Lesson 4 in the BIG5 melting pot: Growth Management

As already announced, the most important training event BIG prepares for 2011 is the launching of the 4th course in the BIG5 series, focusing on Growth Management. In the first part of the year there are four 2 day meetings with the curriculum development team, in order to finalize the process started in October 2010, so that all the material can go to publishing in time.

The first meeting of the year took place on January 27-29 at Metanoia Baptist Church in Brasov with 17 team members present. As is characteristic of these team meetings, the time was used to a maximum, the work was intense, and the participants advanced significantly in what they planned to do in these two days. Of course, the fellowship and the fun were not absent.

Here are a few of the insights we got from the participants:

While launching the BIG5.4 course – Growth Management, we decided to build as much as possible on the experience of the last three courses we developed as a team. Therefore, we put a bigger emphasis on negotiating the biblical values and convictions about growth, developing a biblical theology on the topic of growth. Of course, the effect will be better seen at the launch of the course, but the overall sensation of presuppositional harmony is significantly increased. (Gelu Paul-Faina, BIG-Impact Strategic Coordinator)

For me these meetings represent a breath of fresh air and a progress in my personal development, and in my congregational impact. Evaluating the effectiveness of this session, I think we better clarified the direction each team has to work toward. I enjoyed the preparation Rich Millhouse and his team have poured into the development of the test for the growth process evaluation. (Gherasim Cosmescu, pastor, Deva)

I was pleasantly impressed by the effectiveness of our teamwork, having fulfilled almost everything we aimed for. Also, many aspects regarding the lesson’s approach were clarified, and this will be of tremendous help in the curriculum development process that still lies ahead of us. (Dorothea Ghita, BIG Impact Communication Assistant)

The next curriculum development team meeting took place in the same location, in Brasov, on March 16-18, with 20 participants. This time we had Bill and Bobbie Trenckmann with us, a US couple who join our national efforts as missionaries from Josiah Venture, our partner organization, for getting to know and invest in youth leaders, in other words, to assist us in the re-launching of the youth network on the BIG platform.

The curriculum development meeting was an important, difficult one and, at the same time wonderful, and encouraging – this is what pastor Ovidiu Ghita from Galati shared with us. Important, because we had to integrate all the materials prepared by the smaller, regional curriculum development teams, into the overall framework of the conference topic, and harmonize them together. Difficult, because the curriculum development team, which is made up of both people with a broad ministry experience, and young people, with a fresh approach, had to face the complexity of a topic of great interest these days: church growth management. Wonderful, because the enthusiasm, competence, debates, concentration, hard work and the leading of the Holy Spirit developed a transforming and motivating work environment.

Every time we meet together, we are aware that these events are a natural development environment and we are interested to see this environment influencing and challenging all those attending.

Following are some insights the participants in the last working session gave:

For me, this type of meetings has three main advantages:

1. It is a healthy working environment for me to grow, both individually through my study, as a small team working on our lesson, or as a wider team with the whole curriculum development team. I am encouraged, through the format of some of the topics, to study and research, and this is a huge personal gain.

2. By studying and working, my personal work becomes useful for others, in other words, you invest yourself in others also. This is also important.

3. Thirdly, it is about relationships! Being together with other people who are ministering, it is healthy environment for me to connect with others and learn from their life and ministry. (Daniel Gruian, pastor, Cluj-Napoca)

The curriculum development meeting is always an opportunity for me to re-evaluate my values and premises that are the foundation of my life and ministry. The interaction with my friends is encouraging, but, also, challenging. I believe we met our objective, although the decisive moment will be that of the conference itself, a moment I can hardly wait for, together with my home church team. (Marius Mezin, pastor, Metanoia Church, Braila)

I appreciate the spiritual background of these meetings, which is encouraged and promoted by those attending them. I am amazed, each time, by the final result, compared with the incipient materials we started with, as an effect of the participants’ teamwork. Every time I attend the curriculum development meetings, the anticipation of a great time makes it hard for me to wait for the next meetings. (Titi Aostacioaei, pastor, Sfânta Treime Church, Galati)

The two days spent together with BIG’s curriculum development team have shown me a clear picture of the importance and benefits of team work – being exposed to different mindsets and experiences. At the same time, I see it is important, long term, for a leader to work together with a team. This way, through attending the process of developing a curriculum, the team members are exposed to a development process, and, in the end, they surely believe and support that material. This environment was beneficial for me and I thank my mentor, Diana Bocsa, for inviting me. I also thank the curriculum development team for welcoming me! (Daliana Gaie, discipleship group leader, Metanoia Church, Arad)

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