, both strengths and growth areas, which will be given attention throughout the final 2 years of the internship.

5) Participation in all 8 of the TREK 2 Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiological courses over two 10-month periods producing a thorough knowledge of God’s Word, skills to faithfully interpret God’s truth, and greater passion for God, neighbor, the Church, and his Mission.

6) Commitment to put on the character of Christ through prayer, relationships, and mutual accountability.

7) Diligence in ministry with primary attention given to the corporate church including, but not limited to, church planting, vision, governance, leadership, theological integration, shepherding the flock, global church perspectives, preaching, and teaching.

8) Fulfillment of any and all additional elements deemed appropriate by the LDI staff. For example, those considering global missions may be required to spend a summer overseas.

Commitment:

TREK 2 participants are brought on part time with a commitment of 25 hours per week. TREK 2 participants can be employed outside of LDI, yet no more than 25 hours per week. We believe this arrangement lends itself to maximum impact as TREK 2 LDIers are given sufficient time to address all factors of the assessment and process the varied issues encountered in full time vocational ministry. Any additional desires for alternative schooling or employment need to be discussed with and approved by the LDI staff.

Financial – We realize that participants of LDI have many considerations, including financial, when making the decision to join LDI. Hope Community Church and LDI have made every effort to keep the financial obligations of this journey to a minimum. In comparison to other leadership development avenues, we believe that LDI is the most affordable and will give you the most “bang for the buck!”

LDI Program (Includes cost of classes, required textbooks, additional class materials, and      all LDI-specific retreat expenses) $100 per month | Total $2,000

Living Expenses (including housing, food, clothing, transportation, insurance,                                                loans, etc.) To be determined

Cross Cultural Experience (optional) $200 per month | Total $4,000

Participants are encouraged to develop a team of ministry partners that will support them financially and prayerfully during the duration of their LDI journey. Donations can be made on a monthly or yearly basis. All gifts are tax-deductible. Participants are also encouraged to consider other financial obligations when developing ministry partners. Needs to consider are, but not limited to, housing, food, student loans, ongoing bills, and health insurance. These financial needs should be planned for and included when the invitation is made to possible partners.

Application

NAVIGATE THE TERRAIN OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH

The mission of LDI Off Road is to provide an intentional and structured pathway for leadership development in the areas of biblical thinking, Christ-like character, and ministry skills, for those serving in non-vocational ministry settings.

PILLARS OF LDI

THINK BIBLICALLY
– Knowledge of Bible & Theology
– Biblical filter for everyday life

LIVE UPRIGHTLY
– Being conformed to the image of Christ
– Representing Christ to the world

LEAD COURAGEOUSLY
– Understand God-given abilities
– Knowing your context (Acts 17:26-27)
– Humbly Serving

OFF ROAD DISTINCTIVES

ACCESIBILITY
– 10 hours a month
– Flexible study

CHURCH BASED TRAINING
– Church leader led, formed, supported & taught
– Cohort leader training & coaching

INTEGRATION
– Designed for living in your neighborhood, workplace & relationships
– Off Road Plan (ORP) – personal goals & accountability
– All three pillars incorporated in the curriculum

COMMUNITY
– Learning done in cohort group
– Time to discuss personal life, curriculum, & application

COHORTS

– 3-5 person groups
– Based on availability & location or preexisting group

COMMITMENT

– Time: 10 hours/month
– 3 hours teaching session
– 3 hours of prep work
– 4 hours with cohort (2 hours, twice a month)
– Teaching Sessions: 2nd Sunday of each month, Sept.-May, 6:30-9:00 PM
– Kick off: August 27th
– Retreat: January 13-14th
– Cost: $25.00/month

CURRICULUM

– Contextual training for living on mission
– Books, articles, sermons, & hands on learning
– Preparation, discussion, & reflection
– 3 years worth of content

BIBLICAL THINKING

Bible Study MethodsRead, understand, obey, and treasure God’s active, powerful, and nourishing Word through discussing strengths and weaknesses of various Bible translation theories, exploring the literary genres of Scripture, and engaging in exegesis and hermeneutics of the biblical text.

