Wexford Bible Church
IBI has played a significant role in preparing me for ministry in Wexford. The Masters in Applied Theology challenged me in the areas of leadership, preaching and Biblical Interpretation. The assignments and reflective practice encouraged me to think through my leadership and preaching style while grounding the teaching in the Irish context.
I love the inter-denominational nature of IBI which forced me to sharpen my thinking and brought me to the recognition of what is essential and what is secondary when it comes to following Jesus. As a leader of an independent evangelical church I appreciate the network of other church leaders which IBI opens up. I encourage my church members to come to the Summer Institute or plug in whatever way they can to modules or long distance learning.
As a member of IBI’s board I believe IBI is of strategic importance to the Irish church. Here is somewhere they can receive training and teaching which is being directly applied to the cultural context in which they will be ministering. IBI also plays a role in encouraging critical thinking on issues facing the Irish Church. Here we have a bank of research conducted in a rigorous and academic manner by thinking evangelical students.
Dun Laoghaire Evangelical Church
I moaned about the problem of juggling workload, family and studying with a friend recently. He suggested I drop the study and concentrate on the other two. “What difference does it make to what you do?” he asked. “Hmmm… good question!” I thought to myself. When I began to think about it I reckoned that studying with IBI has made a dramatic difference to my ministry. I can immediately identify 3 areas: Vision, Preaching and Church structure.
How I work as a church leader has been significantly influenced by attending lectures, reading material I would not otherwise come into contact with and writing (which tends to focus the mind). In addition, it seems that much of the interaction I have with studies dovetail with current projects. I was recently working with fellow church leaders to formulate our vision for building the Kingdom of God in our local area at the same time as attending a module on Mission in IBI. It was no co-incidence! An intensive week of lectures was a super platform for the Holy Spirit to plant many seeds that ended up as a 4,000 word document setting out our vision for the next year. Perhaps it was a good thing that it wasn’t two weeks or the congregation would have had to read a book!!
Another recent example came in the form of the summer institute. I’d decided that we should study a Gospel in the church and construct a teaching series that would take us from beginning to end. Luke seemed the right choice for us for now. Therefore, it was with some excitement that I saw the announcement of that Darrell Bock would be speaking on the theology of Luke/Acts. Again it was a great launch pad for our series.
Would you read an article on Polycentric Leadership if you didn’t have to? Yet when it came to deciding how we should restructure the church leadership so that it is fit for purpose, it was engagement with a wide variety of material that helped us ask the right questions.
Engagement with IBI has made a big difference. I’ve decided to stick with the studies!
My year at IBI was a year in which I developed so much as a Christian. As I went to class and studied each week, and practically applied the things which I was learning, I discovered the areas in which I had strengths and grew in the areas I had weaknesses. I was given lots of opportunities to try out new things, and for someone who had no idea what they wanted to do in life, this was a great opportunity! It was during my time at IBI that I discovered an interest in working with digital media and as I chatted with others, I realised that this was an area of great need within Christian Ministry. My time at IBI gave me a great foundation for thinking through how to communicate the gospel and my studies now in CIT (studying Multimedia) has given me the skills to communicate this message through digital media.
During my time at CIT I have been able to get involved in CU and work alongside IFES in reaching out to my campus. The Lord has also opened up opportunities for me to be involved in the Core group of a Church plant to Kinsale. The training I was given in communicating the gospel at IBI had great impact in both these areas. As I finish up my degree in CIT I look forward to seeing how the Lord will continue to use the things which I learned in both IBI and CIT. I am excited to see how the two areas of study will merge together.
Dublin City Church
I’m in a very exciting phase of ministry life, working as Co-Pastor in a new church plant called City Church Dublin. City is just in its second year of life! We launched in September 2013 with a core group from Immanuel Church Dublin. You can check us out at www.citychurchdublin.ie
Time spent thinking through preaching and hermeneutics was especially formative for me. My thesis on the New Heavens and the New Earth caused me to change my mind on a thing or two! I came away with a more rounded theology which has enriched my ministry ever since…more accurately I came away with a more rounded faith.
My time in IBI was a time of great transformation in my life. Having spent many years at home as a full time mum, cook, taxi driver, nurse and general manager, it was in fear and trepidation that I stepped over the threshold of IBI on my first day. However, I need not have worried. Staff and fellow students could not have been more welcoming or more supportive.
My studies expanded my world and opened my eyes to the fact that as the body of Christ, the church comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. While I would have been aware of that, it was so refreshing to see that there is space and a place for all of us in the business of building the kingdom of God in Ireland, and IBI welcomes with open arms people of many and varied backgrounds.
It was life-enhancing to be given the opportunity to be taught by people who are experts in their field who expected work to a high standard but who were willing and available to offer support if the need arose. The expectation to practically apply what was being learned to everyday life was demanding but enriching.
Having completed my degree I went on to train as a health care chaplain and hope to begin work in a local hospital in the very near future.
Church Leadership: Warringstown Presbyterian Church.
My time at IBI has been a huge blessing both personally and within my ministry context.
At a personal level, I journeyed though the course alongside 3 friends from Northern Ireland and we had a wonderful time together during our visits to IBI as we benefitted from the community there during lectures and many coffee breaks! We are still very close friends and often reflect upon our time at IBI fondly.
I found it a huge benefit to be in discussions with people from all across the island of Ireland working in a wide variety of professional and ministry contexts. The diversity of culture and context was huge and yet there was a unity in our love for Jesus and understanding of the gospel.
In my ministry context, IBI has helped shape my approach to ministry, especially in my understanding of discipleship and mission. This has proved invaluable in my role as a Community Pastor in a local church context and has led to a number of new initiatives as we seek to offer hope to our community and world through sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
At the moment I lead the youth club in the Christian Centre, Tralee. We have seen God move among us during most of the meetings. It is encouraging to see how God is touching these teenagers causing them to have more hunger and love for The Lord. We are in high expectation for a Revival this year. We invite guest speakers to our meetings from time to time and they have been a blessings to us.
IBI has taught me to serve The Lord in very practical ways especially using head, hands and hearts as was emphasised in all the lectures.
My helping out in the youth club is a direct result of my time in IBI. I am able to pass on the knowledge I have acquired in IBI over the years to the teens I now work with.
I also serve practically in various areas in the church: such as serving in the kitchen, cleaning and arranging the chairs for church meetings.
It has indeed been a great privilege and blessing to be part of IBI and I believe The Lord is taking me to greater heights in his service or ministry.
It had always been my dream to attend a Bible college, and I am really grateful to IBI especially all the lecturers/staff and also my church for making this possible.