by Lisa Sero
I was introduced to Precept studies about 20 years ago, and have been involved as a Precept Upon Precept (PUP) leader since 1995. We (both I and those in the class) were growing, but also becoming quite content and settled in our study patterns. When Precept introduced the New Inductive Study Series (NISS), my initial thought was, “That’s fine for some people, but it’s not for us.”
Enter 40 Minute Studies, and FastTrack Training! I am completely sold on these because of their impact on people’s lives. I have seen first-hand how God is working through them to grow new fruit in the lives of mature and faithful believers, as well as bring excitement, change, and new life to people that have never heard of Inductive Bible Study or Precept Ministries. Let me share just a couple of examples:
After beginning to use “Living a Life of True Worship” in one of our church’s small groups, I nearly jumped out of the pew and cheered one Sunday morning (and we’re Brethren – we don’t jump!), as the man introducing our communion portion of the service taught from Genesis 22, and shared much of what he had been learning in the study. Now, whenever he leads communion, he shares something that he’s learned about worship from that study. Our elders are getting ready to study “Rising to the Call of Leadership,” and our entire church will study “Being a Disciple: Counting the Real Cost.” I can hardly wait to see the changes God has in store.
I introduced the same 40 Minute study (Living a Life of True Worship) to my PUP class, and encouraged each of them to get two copies of the book and use it as a summer study with someone new. As a result, “Barb,” a lady from a Catholic background, who initially thought, “Marking is juvenile,” is now eager to begin another study together with Cathy. Myra (from the same class) is using a 40 Minute study with the teens in her church, and Debbie took one extra book, then two more, as her group grew to four women studying together. And Fast Track training is a fabulous way to get this material out there and used by the most number of people.
40 Minute Studies work! I love the FastTrack Training, because, through the NISS and especially the 40 Minute Studies, believers are being given the tools to go into the world and make disciples. They stop looking to their ‘leaders’ to do the work, and start to realize they can take an active role in discipleship. As we finish the FastTrack training, I love seeing their faces light up as they say, “Yes, I can do this.” Ephesians 4:11 is being fulfilled as the ‘saints’ are being effectively equipped for the ministry.
As the volunteer network begins to take shape in Canada in 2014, I pray that it will bear much fruit. Certainly, God will bless an endeavor that is such a reflection of what the Biblical mandate is for the entire body of Christ—to serve together, according to each person’s gift.
I’m excited because until now, it seemed that Precept Ministries was designed to work from the top down; now I picture it like a fishing net being cast across Canada; and every single ‘student’ now has an opportunity to grab on to, and help cast that net. I’m looking forward to being part of the network that will motivate and encourage volunteers across the country. Being connected in this way will make the ministry feel like a team, or rather, like a body, with hands, feet, eyes, ears and mouths all working together.
I’m encouraged because through these changes Precept is beginning to feel less like a corporation, and more like a part of the church, the body of Christ.
Lisa is one of the new FastTrack Workshop Trainers who have been raised up this year. If you live in Norfolk, Haldimand or Niagara Counties in Ontario and would like to host a FastTrack Workshop please contact Lisa. lsero[@]preceptministries.ca