Philosophy of Ministry
The Front Range Bible Institute (hereafter FBI) is deeply committed to the importance of seeing the local church be all that God has called it to be, and to accomplish all that God has called it to accomplish. Those who serve toward this end understand the challenges of the call. FBI was formed as a local church ministry with the purpose of helping local churches accomplish the God-given mandates of the Great Commission. As we introduce you to the details of our program, we invite you to read over our ministry philosophy in this introduction to help you better understand the goals and structure of our program.
Purpose. Stated in simple terms, the purpose of FBI is to see God progressively glorified through the equipping of God’s people for effective service and ministry in accordance with the words the Apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy, “The things which you have heard from me . . . these entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2).
Mission As a mission, our goal is to provide in-depth, systematic instruction to God’s people to help them grow in a deeper knowledge of God and to serve Him as He personally leads them into service. We aim to provide this instruction to all who sincerely desire such learning opportunities, whether male or female, always bearing in mind the biblical distinctions about male and female roles in the Body of Christ. Our desire is to do all we can to make this instruction easy in access, as well as affordable in cost. As fellow ministers in God’s field, we recognize the challenge of providing this kind of quality, biblical instruction that covers a wide range of learning. As pastors and teachers who are dedicated to seeing the church fulfill God’s call, we are very concerned that sound theology oftentimes is neglected or relegated to a “merely academic” realm — and such neglect has weakened the Body of Christ. Writer-theologian David Wells gives this reminder when he writes, “A church that neither is interested in theology nor has the capacity to think theologically is a church that will be rapidly submerged beneath the waves of modernity” (taken from “The Theologian’s Craft,” in Doing Theology in Today’s World, John D. Woodbridge and Thomas Edward McComiskey, eds. [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991], p. 191). In view of this great call and the need of the church, FBI has been formed to help local churches meet this need.
Vision. What we envision God accomplishing may be summed up in the following goals: (1) a training program that equips God’s people for passionate and effective ministry within the local church as God has gifted and called each believer; (2) a training program that will help godly men become skilled servants in teaching and shepherding (“apt to teach”), a key aspect of becoming well-prepared to shepherd God’s flock in eldership/leadership roles; (3) a training program that will equip men for fruitful Christian ministry at the pastoral and/or missionary level of vocational Christian service. FBI is especially committed to helping men gain skills in “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” so that they might become highly effective in Bible exposition and Bible teaching. In short, we envision God setting His people on fire for service by means of the Scriptures, as they come to a fuller and greater appreciation of God’s own glory and greatness.
Strategy. Systematic instruction requires a strategy for thorough equipping. In this section we hope to explain our basic strategies:
What FBI will do. In short, FBI will take seminary-level instruction and bring it down to the local church level. In content, FBI’s classes will essentially mirror that of a Master of Divinity program found in a traditional seminary. Because FBI will give this at the local church level, the class demands will be geared to a level of intensity that is appropriate for such a setting. The level of outside study and reading will also vary — depending upon which program the student is participating in.
Why FBI. While FBI has no desire or ability to replace the fine, biblical seminaries that are equipping men for ministry, we do believe that there are several practical reasons this kind of ministry fills a crucial role for the local church: (1) for many people there is a huge practical difficulty in relocating to pursue such instruction; (2) for many people who desire this instruction, the costs of such instruction present a huge challenge; (3) for those who can make such choices, this often means having to pull out of a home church where fruitful ministry is already taking place. As appropriate for each personal situation, FBI’s goal is to help God’s people become well-equipped in sound theology and ministry principles so that they can continue to serve in the context of their own home church.