A Gift for the King
President Per Nilsen
Merry Christmas, Everyone!!
I love visiting churches that partner with MI to experience their ministry.
I had one such experience at Hosanna! in Lakeville, MN, this past week. Ryan Alexander, Lead Pastor at Hosanna! is on our Board of Directors and we have had many Hosanna! students and staff engage MI learning environments.
The experience was their 21st Annual Christmas Concert. My wife, Mary and I, were amazed at the experience. There were Christmas carols, gymnasts, soloists, kids and adult choirs, an orchestra, all focused on conveying the message good news of Jesus’ birth.
But there was one individual who particularly caught our attention…the first chair violinist. While the conductor artfully moved his baton bringing instrument sections in and out, the first chair violinist was clearly the stabilizing force, leading with a glance, a slight volume adjustment, a nuance in her arm motion. It was fascinating to watch. The conductor held center stage on a platform and was the focus of attention and applause. The first chair violinist was on the floor with the rest of musical participants, one of them, yet clearly leading them, making every effort to direct attention to the Conductor. For me it was both a representation of “Immanuel, God with us,” and a reminder of the pastoral role…leading others in the use of their gifts while being directed by the Conductor of the universe, always directing attention to the Conductor.
This year has been a remarkable one for MI as we have sought to raise up “first chair” pastoral leaders, who quietly lead others while following and giving honor to the Conductor of the universe, Jesus!
Indeed, much of our work this past year has felt like the work of a “first chair,” developing infrastructure and processes to better facilitate our vision of “equipping the heart, head and hands of servant leaders…” Here are just a few things we have done to assist students in developing and using their gifts.
· Developed and launched a new website.
· Purchased and implemented a new Student Information System.
· Began using a new learning management system, Google Classroom.
· Upgraded our internet, video and mic technology for better recording.
· Hired Jesse Johnson and expanded the role of Grace Johnson to better engage technology, and operational processes.
· Hired Leah Lehner to further solidify our administrative processes.
· Graduated our first Micro-MDiv cohort.
· Launched two new Micro-MDiv cohorts.
· Expanded Robert Shell’s role to oversee the Micro-MDiv growth.
· Expanded Kendra Diehl’s role positioning her as Vice President.
Once again, all of this is to be the best we can be at developing “first chair” pastoral leaders. And it is a blessing to continue watching that happen in congregations across the United States and into Canada.
As we close out our calendar year I’d like to invite you to consider making a gift to The Master’s Institute. You are aware that we are continuing to expand ministry while reducing tuition for students. Our goal is to bring our tuition to $200/Credit by the year 2020. Your generous support allows us to do that.
Would you consider making a tax deductible gift to MI personally, or through the ministry you serve? You can give online, through check, cash or stock. If you have any questions, please contact Jesse Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please take some time to pray about sharing your generosity with MI. All you give goes to support our vision of “…equipping the heart, head and hands of servant leaders to continue the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit through spiritual & character formation, biblical teaching and leadership training.”
Peace and Joy to you this Christmas Season!
Living for Jesus!
Per Nilsen, President