Last week, I announced the launch of a new podcast about education and administration within the church (primarily). That podcast, Christian Educator Weekly (CEW), fits well within my scope of work and within my overall life goals and plans. But that addition also brings a new change to our ministry.
If you have been reading this blog for a few years you may remember a series I did on the previous site (fotonni.blogspot.com) about the 4Ls. The 4L’s – Learn, Live, Love, Lead – are the steps by which I fulfill my strategy to accomplish my mission, and fulfill the vision I have for my life.
Most everything I do revolves around teaching and thus, CEW, fits that idea well. So does PTC (Pastor Training Community), the non-profit mission organization I lead to train pastors and church leaders in under-resourced areas around the world. Teaching is central to my work as an adjunct professor (at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Spurgeon College). And, it is certainly fits the purpose of this blog – to teach (and remind) us that we are to live in, not of, this world.
These four areas (CEW, PTC, MBTS/Spurgeon, fotonni) definitely fit my goal of teaching others. And to do that, I must continually learn. Thus, Learn is not only one of my steps, it is also an acrostic for my strategy (Learn, Exercise, Act, Read, Nurture).
But with the advent of CEW, it was time to restructure our overall ministry. I say “our” because my wife is involved. She may be behind the scenes on most things, but without her I would be lost. Furthermore, a restructuring now can allow new ideas in the future if the ministry expands further and others wish to and are able to join us.
Therefore, we are officially changing the name of our ministry to 4L Ministries.
Our prior name was born out of a need for a quick name. That name, ASNAB Ministries, has been our name for 15 years. Why ASNAB? It was the first initial of our four family members with the “B” representing our last name. The name served its purpose, but was not helpful otherwise. It did represent the desire to minister as a family, but now that name is restrictive because our family has grown to include a son-in-law and, thus, our daughter’s last name no longer ends in B.
More importantly, however, is the need to have a name that embraces our purpose. I am a man with a purpose for nearly everything I do, and the 4L’s are a part of guiding me to fulfill that purpose. Thus, changing our name at this time not only allows us to better express our ministry, but allows us to expand it by adding people, if the Lord allows, that do not have an initial of A, S, N, A, or B. (Of course, we could add people anyway, but 4L’s is better, regardless.)
Specifically, the following will show how each of the L’s is represented by the area of serving and teaching. The goal is to show how each area ties into the overall picture of 4L Ministries. (Please note, my role as pastor is not truly within the scope of 4L Ministries. This ministry is for my work outside the scope of my role on staff at our local church, but effectively would include each of the L’s, centering on LEAD, as noted below.)
- Adjunct Professor, Speaker, Consultant
- For Students, Groups, and Churches
- Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary/Spurgeon College, Speaking, and Church Consulting
Currently, I serve as an adjunct professor at MBTS/SC. As an institution of higher learning, my role there certainly fits the idea of learning. Yes, I am a teacher, but the goal of teaching is to help others learn. This area also encompasses any speaking engagements I have (because they are an opportunity to teach), and any consulting I might choose to do.
- For Christians
fotonni has been the primary ministry focus for most of the life of this ministry. While this blog is the primary aspect of fotonni at this point, other possibilities like speaking at retreats or conferences could be included. However, the primary plans at this point are to continue this blog and not only teach others to live in, not of, but encourage them to do so.
*The blog will continue to be hosted on this site, but the overall website will be changing as we launch our new website at www.4lministries.com.
- Mission Work
- For The Church, International
- Pastor Training Community (PTC)
While doing specific mission work could fall under LIVE, for me, it fits well here under LOVE. One of the reasons PTC was founded was because of the challenge of Luke 12.48. God has enabled me to learn and thus has called me to teach. PTC is one way I can love my neighbor by teaching others around the world who would otherwise have very limited opportunities to learn.
- For the Church, primarily in America
- Christian Educator Weekly (CEW)
As I announced last week, CEW is a podcast meant to help churches be better equipped to educate their people and understand the administrative aspects of the church. Of course, leading is a part of my role within each aspect of this overall ministry (and certainly a fundamental part of my role as pastor of the church I serve).
These four areas of ministry are a part of what every Christian is called to do at some level. Jesus’ call to those who would follow Him (“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4.19)) encompasses all of these ideas as does the Great Commission in Matthew 28.18-20. What I have done in this post is to publicly declare how I will fulfill these calls and lead our newly restructured organization to do the same.
Again, this blog will remain here and continue to focus on encouraging us (I am included!) to live in, not of the world. I will return to posting about living like that next week, but the changes mentioned in this blog over the past two weeks are a part of making sure that I am positioned to live that way myself.
As you read this post, I will have just returned from a trip to Kenya to train pastors. I will post more about my trip in the coming weeks.