To my perception, it’s not all “ministries” are actual ministries. The fact on earth is that we here in Vietnam have experienced for decades various forms of “Christian ministries” who claim for themselves the ministry of equipping the Church, but just for a noisy starting and then ending in a dim disappearance, leaving here all kinds of doctrinal confusions. Not bad enough, those sorts of seminars, conferences, training… even are opportunities for professed “Christian workers” seeking for new contacts, establishing new relationships for their hidden agenda of gaining worldly profits, creating many divisions within the Body of Christ and damaging for His cause.
I’m amazed on thinking of having IBL Ministry in my country, Vietnam. At the first sight of it I was a little doubtful. “Maybe this is another cunning scheme as many others, I thought.” To tell the truth, my approach to IBL in Vietnam was very tentative, or more precise, very detective one. “Is Pastor Solomon a sound teacher, a man of integrity? Who is Dr. Russ? I’ve heard that he is very strict but is he a man of sound doctrine for being my teacher?” With such quests in my mind I went taking enrollment IBL-VN Seminars of the Pastoral Training Curriculum, a three year curriculum with twelve topics that covers three areas of the pastoral ministry: theological knowledge, pastoral skills, and biblical leadership principles.
Time reveals the truthfulness of fact and helps building trust. Seminar after seminar, IBL kept being faithful in presenting the major Christian doctrines biblically. We’d also been taught pastoral skills of studying, teaching, and preaching the Bible practically and thoroughly. We have to admit that the biblical leadership principles presented by Russ, our very dear teacher, are the ones that we’ve never seen before. We are also equipped for a strong spirituality. Words fail to express how our hearts are touched and changed during the course of being under shepherd of IBL ministry in Vietnam. That’s why we place our trust in them.
We are profited not only by seminars but also by the precious ministering of pastoral care from Solomon. We enjoy so much the pastor-teacher love and friendship from him. He seems always available for us. We can share freely with him all of our difficulties and problems to have from him biblical answers, advices, and suggested solutions. Talks with him are the open ones because we can be confident of his sincerity in various scopes, teaching, rebuking, correcting, training… We often receive from him phone calls almost on weekly basis to find how we are, and we can get helps from him for all kinds of help. We need pastoral outreach for doing our own outreach at local Church level and we find it in IBL ministry in Vietnam.
Time and space cannot break our bond in Christ but encouraging us instead. It has been almost five months since we left one another at our graduation but the feelings in us are still fresh. Every time we pray for IBL ministry in Vietnam the sweetness of many dear memories and emotions come back to us in a special way that help making us never like before. To tell the truth, the wholehearted teaching and ministering from IBL people carve on our hearts a desire of being more thirsty of glorifying God from the very place He called us to be, and brilliant examples from lives of IBL people places in front of us a sound challenge of being like the One we serve.
IBL ministry in Vietnam… …keep keeping on!
This article, originally published in our newsletter, Side-by-Side, was written by Evangelist Vo Quoc Huy, a recent graduate of IBL’s three year pastoral training ministry. In Vietnam, the title “Evangelist” is given to those men who serve as an assistant to a pastor. In editing this article we have chosen to maintain the distinctive phrasing commonly employed by Vietnamese when writing or speaking English.