Ministry Development Program (MDP)
Module 1: Equip the church for ministry
This module is the introduction to the Ministry Development Program. It aims to create a new vision for the ministry of the church and develop some of the basic skills needed for that ministry (interpreting the Bible, preaching, singing and worship). The church must understand that its main purpose is to serve the coming of God’s kingdom in this world. The practical wisdom of the historical and poetical books of the Old Testament will help in this process.
MDP 1/1 God’s new world is coming!
The focus of this learning guide is on establishing a missional church that takes part in God’s mission of making the world new. It forms the basis of the ministry development program. The essential role of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in the coming of God’s Kingdom is highlighted. Learners identify the role of the church in putting up signs of God’s new world in everyday life and the community.
MDP 1/2 Learn to interpret the Bible
This course is a guide to learners about the interpretation and use of the Bible as the Word of God for personal growth and ministry. It helps them to understand how it was written, what it claims to be and how it should be interpreted and applied in a way that is relevant to every context.
MDP 1/3 Improve your preaching
The course helps learners to improve their preaching skills. They learn how to find God’s message for his people in the Bible, how to prepare different kinds of sermons in which they interpret and apply the message in a particular context, and how to deliver the message in an effective way.
MDP 1/4 Improve your church music
Learners develop skills for improving the music and worship ministry in their respective churches. They learn how to train song leaders, select the best kind of church music for communicating the message in a particular context and apply different ways to compose new songs from the Bible.
MDP 1/5 Study the Bible (Old Testament 3)
Learners discover the message of the historical and poetical books in the Old Testament, and learn how to interpret and apply it in daily life.
Module 2: Build up the church
In this module the focus is on skills for building up the church. The aim is to build the whole church into a caring and nurturing community. People with special needs (such as those living with HIV and Aids, but also children and young people) must have a safe and loving environment to develop their potential with the help of spiritual companions. In many ways the message of the prophets is about being such a caring community.
MDP 2/1 Pastoral care and counselling
This course will help learners to gain a basic competence in pastoral care and counselling as applied in a congregational context. They will discover the biblical principles and develop the qualities and skills needed for Christian pastoral care and counselling. They will also learn how to guide a congregation to be a community of care and growth.
MDP 2/2 HIV and Aids: Light a candle of hope
Learners acquire skills to mobilise the church and community to deal with the challenges of the HIV and Aids pandemic. They learn how to spread correct information, counter stigmatisation, handle theological questions about the issue and initiate a ministry to all who are infected and affected by HIV and Aids.
MDP 2/3 Develop a children’s ministry
This learning program helps learners to establish children’s ministries in their respective churches and communities. It develops a Bible based understanding of children and the duties of church leaders and parents in meeting the needs of children and leading them to a mature Christian life.
MDP 2/4 Train disciple makers
Learners are equipped to train church members as disciple makers who guide other Christians through their teaching and example along the path of spiritual growth. This skill is particularly important for the ministry to young people and children.
MDP 2/5 Study the Bible (Old Testament 4)
Learners study the message of each prophetic book in the Bible and apply it to the modern situation in church and society. The study includes a short introduction to the historical background and structure of each book and focuses on themes that are relevant for today’s believers. The learner practises a particular method of doing exegesis.
Module 3: Reach out to the world
The last module deals with the calling of the church to be involved in God’s mission of changing the world. It is not just about evangelism, but also about being God’s agent of transformation and reconciliation in the whole community. It is about reaching out to all people in the world, including people of other religions, to share the love of God. The study of the New Testament helps a lot to understand the missionary character of the church.
MDP 3/1 Bring Good News to the world
Learners are guided to understand God’s plan for the world and then develop the skill to mobilise churches for outreach and mission. They learn different approaches to evangelism and plan practical ways of reaching out to the lost.
MDP 3/2 Make a difference to your community
Learners are motivated to get their churches involved in dealing with the needs of their communities in terms of Christian values. The principles of God’s kingdom are applied to every part of community life.
MDP 3/3 Deal with conflict in God’s way
Learners are empowered to resolve conflict, both in their personal life and in their capacity as leaders in the church and community. They also become competent to train others in the skills of conflict management.
MDP 3/4 Reach out to people of other religions
Learners gain knowledge about the basic views of some of the world’s main religions. They learn how to guide church members to show respect to people who follow these other religions, but also have the courage to witness to them about Jesus Christ in a polite, but convincing way.
MDP 3/5 Study the Bible (New Testament 2)
The study of the book of Acts, the New Testament letters and Revelation is a powerful guide in the practice of Christian life and mission. By doing a survey of these New Testament books the learner discovers how the message about Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit influenced the formation and functioning of the church.