Growing out of a very dynamic youth ministry among Russian-speaking youth in Estonia, a new and groundbreaking program to train young leaders and re-vitalize churches will be implemented in 2015.
The vision for this training program emerged among young pastors and leaders when they realized that many smaller churches and their pastors seem to have a lack of coworkers, enthusiasm and strength, and that The United Methodist Church in Estonia has not planted a new church for several years. The desire was to help struggling churches in a significant way and to help starting new churches.
The crucial questions were: What would happen if there was a group of young people aged 18-27, who would together devote one year to a full time ministry? What could be developed if strong pastors would serve as their mentors and if they studied the Bible and practical aspects of ministry? And what would be possible if many of the interns found their calling over the course of this year and become pastors?
This spring the leadership team will select the first approximately 10 young people aged 18-27 to participate in the program «A year for God». The requirements are that the young people have been Christians for at least two years and that they have a recommendation from their pastor. The internship will start in September 2015 and will be completed by the end of August 2016. The program, which is financially supported by the Fund for Mission in Europe, includes courses at the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary in Tallinn – Biblical studies, homiletics, leadership, evangelism and spiritual guidance. A mentoring system with a number of experienced pastors will be set up and include personal mentoring, prayer, reflection, feedback, and evaluation with particular attention given to the discernment of God’s calling. Most days the interns will be involved in some kind of ministry like leading youth ministry, leading small groups, sharing testimonies, preaching, evangelism, planning events, and helping with administrative and practical matters.
The leaders Stanislav Ossipov, Aleksandr Fjodorov, Robert Tserenkov, Anton Djurjagin, and Svetlana Djurjagina say: «We believe that this program can bring new life to The United Methodist Church in Estonia, that it can bring new people to Jesus Christ, and that it provides a unique ministry experience for young people. Some of them, we believe, will find their calling in life to become the next generation of pastors and leaders in the church. Please lift ‘A Year for God’ up in prayer.»
Source: Christian Alsted, Bishop of the Nordic and Baltic Area
Date: January 14, 2015