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Various Churches in Mexico City - Slideshow

A slide presentation highlighting visits to various churches in Mexico City by former Calvin Institute of Christian Worship staff member, Edward Seely.

It is encouraging to view life from a global perspective and periodically ask what the Lord is doing worldwide. In many places we find that God's kingdom is advancing significantly, and it is doing so especially in many of the Majority World countries (a term that is now used to refer to countries that have been called “developing” or “third world” countries). In fact, the Church is growing so rapidly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that many churches don't have leaders who have had any formal education; they haven't been to seminary or to a Bible college. Further, in some nations those who are pastors haven't had much training, either, and may have responsibility for several churches. As always, mission work and evangelism must be followed up by education and nurture.

With this vision in mind, the Africa Project was begun in 1997 in response to pressing needs in many countries on that continent. The program was designed to equip clergy with the necessary information, skills, and materials to train evangelists and lay church leaders in four different areas: Stewardship (led by Dennis Hoekstra), Pastoral Care (led by Melvin Hugen), Preaching (led by Wilbert Van Dyk), and Church Education (led by Robert DeVries). The Africa Project is produced by the Timothy Institute of Calvin Theological Seminary. In 2002, again responding to a pressing need, this time in the area of worship, the Africa Project personnel turned to the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, and development of a fifth segment on Worship (led by Edward Seely) was begun. A key dimension of the Africa Project is the development of an Action Plan for each of the five subject areas in which specific and measurable outcomes are achieved within a certain timeframe. As churches in other locations learned of these resources, they asked that the material be taught to leaders in their countries as well. Thus, a version of the manuals has been adapted for and taught in Mexico.

Workshops are led in each of these five areas. One outgrowth has been the production of a manual for each area that the pastors can use in teaching others, who will in turn use the manuals to teach others. The Timothy Institute's name is drawn from 2 Timothy 2:2, "the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." For example, Ed Seely has written a manual for instruction on what the Bible teaches about the fundamentals of Christian public worship. He field tested the material while teaching in Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, and in Mexico, where the church has similar needs, and it has been field tested by church leaders in several additional countries. The manual is now being used in other majority world nations as well. Ed is currently writing an expanded version of the manual for use in the West