We reconnected with some of the core members as well as meeting individuals who were new to the fellowship since our visit a year ago. Please pray for the leader and his wife to have the Lord’s wisdom in all the challenges they continue to face with a new congregation. After our weekend visit to Karmiel, we returned to Netanya, the location of Israel College of the Bible, where I taught a weeklong intensive course on Messianic Congregation Planting. We used the book Establishing Healthy Messianic Congregations as the text for this seminar.
Just to give a little background, Israel College of the Bible, is a four-year college, and over the past few years the student body has grown to approximately 100 students with their own commuter campus. They are not only concerned with the ancient stones of the past, but are in Israel to join God’s building project with His living stones of today—Israeli Jews and Arabs, and his people from every nation and tongue. ICB Faculty, both full-time and adjunct faculty, has a wide array of expertise and disciplines, most notably in the areas of Bible and Theology, Jewish Studies, Biblical Geography and Culture, Archaeology, Practical Ministry, and Leadership and Counseling.
Teaching the Congregation Planter’s course was wonderful and challenging at the same time. I taught for 35 hours, instructing the students to develop a congregation from vision to birth and then to leadership development. The students in the class were from all ages and various communities in Israel that included, Russian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, native-born Israelis, and Arab Christians.
We focused on the Messianic approach, meaning Messiah-centered, and not a form of legalism or keeping the law. Furthermore, we discussed portions from Romans in regards to God’s plan for Gentile believers to make Israel jealous thru the mercy that He has shown to them (Romans 11:11; 30-31). The classes at times grew lively with discussions. As the week progressed, we sensed growing unity and commitment to see Messianic congregations established, developed and reproducing. I'm now working with two of the communities to address the issue of illiteracy that hampers their outreach and discipleship and I look forward to coaching several planters over Skype. What a joy to know that there will be more congregations planted in the Land to Messiah's glory.
I'm blessed to say that I have a new friend, a bold Arab Christian, congregation planter. We've already sent him additional materials to assist in his discipleship ministry in his new congregation.
Many of the students were pleased to receive the Hebrew edition of our discipleship book, Messianic Discipleship to use in their congregations and one-on-one discipleship.
During the week all the sessions were translated simultaneously into Hebrew by a young woman, who did a phenomenal job. She was able to do simultaneous translation, while taking notes at the same time! It was a privilege and a blessing to be there and may Yeshua get all the praise, and may all Israel be saved, Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs alike. Thank you again for your prayers and support.