”What I can say about the BIG.5 course series is that they had a transforming role in my life and ministry. The biggest impact was through „The Philosophy for Ministry” course. I am still adjusting to these concepts, but I have managed to get my thoughts in order. I want to make sure I implement them right, both in my own life and in the lives of those following me. I am thankful to those who invested in BIG and in us. May God fully bless everyone’s investment into this.” — Alexe Costea, a missionary pastor in Draganesti, Oltenia
Perhaps the most important project BIG developed during the last 6 years was the BIG.5 course.
The truth is that 2000 years after the birth of the Church, evangelical Christians are yearning for the impact of the first Church. We carry the same message, have been intrusted with the same mission and have the same resources at our disposal, still, we can’t compare our effectiveness with that of the plain people who were taught by Jesus or by the apostles. One of the major focuses in BIG Impact is that of challenging the Romanian evangelical churches to abandon the ”parish” oriented model and follow the trajectory of a church with global impact.
Around 100 people, pastors and church leadership team members attended the launching of the last course from the BIG.5 series, ”The Church With Global Impact”. This course was introduced through a conference held in Sovata on October 24-27 2012.
Launched in the Fall of 2007, with the first course , ”The Philosophy for Ministry”, the BIG.5 series has reached it’s final stage. This last course is the climax of the series, a series that was developed around the core practices that define a church with global impact. One after the other we became familiar with concepts like purpose oriented ministry, discipleship as a way of life, team leading and team working, and the creative management of growth.
With the same target group as the previous conferences, namely the people who are involved in leading the Romanian evangelical churches, and, also, those concerned about the growth of the church’s impact, the BIG5.5 course was intended to help the participants understand the value, practices and mission of the global impact church, to identify the set-backs in reaching the global impact, by challenging them to search for solutions and develop strategies that would lead to such an impact.
The notebook for this conference was developed by a Curriculum Development team of some 20 individuals with experience in Christian ministry, in the Romanian evangelical environment.
We were exposed to creative and challenging presentations, diverse illustrations and interaction on the major topics, with times of small group work and lively moments of prayer and worship. Lessons from history, from the Scriptures, inspiring models and helpful quesetions, all came together in a spiritual melting pot in which we set aside prejudice, we renounced old forms and we felt called to another level of commitment. We learned that what was possibile in the first centuries may be reachable today. We have the same God and his dream has remained unchanged over the century: populating the planet with sons and daughters of God. We can contribute to the fulfilling of his dream if we help transform our churches into global impact churches!
In the end, here are the insights of a young baptist pastor from Braila, Betuel Vararu:
The conference in Sovata managed to successfuly emphasize the most important things about the leading and the functioning of a global impact and healthy church. Especially I want to single out the emphasis on evangelism and disipleship as core functional elements which best describe a church that is centered around a purpose, not around programs. The seminars, the discussion groups, the practical projects that were presented and the worship time have contributed fully to a great experience.