Another Cross Canada Tour is finished and again we are praising God for providing beyond what we could ask or imagine!
This tour started out like all of the other tours. All of the host locations were in place within a matter of weeks. We booked flights and kept in constant contact with the hosts to gauge the number of people that would be attending in each location.
However, this year the tour differed from previous tours in that as of six days before I was scheduled to head to the first stop, Woods Harbour, NS, only 56 people were registered across the country. Some of the locations had very low registration and in Quebec nobody had registered!
We and our hosts had prayed, advertised, and encouraged Canadians to register for every tour stop, but so few had responded. Our team continued to pray, but I was ready to pull the plug on the trip believing that God had other plans.
One afternoon while spending time in prayer and study, I felt conviction in my heart. Having witnessed what God did last year through the Matching Gift Campaign, the increased students attending classes and training, and so much more, was I now doubting that God could again bless this ministry by stepping out in faith?
Or perhaps my doubt was really disappointment if the tour were to be canceled because I love to do the tour. Despite the exhausting pace of the tour, the joy of sharing inductive study and watching eyes opened to the beauty of God’s Word far outweighs the exhaustion.
On March 4, I boarded the plane for Halifax knowing that I was stepping out in faith.
As we arrived in Halifax and taught the first workshop, I closed the training with the exhortation that we must proclaim Jesus Christ. I could see it in the eyes of the students: their joy in study and their love for Jesus and His Word. At that point I knew that the message God had given me to share with Canada was one that needed to be heard.
As we moved from city to city, the staff would send me updated registration numbers. My wife Jessica would tell me that the phone was constantly ringing. Before long, the problem was not that we lacked registrations, but now we were short on study materials and books at many of the locations!
When we started the tour, 56 people were ready to study with us. Fourteen days later when we finished in Three Hills, AB, almost 300 people had been trained, far exceeding the number of people we trained in the 2014 tour. British Columbia alone accounted for 50% of the people trained. Praise the Lord for blessing us in this way. He has done more than we could ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)
Although the Called to Proclaim tour is complete, we are far from done sharing this message. If you missed the opportunity to join us on the tour, please contact our office to find out how you can have the Called to Proclaim training come to your church. We would love to come and partner with your church!
Testimonies from the Called to Proclaim Tour
“Two people were new to any type of Precept study, and it really opened their eyes to how to study for themselves. They are new believers, and were drawn to our church because the pastor teaches inductively. They said they had never heard God’s word like that, and now they know they can study for themselves. God is so good!” ~Windsor, Ontario
“When I visited my daughter and her family in Hong Kong recently I would tuck into a wee corner by the window every day and work on my inductive Bible study. This is the setting where some of my family members have seen a change in me since I began studying inductively after attending last year’s Cross-Canada FastTrack workshop. Inductive study forces me to slow down, to dig and think. The practice of marking the Bible has also proven to be instructive and helpful as it pulls thoughts and themes into cohesive streams. The questions are sometimes probing and challenging and the opportunity to apply what is learned to one’s walk with Jesus is ever present. Day after day, my daughter saw me not only doing the work but loving the work. She could see I was attempting to take what was being taught and to allow the Holy Spirit to make the necessary personal changes and she could see the joy and gratitude which resulted in me.” ~Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
“Precept Canada’s Cross Country Tour arrived here at Lower Coverdale Baptist Church in March with Mark Sheldrake introducing the 40 minute and IISS inductive Bible studies. Personally, given the winter conditions, I wasn’t expecting more than half a dozen people. However, we had 21 enthusiastic participants, two even coming from beyond Fredericton, over 2 hours away, because they were so keenly interested in receiving this instruction. As a presenter, Mark is knowledgeable and quickly engaged those new to this method of Bible Study. Working with Katie at the precept head office made preparing and organizing the workshop a breeze. I look forward to hosting another Precept Training Session at the next available opportunity.” ~Pastor, Lower Coverdale, New Brunswick
“The inductive Bible study method that is taught by Precept is very similar to the method I learned in seminary and have been using for years! It’s so wonderful to have training like this available to our church members!” ~Lower Coverdale, New Brunswick
“It is always a pleasure to have any of Precept Canada’s staff and trainers come to our part of the country. We are so thankful Precept asked if we wanted to be one of the stops on Mark’s FastTrack tour, and we are so glad we said “yes”. It never ceases to amaze me how much one can take away just from marking key works like the author, recipients, and instructions/warnings, and then interrogating the text! I have determined to be careful to not make the holy “common” as a result of what I learned through the 40-minute study. I am being more proactive about looking for opportunities to share the excellencies of Him who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light, from the NISS study on I Peter.
We had people from Calgary, Cochrane, Strathmore, not just the Three Hills area. How exciting! People I had never met before but know, even if I never see them again in this world, I will be able to sit down with them in eternity and ask how inductive study affected their lives.
