Training Matters

To everyone serving at Summitview – whether in the leading of a small group or in the preparing of a meal – we want you to thrive and we want you to be equipped. After all, when each part is working properly, the body grows and builds itself up in love (Ephesians 4:16). This thing is a group effort that depends on each part being trained and mobilized.

With that in mind, we’ve developed a multi-year training program that is intended to be one of our primary tools to equip the saints for works of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). It is a series of 8-week courses offered each Fall and Spring, with each class consisting of the presentation and discussion of two important topics, along with a summary of basic church happenings, vision and prayer.

We rolled out the Core Class in mid-September. If you are interested or have any questions, please email Aaron Ritter: aaronritter@summitview.com.

What is the Core Class?

In 1 Timothy 4:6-16, Paul urges Timothy to be trained. Specifically, he charges Timothy to be trained in the words of faith, in good doctrine, and in godliness. He also appeals to Timothy to not neglect his gift, but instead to practice and immerse himself in his training with the expectation of experiencing and demonstrating progress. The Core Class is where we can, together with Timothy, respond to this charge. It’s a course designed with the goal of “equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12)” and then actively releasing those saints into ministry.

Who might participate in the Core Class?

We want the Core Class to be accessible to all kinds of people. Young and old, male and female, artist and engineer. The Core Class is intended to be a training ground for a variety of different types of “ministers”, including pastors, teachers, deacons/servants, small group leaders, evangelists, worship leaders, writers, church planters, ministry leaders, administrators and so on. That said, there are a few basic requirements that we ask of participants. We want those that are actively participating in body life at Summitview, which would include both formal church membership and participation in a small group or similar relational community. We would ask for a display of generally high character. And finally, we would ask for vision. We want participants to come with the goal of being trained and mobilized for real ministry.

What’s the format?

The Core Class is arranged by 8-week modules, with a module occurring each Spring and Fall. A total of eight modules over four years are currently planned, although that may expand in the future. A 90-minute class is held each week, with two different topics presented and discussed during each class. The class time also includes a summary of basic church happenings, vision, and prayer. Outside of class, participants are assigned weekly readings. A pastor or coach will connect with each participant to provide guidance and ministry direction. An investment could be expected of 3-5 hours per week over the 8-week module, and up to $50 in resources.

What’s the content?

The course content falls under four categories: God, Church, Mission and Context. The following is a summary of each category.

  • God. First and foremost, our focus is God. Throughout the course, we will be studying who God is and what he does, covering a variety of important biblical doctrines. However, our goal is not only to learn about God, but especially to know God personally. The Core class is to be a context that stirs us to pursue God the person.
  • Church. God chose to carry out much of his purpose through the church. We therefore need to understand how he has designed the church and what his intentions are for us. We will learn how to genuinely care for each other in the church, we will tackle questions of church philosophy, and we will consider the complexities of different ministries within the church.
  • Mission. There is much to consider about the mission of the church and how we interact with and love the world. We will take a thorough look at the Great Commission and the making of disciples, while also considering how we bless the world through mercy, vocation, culture, apologetics, and so forth.
  • Context. Obviously we must know God, love the church, and understand our mission, but we also must understand the environment we are ministering within. We will study how the variety of cultural and theological trends throughout the centuries, from both within the church and the world, have contributed to our modern situation. We will then consider how to contextualize the message of Christ in our current environment.

Each of these categories will involve growing in understanding, but we will aim for a very practical component in each as well. For example, we will learn much about church philosophy, but we will also encourage and equip for active service within the church. Also, each module will include topics from each of the four categories. Rather than covering one at a time, we hope to pursue each concurrently, trusting that they will complement each other well.

How does it fit into my schedule?

In the Fall, the eight weeks began in mid-September and end in late October. In the Spring, we will likely begin in late-January and end in March prior to Spring Break. There is currently one class on Thursday nights from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. and one class on Sunday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.