For some twenty years, Brackenhurst Baptist Church has operated what we call our “Shepherd’s School.” This is a training arm of our church by which we have sought to equip our members for fruitful ministry. The goal and therefore emphasis has been upon equipping believers—men and women—to shepherd others. In a word, biblical discipleship has been the driving ethos.
The ministry has proved fruitful as we have seen many of our members strengthened in their working knowledge of God’s Word and in their ability to teach others with a view to disciple-making. In addition to the blessing of an increasingly equipped congregation, we have also been able to train some who have become elders and missionaries.
Up until now it has been focused on our own congregation but we are now in a position where we are able to open the door wider to other local churches.
Omnibus is a Latin term meaning “to deal with many things at once.” This course focuses on integrating the content, structure, literature, interpretation, and study of the Bible. The Shepherd’s School meets one Saturday morning (8–12) each month (January–November).
For eighteen months students will study a survey of the 66 books of the Bible in the context of the Bible’s covenantal structure. They will be given an understanding of the flow of redemptive history through the various literature of the Old and New Testaments. The focus will be on the Bible’s central message of the person and work of Jesus Christ as the basis for understanding each book of the Bible and for interpreting any text in the Bible. Finally, these studies will provide a method for studying any text in the Bible using the principles stated above.
The student undertakes to manage his/her time and access to resources in a manner that will enable him/her to complete the requirements of this course on schedule. The student’s aim is to be not just passing this course, but continuously growing in a clear understanding and practice of God’s Word.
All of this will be accomplished through monthly readings, Omnibus unit studies with self-evaluations, Bible study assignments, and semester exams.
The student will need to obtain the following books to complete the course readings: the Bible in a good English translation (NKJV or ESV); the Bible in the student’s own first language; four textbooks (How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart; According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy; Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul; and The Christ of the Covenants by O. Palmer Robertson). Other supplementary tools are encouraged, such as a concordance, Bible atlas, Bible dictionary, OT & NT backgrounds/surveys, etc.
The student may receive credit toward the Bible Diploma from Mukhanyo Theological College for students who also register with them for said programme. The cost of the Bible Omnibus course is R200 per semester.
As local churches, we of course desire to equip our members for ministry, including leadership development. Yet practically we often struggle with the logistics. So perhaps this ministry will be of some practical solution to such a challenge. We therefore warmly invite your church to utilise this ministry if you so desire.
Should you require any further information please feel free to contact Jeff Gage (073 250 7983 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Alternately, you may contact me (082 853 2776 or email@example.com).
May the Lord bless our churches with equipped members, thereby strengthening our unity as we pursue Christlikeness to the glory of God.
Doug Van Meter
Brackenhurst Baptist Church