I would encourage any group who hasn’t had a workshop or training at their church, to take advantage of any opportunity to have Precept’s trainers come and share and instruct. I have been at this for 30-some years and the only thing I will forewarn you against is it ALWAYS ends up being not enough time and you will be left wanting more! ~Three Hills, Alberta
We had the privilege of hosting the Precept Workshop at Cornerstone Bible Church in Steinbach, MB. Our group was a mix of brand new people to Precept and those who are familiar with inductive Bible study. It was fun to see familiar faces and encouraging that they wanted to continue learning how to be better students of Scripture.
Our group was eager to learn as we began to scratch the surface of what it means to study the Bible inductively. A couple of comments that summed up the workshop and what we learned included, “marking key words really helped give clarity to the text.” “We were seeing an ‘old’ truth in a ‘new’ way.” The other comment that stood out was about just “how much we learned from 1 Peter in the hour that we took to study chapters 1 and 2- and that was only scratching the surface!” The Called to Proclaim workshop was challenging and encouraging—all at the same time. ~Steinbach, Manitoba
To be in God’s Word on a daily basis is a life-changing process that I have the privilege of experiencing myself and seeing in other people’s lives.
So when we had the opportunity to participate in the Precept Workshop ‘Called to Proclaim’ cross-Canada tour, we were very excited and humbled.
The people who attended the Workshop at SDBC represented churches ranging from very large to very small. They were people who hungered after God and had a willingness to learn how to lead others, to grow strong and stay healthy in their faith life.
After an awesome time of learning, fellowship and worship, people left filled with joy, re-invigorated and determined to establish the study of God’s Word using Precepts as a tool in their church.
The question is when is the next tour and are you planning to attend? Bookmark it! ~South Delta, British Columbia
The FastTrack workshop training with its two different styles of resources allows people to find a style that is appropriate for their small group and give them confidence using the materials and helping others to study the Bible. There were several churches represented at our workshop. Each came looking for resources that they could use to develop or restart Bible Study groups in their church. My husband leads the Christian club in the high school he teaches in and he discovered the 40-Minute Bible Studies are the perfect vehicle for him to use with students. Two women came who were looking for resources and training before beginning a new neighbourhood Bible study. Another couple came who are involved in a church planting ministry and were looking for resources & Bible study training. The Precept trainer took the time to carefully explain how to use the two different resources and gave us time to work in groups to experience leading discussions. Those who have been trained in the past enjoyed being re-trained and studying First Peter.” ~Lorraine, Markham, Ontario
“I thank God for what He has done for the Burnaby Tour!
On March 2, 2015, the registration cut off date for the Burnaby workshop, we had only 11 people registered, but Precept extended the date to March 6. With so few signed up and only a few more days extension, our team was disappointed and we expected that the workshop would be canceled very soon.
In spite of that I contacted several sisters and we decided to pray and pass the information by word of mouth and by emails to different groups of brothers and sisters within our church, outside to our own circles of Christian friends. Several of us prayed fervently with unwavering faith that God would provide so that we would have at least 25 registrations by Friday, March 6 at 12 noon.
The night of March 3, I was on my knees praying to God. I asked Him to give us just enough within 2 days, so that the workshop would happen. I remembered back to January 2015 when God led me to take on the volunteer coordination of this Precept workshop for my church and knew there had to be a reason He called me to do this. I trusted that He had great things He was going to do through this workshop. I knew that the eleven who were already registered were eager to be in the class. So I trusted that God wouldn’t leave the eleven people just like that. These were people who are willing to learn to study His Word, and He would take care of them.
After my prayer that night, I felt peaceful. I knew that God had listened and would act.
The next evening, March 5, my daughter came home and happily told me that she had successfully invited one unchurched friend from her university to attend this Precept workshop! That was very encouraging! My family prayed to God again that night, and said, “Father, now there is one unchurched person coming to the class, please take care of this student.” We also prayed for his future salvation.
By Friday morning, March 6, we had 26 registrations. By the end of day Friday, we had a total of about 36 registrations (both from our Willingdon Church and other churches in the area). From that day on, the numbers continue to increase. We had over 50 attendees the day of the workshop on March 12. Everyone who attended enjoyed the workshop, and many asked about when Precept would return so that they could learn more.
And our unchurched friend. . .he wants to come to church regularly so that he can learn more about the One that was proclaimed to him through this study of 1 Peter!
Praise God, for He has done great things! He is faithful!” ~Burnaby, British Columbia
We were blessed to have the Precept Trainers come to Yellowknife once again. It is a real encouragement to us for Precept to invest it’s time in a Northern church. We were blessed abundantly by the message and were delighted to see new faces at the workshop. We are convinced that God is doing a great work here in Yellowknife thanks to Inductive Bible Study. Our people left feeling equipped to study God’s Word and start small groups of their own. Our prayer is that we will see good fruit from this workshop throughout all the churches in our community. ~Yellowknife, Northwest Territories