Gospel of Mark The aim of this class is two-fold: (1) to learn how to critically observe the biblical text resulting in accurate interpretations and proper applications (2) And to encounter and follow Jesus Christ as a result of observing his life, teachings, words, miracles, and healings. This class will inductively study the first 8 chapters of Mark’s Gospel.

Survey of the Old TestamentIn this survey class, students will experience God through reading the entirety of the Old Testament, discussing its contents in class, and arriving at appropriate and honoring responses to who God is and what he has done as captured in the Old Testament.

Survey of the New Testament In this survey class, students will experience God through reading the entirety of the New Testament, discussing its contents in class, and arriving at appropriate and honoring responses to who God is and what he has done as captured in the New Testament.

Romans I Romans study is an intense weeklong study of the first half of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. In many ways a doctorate level course due to its depth of theological study and discourse, ultimately, the aim is to experience afresh the power, grace, and God of the gospel.

Systematic Theology The aim of this class is to grow in your love for God through an intense study of the major beliefs of the Christian faith. Using the Bible and the book “Systematic Theology” by Wayne Grudem as your guides, this class will encourage you to better learn what you believe, why you believe it, and why it matters.

Advanced Biblical Interpreting (TREK 2) The study of interpretation theory with a heavy emphasis on practically and accurately exegeting the biblical text to discover meaning and application.

History of Christian Thought (TREK 2) A survey of the major historical, cultural, and theological factors influencing the development of doctrine with particular application to the modern era and its significance in contemporary church life.

Inedependent Study: New Studies in Biblical Theology (TREK 2) Research and study by arrangement with the teacher.

CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER

Competing with Horses Coupled with its emphasis on ministry skill in leadership (see below), this class gives time and attention to an area of the leader’s life often neglected in development – the inner life of character and integrity. This class aims to bring each student before Christ in a worthwhile, though often difficult, pursuit for inner holiness.

Ministry Perspectives (TREK 2) A theoretical and practical course in finding a godly, balanced, and realistic pace to worship, relationships, and work as a follower of Christ and vocational minister. Through a study of Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus and the church at Corinth, as well as, reflections from sage pastors who’ve gone before, the aim is to formulate biblical, healthy, and realistic perspectives for the full time Christian minister.

Elder Training/Shepherding (TREK 2) The importance of godly, qualified elders and shepherds is vital to the health and well being of local churches. Observing texts from Ezekiel to Timothy to Peter to Titus, this class aims to bring greater understanding and application of the eldership and shepherd roles.

Independent Study: New Discoveries in Spiritual Transformation (TREK 2) Research and study by arrangement with the teacher.

MINISTRY SKILLS

Competing with Horses Coupled with its emphasis on Christlike character (see above), this class seeks to develop young leaders in their ability to mentor another, cast vision, lead a ministry, shepherd a small group, counsel the broken, and be an example worth following.

S.H.A.P.E. S.H.A.P.E. is an acronym which stand for Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. The aim of S.H.A.P.E. is for individuals to better understand how God has uniquely made them through an exploration of each of the five categories. The class doesn’t end with the individual but then turns outward as participants seek to love and serve others based on their unique S.H.A.P.E.

Acts (TREK 2) Far from a common book study of Acts, this class observes the spread of the early church through observing the principal means by which God moved, namely, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, suffering, making disciples, and starting churches.

Preaching (TREK 2) A basic course in the principles of biblical preaching and sermon construction designed to introduce students to the purpose, nature, types, and techniques of preparing for and communicating the Word of God to contemporary people and society.

Leadership/Pastoral Functions (TREK 2) A modern day leader must balance a myriad of abilities, competencies, and character qualities. This class will give attention to both the inner, unseen side of a leader and the outer, visible aspects of a leader’s life while giving special attention to the pastoral functions of vision casting, hospital visitation, counseling, communion preparation, and performing weddings, funerals, baptisms, and children dedications.

Independent Study: New Explorations in Missinoal Living and Personal Calling (TREK 2) Research and study by arrangement with the teacher.