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Graduation and new set of students in the School of Biblical Preaching

“The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.”
Proverbs 10:22

In May 2016, at the School of Biblical preaching the two momentous events took place. First one – the session on “Effective pastorship”, the lectures were held by pastor Vitaly Rozko.

At the end of the session there was a solemn presentation of diplomas (graduation) to the alumni of SBP. It was the third set of students who have studied a three-year training program. Second one, is an equally important event, there was held a first session of a new set of students of 2016-2018 years of training. The session on “The foundation of the preacher” was led by pastor Alexander Kalinsky.

We can say that the interest in training at SBP increasingly growth as the time goes by, and on this year about 75 brothers have submitted their applications for the training. But, unfortunately to this session could have come 59 people from different regions of Ukraine, traditionally, there were students from Belarus, Moldova, Poland, some new students from Tajikistan and France. There are brothers who want to learn here also from Russia and Baltic countries. We are extremely happy for the process of the increasing impact of school and interest in the presentation of expository preaching. We hope that the knowledge that the brothers receive here will bring abundant fruit in the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God in the world.

The Session on “Effective pastoring”

The last session of the third set on “Effective pastoring” was held in Odessa. Since it was the final session in SBP for this outfit, this material generalized the knowledge for the whole previous period of training. Regardless of what's been taught before brothers had a good chance this time not just to recap all the material, but there had been made a point of the most important aspects of the pastoral ministry by Word and works. In view of that, Vitaly Rozko and brothers Benjamin Litvinov, Jaroslav Prihitko, who came together with Vitaly were trying to do their best to convey the most valuable, meaningful and important tenets, which they have personally derived from the Scriptures and learned from their own experience while serving in the church. They have dealt with a wide variety of vital topics concerning the worship music ministry, youth and children's ministry, men's and women's ministry, Christian training, deaconship, administration, mission, conferences and seminars, and other types of ministry. All of them are vitally important in the life of the Church. But, all of these different ministry units are only the means for implementation of pastoral ministry and therefore they will be useful and effective only to the extent that as much effectively they were established and well-thought out in the infrastructure of pastoring itself. The major intention of this course was directed to pass on such a vision to each minister of the church.

During the session, teachers were indicating the role and significance of the Church in Scripture, God's redemptive plan, in pastoring and personal life of every Christian. On the basis of Scripture, they gave the definition of pastoring and showed its unique formative role in the life and development of the local church. They were trying to help to each student to evaluate their ministry in the light of the Scriptures, and to identify further practical steps that they will need to take for their own and church growth, to formulate a biblical philosophy of the church ministry, to understand the biblical principles of church leadership in the real situation of their own local churches, to determine the principles of formation of the elders team, noting in details the quality of the individual, maturity, character, and capacity of serving as a pastor. There was an opportunity at this session to study more thoroughly every aspect of life of the church, various blocks in the ministry and their strategic development, to consider the general philosophy of the church, a philosophy of ministry in small groups, music, youth and children's ministries, as well as the role and objectives of the deacon and the administrative units of the church. These classes have made it possible for each leader to see the importance of raising a new leaders and pastors, cultivating pastoral heart in them, and gave practical principles of their personal formation.

Besides that, during the session every student had the assignment to prepare and present the final auditorial sermon, which was assessed not only by teachers but all students themselves were involved in that process, honing in such a way their skills.

Throughout the session, each of the students had an opportunity to communicate personally with Vitaliy Rozko and other brothers on the very vital topics for them. This mutual time-spending has its own value and helps the students not just to live through their own concerns about these challenges together with the teachers of the School, but also it provides an opportunity to get a worthwhile practical tips, correction in the issues of life and ministry. The session all in all has passed very effectively and efficiently, following the graduation, a huge surge of sadness overwhelmed all of us a bit, since the time of farewell was at the door. It is worth noting that studies in SBP provided student not only with the knowledge and skills for preparation of presentation of expository preaching, but, first and foremost, during the process of training God was changing the values, disposition, making some corrections in vision and understanding of how to serve more effectively in the Church of God. The Lord blessed us with new relationships, friends and prospects. The training in SBP according to the witness of many brothers has become one of the biggest blessings in their spiritual life. Praised be the Lord Jesus Christ for that!

The Session on “Foundation of the preacher”

A few days before the session started, brother-students began arriving to Rivne, and the school officials interviewed each one of them for the purpose of getting to know them and correcting their opportunities, objectives and goals for an effective training in SBP. The majority of the interviews we have done on time just before the session, but we were still trying to finish some of the interviews with the others after classes in the following days of the session. Most of the brothers had a very good attitude and willingness to learn, to change for the best and serve to others. When the classes have started, the very first challenge we came across with, was lack of the seats for everyone, because of the classroom was just packed to the fullest, although usually we hold our classes here. We couldn't realize at first that previously this class held enough seats to easily fit about 40 brothers, but at this time more than 60 guys were tightly squeezed together, as the saying goes, “shoulder to shoulder.” However, it did not affect negatively at the training process, and looks like it worked out for the good to even unite all into a single whole, since everyone could literally feel the support on the brotherly shoulder. From the very beginning of these classes students already were greatly carried away by the openness and sincerity of Pastor Alexander Kalinskiy, who was trying hard to get across the particular subjects to their hearts. This class “Basics of Spiritual Leadership” has helped to every minister to refocus their attention on the essence of the personal spiritual life, on its fundamentals, on its tenets, on a personal process of coming to know God, on their own approaches to the ministry. The classes dealt with topics like these: “God-centeredness”, “Authority of the Bible,” “Grace – soteriology of humility”, “Personal sanctification”, “Church membership”, “Principles of Christian ministry.”

In general, we can say that the session was very inspiring, interesting and effective. Our students have gone home and returned to their churches with pretty sizable homework assignment that must be done before the next session, which will start on fall time and title – “Principles and Practice of studying the Scripture,” which will be held by Pastor Andrey Rezunenko on September 7th through 16th.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the brothers from the Bible church “Word of Grace” in Vancouver for their self-sacrificing, dedicated ministry, for their huge contribution to the upbuilding of churches at the former terrain of Soviet Union and beyond. Our prayer is about the seed that they have sown into the hearts of the ministers could have brought abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God.

We also ask you to pray for a new set of students SBP, first of all, that each one of them with special palpitation would approach to the study and exposition of the truths of Scripture. Please pray that God would give them certain wisdom to serve with humility in their churches in order to build-up His kingdom.

May the Lord's Name be blessed and glorified in a powerful way by our Christian generation.

Vyacheslav Arterchuk


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