Friends of the College - April 2020

Monday, 6th April 2020
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2020 marks the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland (formerly Baptist Union of Ireland) in 1895. In February 1895 there was a “call to prayer” issued to the churches, encouraging them to plead with God to move among our churches. Wishing to echo that sentiment the Executive Committee of the Association have issued a similar call: “unite to pray.”

Throughout 2020 the College will draw your attention to this call to “unite to pray” with a monthly “Friends of the College” blog post linked to the “unite to pray” prayer diary. The April notes encourage us to pray that the preaching of the gospel would enlighten the eyes of many. Preaching is something we take seriously here at the Irish Baptist College, as our Principal explains:

Most students who come to IBC follow the Ministry Preparation Course which comprises a degree programme accredited by the University of Chester. Alongside this, most students also take a range of other modules leading to a College award (such as a Diploma or Certificate in Ministry Studies). These College modules include: Global & Ministry Perspectives, Bible Communication Workshop, Principles and Practice of Evangelism, Understanding the Church, Children’s & Youth Work and Sermon Class.

Sermon class is a module in which the College has heavily invested its time and energy so that a double lecture each week is committed to this subject throughout the academic year.

Why offer Sermon Class?

We are passionate about this class for a number of solid reasons:

  • The Lord Jesus came into the world as a sacrifice for our sins but also, pointedly, as a preacher (this is the clear emphasis in Mark’s Gospel for example – see 1:21, 1:38, 2:2 , 4:1).
  • It is God’s will that his servants ‘preach the word’ (2 Timothy 4:2).
  • Faithful Bible preaching has been the hallmark of the authentic Christian church down the centuries.
  • The primary way in which believers are built up in the faith is through good Bible exposition.
  • Evangelistic preaching is a vital means of reaching the lost.
  • The principles undergirding Sermon Class apply also to a whole range of vocations where good communication is essential.
  • College training must always be in the service of the church producing effective Christian leaders who will make a real impact on their generation.

For these reasons, and more, Sermon Class comes near the top of IBC’s list of priorities. The core ministry of the College since its establishment in 1892, has been to prepare pastors for the Churches of our Association and so in this 125thAnniversary year it is important to reaffirm our commitment to the task of preaching and the training of preachers for our Churches.

What does Sermon Class look like?

In the first period a student will conduct a complete service of worship including hymns, prayers, Scripture reading and then a sermon, the subject being one chosen by the faculty. In the first semester subjects include character studies, evangelistic addresses, Harvest, Christmas and Easter, and special services such as baptisms and funerals. In the second semester usually a sermon series is followed alternating between Old Testament and New Testament passages. 

In the second period the class group discusses the conduct of worship, with the help of a guidance sheet, and offers constructive criticism which is then delivered by a tutor to the student concerned.

Our female students have a similar experience in delivering a talk to the Ladies Study Fellowship under the watchful eye of Gail Curry, the Baptist Women’s Director.

The majority of students find the process rather daunting but nonetheless invaluable in their development as preachers and communicators. Recent feedback on the module included the following comment from a student:  ‘Sermon Workshop is the most difficult thing for me to do in college. I always feel very nervous and it is very daunting. But I can safely say it is the best experience! I have learnt and grown so much in my faith and my ability to handle the word. I am so thankful for this tough class and how it has helped me greatly’.

Currently, as you will appreciate, we find ourselves unable to physically meet in College and our classes have been discontinued. However, as you read this blog post, please remember to pray for our students in their ongoing training and especially on Wednesday mornings from September, as classes resume God-willing, and they face the challenge (and blessing) of Sermon Class.

    Blog Archive

Let’s Read Irish Baptist College Conference (Online) From Intern to Undergraduate (Emily Middleton) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Reason for Redemption Baptists and Revival in the Long 18th Century Second Year Placements From Intern to Undergraduate (Josh Brown) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The What and Why of Holiness Final Year During A Pandemic 2nd Year Placement Experience Friends of the College 2021 Update The Art of Reading More Books Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Real Possibility of Holiness A Basic Easter Fact The Servant King Podcast Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — You Are Holy Third Year Reflection Gospel Guardians: Protecting the Purity of the Gospel for Future Generations Graduation 2021 Book Review: Succeeding at Seminary Let's Read: The Hole in Our Holiness — A Work in Progress Why the Irish Baptist College is Vital to the Health of the Association A Good News Story: The Ministry Partnership Scheme Why Study the Biblical Languages? Profit in Toil: A Short Message on A Level Results Day Let's Read: Small Preaching Recognition Service Report 2021 Sin Forgiven: Nourishment for Life and Joy for Living Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Character of the Preacher Commencement Service Report Placement Friends of the College Update God Rejoices over His People: A Meditation on Zephaniah 3:17 Let’s Read: Small Preaching—Constructing the Sermon Evangelism Teams: Newcastle and Brannockstown Evangelism Teams: Stonepark and North Belfast Christian Fellowship First Year Reflections (Reuben and Andrew) Some New Books Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Craft of Preaching Let's Read: Small Preaching—What is God Saying? A Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘The coming of the light’ Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘Life, Light & Glory’
Time to read Genesis...again Friends of the College - January 2020 Friends of the College - January 2020 Finances Tribute to Marion Craig The Resilient Pastor: Surviving & Thriving in Ministry Just a Blow-in? What is new on the shelves at IBC? Friends of the College - February 2020 Four Reasons to Study Theology Academically From Spain to Moira Testimonial Financial Update Friends of the College – March 2020 Irish Baptist Historical Society: The Mayflower Thomas Patient: the Father of the Irish Baptist Church Testimonials The Pastors’ Conference: An Encouraging Privilege Testimonials (part-time studies) In the worst of times: COVID-19 and the Book of Ruth Friends of the College - April 2020 The Long Wait: Victory Delayed Testimonials - Preparation for Ministry and Evening Classes The Leadership Podcast Testimonials - Ladies Study Fellowship The Leadership Podcast (part 2) Friends of the College - May 2020 Reflections from the Student Chairman Why do we teach the Old Testament? Reflections on first year at IBC Friends of the College - June 2020 Why do we teach Romans? IBC Placement Is Church History a Thing of the Past? Friends of the College - July 2020 Friends of the College – August 2020 Friends of the College September 2020 Recognition and Graduation Service Introducing the Irish Baptist College’s New Logo Commencement Service Friends of the College - October 2020 Filled with the Spirit: Soundings in Luke’s Theology of the Holy Spirit The Famous Five: The Abiding Relevance of the Solas of the Reformation Friends of the College - November 2020 The Importance of Theological Training in Fulfilling the Great Commission First Year Reflections — Tim Houston Singing: The Place of Theology in Corporate Worship New Library Books Friends of the College – Unite to Pray – December Christmas Reflections
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