Raising Up Pastors, Developing Leaders
Pastor Gilles Gentley had taken some courses from Christian Life School of Theology Global (CLSTG) through a local church and was also engaged in self-study. Coincidentally, when he joined Catalyst Church in Jericho, Vermont, as a staff member, he found an opportunity to relaunch their CLSTG partner school program, the Jericho School of Ministry.
“It was my passion,” he recalls. He talked about it with the church’s senior pastor, Mike Murray. The partner school had fallen by the wayside, and both of them wanted to breathe new life into it again.
“We look around and don’t see a lot of people who could pastor. And those who could, they go off to seminary and not a lot come back; we lost them. I’m not sure that’s the Biblical model,” Pastor Gentley says.
Pastor Murray, now the chancellor of the Jericho School of Ministry, and Pastor Gentley want to raise up pastors and leaders, disciple them, and mold them into capable, theologically-sound leaders.
The flexibility of ministry goals is one of the advantages of being a partner school. Pastor Gentley mentions, “You can develop leaders who have a Christian model, but who don’t necessarily want to pursue ordination.” Catalyst Church has a student ministry and presenting Biblical lessons to the youth group is a wonderful application of the courses taken at the Jericho School of Ministry.
Seeing Fruit and Growth
“Our church holds a weekend intensive, once a month, 6-8 times per year. We study and discuss the course for 10 hours,” describes Pastor Gentley. On off months, people take classes on their own. Mostly, we try to offer the core classes, but students appreciate that the worship leader can learn worship and someone else can take courses on urban ministry.”
He also shares, “We can grow together but also grow individually. The community is there and we study together. When someone does well, we’re right there with them.”
Speaking of community, other nearby churches send their leaders to the Jericho School of Ministry, which now acts as a training resource beyond its four walls. Inside and outside the church, Pastor Gentley is seeing the fruit of being a partner school.
“As an example,” he says, “One lady took classes and earned her bachelor’s degree. She has written a book and is out speaking. It’s really benefited her, and she’s become a leader in our church.” He also sees Christian growth in the younger members of the church, especially in a maturing of their theology. “Correct theology matters,” Pastor Gentley points out.
For churches and organizations considering becoming a partner school, Pastor Gentley encourages leaders to focus on what you need in your area and your community. Then, he advises, “Lean on the leadership of CLSTG. They have so many people who are passionate about this, and they will help it grow.”
He adds, “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just lean into what they’re doing and take advantage of that.”
Becoming a partner school with CLSTG comes with an easy startup process and provides an incredible resource for your congregation, staff and leadership team. Find out more about how to start your custom-branded Bible school today.
About Gilles Gentley
Pastor Gently is the administrator for Catalyst Church in Jericho, Vermont. He and his wife Sarah also serve as the church’s youth pastors. A passionate and dynamic speaker, he is also an expert in the field of drug prevention and recovery. He desires to see everyone live a life on purpose.