The Ephesian Fellowship:
A Pastoral Mentoring Ministry of First Baptist Church Henryville
“Fan into flame the gift of God.” – 2 Timothy 1:6
I. An Introduction to the Program
The Ephesian Fellowship is a training ministry of FBC Henryville that seeks to encourage and disciple men who sense and exhibit a special call to gospel ministry through the local church. The Fellowship is a two-year apprenticeship which seeks to give participants introductory theological education, ministry training, accountability, and experience in various aspects of local church ministry. Participants will be given the titles of Pastoral Apprentices and will be able to work alongside church staff at various levels of ministry throughout their two year residency.
The full two-year apprenticeship is specially designed for a group of men who are already members of FBC Henryville and who have made a commitment to some form of full-time Christian ministry. An abbreviated version of the program is being developed for guys who may seek a shorter internship for the purpose of experience or class credit through Boyce College or SBTS, and who may not be long-term members of our local church.
II. Why “The Ephesian Fellowship?”
So what’s with the name? Well, on one level a name is just that – a name. No ministry may be reduced to a title without substance, but we do believe the name has special significance. Ephesus was an early center for Christianity, equaled perhaps only by the church in Rome. Both the apostles Paul and John (the beloved disciple) spent lengthy periods of ministry in this city, and the city was also the hub for their own training of younger leaders. Paul wrote the pastoral epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy while the young pastor Timothy was learning the ropes of ministry in Ephesus, and John devoted the latter years of his life to training men like Polycarp in the city as he worked to finish his massive memoir, the Gospel of John. In other words, both Paul and John saw their ministry in Ephesus as a context in which they would be dedicated to training younger men in gospel ministry. The pastors and leaders of FBC Henryville want to follow that example of ministry to the young men in our own congregation who are preparing for ministry.
III. What Does the Ephesian Fellowship Do?
1. Provide accountability and prayer in discipleship and ministry preparation between men who are joined together in membership at FBC Henryville and who are committed to gospel ministry by fellowship with one another and with the pastoral staff.
2. Spend time with the FBC Henryville pastors (Toby, Cade, and Logan) receiving hands-on experience, training, and mentoring in various aspects of ministry within a local church.
3. Spend time with one or more of the pastors engaged in preparation of study by reading through concentrated portions of scripture and assigned books throughout the course of the program.
4. Spend time with pastors, their families, and other men in ministry providing encouragement and opportunities to work in ministry and be better trained in ministry.
IV. Basic Residency Goals
1. Be actively involved in a Sunday School Small Group through First Baptist Church Henryville.
2. Be active in attendance at regularly scheduled worship services of First Baptist Church Henryville.
3. Be willing to be held accountable by church pastors, deacons, and other participants in regards to your personal relationship with Christ and your daily devotional times/Bible reading.
4. Invest time each month in reading and study for the purpose of growth in godliness and preparation for ministry. Each month we will be reading through one or two books together (mostly short ones), and we will spend time discussing their contents and their usefulness for ministry during residency meetings.
5. We will meet twice a month for a one hour residency meeting with pastors and other pastoral apprentices. Prayer, accountability, fellowship, reading discussions, and ministry focuses will be the main thrust of these meetings.
6. Accompany pastors as possible in a variety of church ministry settings.
7. Attend FBC leadership meetings (at the senior pastor’s discretion) solely for the purpose of observing leadership meetings (Pastoral Meetings, Church Staff Meetings, Deacons’ Meeting).
8. We will seek to have quarterly ministry lunches with pastors (and leaders from other local churches or SBTS) to discuss various aspects of local church ministry.
9. We will encourage participants to preach a short sermon/devotional for a group of the pastors, the other residents, and church leaders (deacons) four times during the second year of the program.
10. We will seek to invest time in two Fall Ministry Retreats with the pastors and other residents.
11. Attend two ministry conferences with pastors during your residency (T4G and a Capitol Hill Weekender is recommended).
12. Cost: We sincerely hope that this residency program will allow genuine training and time with pastors from FBC with a minimal cost. As far as time is concerned, residents will be asked to invest a few hours per month in meetings and ministry service. Additionally, they will be responsible to acquire the books that we will be reading together and discussing at residency meetings. Scholarships, for books or conferences, may be available.
13. At the conclusion of the two year residency, participants will receive a certificate of completion, recognition by First Baptist Church Henryville, and may request licensure to gospel ministry.
V. The Normal Residency Schedule
1. Twice a month apprentices will meet with pastors during a one hour meeting for prayer, Bible study, and book discussion. Normally this will be done together, but if a participant is unable to attend a regular meeting they may meet with a pastor at another time one-on-one.
2. Throughout the program pastoral apprentices will be invited by pastors to participate in various ministry assignments, gaining hands on experience in various aspects of local church ministry.
3. Once a quarter participants will have lunch with all pastors (and invited guests) to discuss a different topic of ministry and how that relates to our lives.
4. At some point during each Fall participants will spend time with pastors in a retreat setting to grow together in friendship, discuss being men of God, and discussing aspects related to ministry.
5. There will be opportunities during the two year program for participants to take part in various pastoral conferences. Apprentices will be expected to attend two of these conferences at some point during their two year program.
If you would like more information about the Ephesian Fellowship, or if you would like to speak to one of our pastors about the possibility of participating in this residency program, you may call the church offices at 812-294-1431 or email our Associate Pastor Cade Campbell at email@example.com.