Category Training

Training for speakers in the university setting: some reflections

Passionweeks is a movement in The Netherlands that allows students to hear a message from a Christian point of view. I participated in one of the training days in October. Benno van den Toren gave a workshop on how to prepare a talk in a university setting. Here are some highlights of this workshop. 

  • Christians sometimes feel they have to keep their faith in the private sphere. But the Christian faith is a worldview that attempts to explain all of reality. Therefore Christians should bring their faith to the public square and not just keep it private. 
  • Christians could make an effort to built bridges with people outside the Christian faith. A good approach is to invite non-Christians into our world so they can see that the Christian faith is meaningful and reasonable. 
  • First, introduce people to Christ. Show them that Christ is attractive, trustworthy, and meaningful to you as a speaker. After you have done this you can remove some of the barriers, things that keep non-Christians away from considering the Christian faith as a life option. Benno said that “a witness from someone trustworthy makes a huge difference.” 
  • Furthermore, show why Christ is both the answer to issues like guilt, shame, overcoming evil, and also that he is a solid foundation for our lives. 
  • Finally, as a speaker find your voice. Don’t be afraid to stand and speak with your vulnerabilities and questions. Even then we have a reason to trust our message. 

It was a good and helpful workshop for people who give talks in the university setting. 

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Student Leaders and Their Potential Impact on Campus

StudentLife, the organization I am working with, believes that students can be positive influencers on their campuses. They can make a difference and impact others with the good news. What follows is some points related to the importance of student leaders for campus work and why students should consider becoming one. 

First, a student leader gives hands and feet to the Great Commission. 

You may have heard that Christians should go and make disciples of all nations, Mark 16:15 comes to mind. A student leader can partly help students give hands and feet to this commission. 

Christians sometimes know what they are supposed to do but don’t know exactly how to do it. Someone who came to StudentLife in Delft a few weeks ago said exactly this, “I know I have to share the good news with others but I don’t know how to do this.” 

Student leaders facilitate the moments to go and have conversations. They also arrange training on how to lead conversations and have follow-up meetings. 

Second, a student leader learns about spiritual leadership hands-on. 

There are different reasons why someone would not become a student leader: limited time, fear of the unknown (“what am I getting into now?”) failures, weaknesses, feelings of inadequacy (“I am not good enough, or not ready”) some doubts about faith, lack of courage, and the list can go on. What would you add to this list? Here some thoughts about the above reasons. 

Time is always a challenge. But how much time does it take to be a student leader? In StudentLife not more than 2 hours per week! Yes, you have to learn about time management and also stick with these two hours. We always can do more. But we have to learn to set limits and boundaries in our lives. 

It also has to do with priorities and values. What are the things that you are doing at the moment that you could either postpone or avoid doing for the next three months, or stop doing because they don’t help you become a better person? 

Furthermore, we all can feel a sense of inadequacy: we’re not ready, we’re not good enough, or we’re not able enough. The apostle Paul felt like this many times, such as in 2 Corinthians 3:5-6. Read and reflect on these verses. And Paul was not the only one to feel like this! Jeremiah as a young man felt overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a prophet for God, read and reflect on Jeremiah 1:4-10. Write your thoughts down and pray about your feelings of inadequacy. 

Third, you will learn what it means to depend on God and trust him to do his work

God is asking us to share the good news. He also expects us to be good leaders in our lives and our service for Him. But He also gives us the strength, wisdom, love, mercy, and power to do it. 

To join a StudentLife team and go for conversations with the purpose to help others think about the big questions of life is pleasing to God. To go a step further and become a student leader and lead a movement in your campus is also pleasing to God, good for others, and good for you. You will learn what it means to press on and not give up easily because God will sustain you. He will teach you the value of prayer in your life. A student leader once said, “Going for conversations is a training school/ground to share the good news and make disciples.” A training ground! And you can facilitate, you can make it happen with God’s enablement. 

Finally, some points about what a student leader does

  • A student leader organizes once a week, or biweekly, to go out for conversations on the campus. 
  • He arranges some training for the students. StudentLife staff or student leaders are available to give the training. 
  • He gives the signal in the WhatsApp group when they go for conversations and leads the time they meet for this purpose. 
  • He always has StudentLife staff in reach to help out. He is never alone! 

Would you prayerfully consider becoming a student leader? Feel free to contact me or one of my Studentlife colleagues. 

KV brochure A4 March 2019

 

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Christian Apologetics Course at Tyndale

Christian Apologetics Course PA610

Since 2016 every fall semester I am teaching the Christian Apologeitcs course to M.Div students (master of divinity) at Tyndale. It is an international setting, students come from all continetns and from different church backgrounds. This makes the course even more interesting than studying it only in a western country setting. It is an enriching experience.

I personally have studied at Tyndale in 2000-2003. It was a good preparation for both my current student/campus ministry, but also for further accademic studies. There is a practical emphasis in this course. We try to find ways to apply what we learn during the course but also for our future ministries.

Short description of the course

This class is for the Master of Divinity program, but it could be an elective for the Master of Evangelical Theology program. The Christian world view will be related to competing world views, e.g. postmodernism, deism, atheism, naturalism, materialism, pantheism. Also covered are the nature of the relationship of faith and reason and other apologetic issues, such as the problem of evil, the possibility of incarnation, the case for the resurrection.

Here you can find more information about the different programs of the school.

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Responding to World Religions

Christianity and World Religions

Upcoming seminar will be on Islam. Dr. Phil Gottschalk will lead this session. You are welcome October 9th 19:00 hour at trinity church international.

Responding to World Religions at Trinity International Church Directions click here

25 September Drake Williams Introducing the topic on World Religions.

2 October Mike Duffy on Hinduism.

9 October Phil Gottschalk on Islam.

16 October Jim Dahl on Buddhism.

30 October Solomon Dimitriadis on Secularism

 

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Apologetics Conference

Apologetics conference coming – May the 30th in The Hague

Area – Is faith reasonable? What about suffering and faith? Is the Bible a reliable set of books or are there more gospels around? Dr. Phil Gottschalk will give a plenary session on faith and reason at the start of the conference. There will be two workshops given right after the first session that participants can attend:

1. Workshop on suffering and faith given by Solomon Dimitriadis

2. Workshop on the lost gospels by pastor Drake Williams 

Facebook event 

Apologetics Conference (1)

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