On 18th March 2014, 27 pastors and lay leaders from several churches and denominations eagerly attended a 2 day seminar titled BILD (Biblical Institute of Leadership Development). The BILD curriculum is a unique learning system designed to help pastors train their own leaders from grassroots to national level, based on the way of Christ and His Apostles. The Antioch School (USA) supports BILD International’s vision to accelerate global church-planting movements through theological education done in the context of church ministry.
At the outset, the head of BILD programme, whilst acknowledging a tremendous spontaneous expansion of the Church worldwide in the 21st century, emphasised on the need to hasten church growth and the importance of sustaining this growth correctly and systematically. He drew attention to the success of the early Church; the way Jesus and his apostles fostered the growth of the early Church.
The BILD programme supports this need. By adding the Antioch School’s certificate and degree programmes to the mix of their existing large-scale BILD grassroots programmes, it enables churches to keep their top leaders active in the ministry of planting and shepherding while attaining advanced training and academic credentials. All the programmes are designed and taught in churches, by churches, and for churches. Leaders of churches and church networks and movements do all the training in the context of ministry. Thus the BILD programme inspires and prepares pastors and emerging leaders by training, equipping and integrated experiences through the following focused areas.
Baseline is the first training programme which lays the foundation. It is done through academic experiences – knowing the Bible, how to read the Bible for yourself, involving one’s self in small group studies, discovering fellowship and why you should be a part of it, leadership experiences, cultural experiences and one to one discipleship.
Equipping is the second area that builds upon the baseline foundation. This deals with equipping leaders for life as well as for ministry. It provides practical hands on ministry training through classes, equipping people with ideas, bringing in experts as well as providing necessary resources needed to release leaders to impact the world for Christ.
The third area is the ‘Global Outlook’ or common ‘Missions Approach’. It supports those who minister for Christ and it is also about partnering and networking with churches all around the world.
The BILD training starts with an inward focus on preparing leaders with base planning and equipping, to move outward reaching globally to the four corners of the world.
The BILD training curriculum is a cascading system where pastors and leaders are empowered and trained to teach others to be church leaders who in turn would teach others as they go along.
On the second day, the Assistant General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India spoke to the gathering on ‘Being a Disciple’. He shared examples and experiences of how effectively the Gospel was taught in North India through small groups of people working through ‘home church/cells’ who incorporated the BILD method of training pastors and leaders.
“We are very interested in the BILD method of training the trainers to spread the Gospel. However, due to the current attacks on Christian churches, church workers are reluctant and fear to reach out” commented a participant from a church in Panadura.
A leader from a church with outposts in Colombo, Polonnaruwa and Kurunegala claimed that their church operates in a similar way to the BILD programme. “We have appointed cell leaders who conduct Bible study meetings, etc. at home cells. We find that this way people are more connected and the leaders can give one-on-one attention, counselling and guidance for the spiritual growth of the believers. We see the BILD training as a good training tool for emerging leaders”.
NCEASL invites pastors, church leaders and lay workers in ministry to get in touch with us in order to enroll for the BILD training programme. The BILD leadership programme will be launched in Sri Lanka based on the response and interest from the participants.