On June 3, 2012, seven group members from the Jesus Assembly in Erdenet graduated from the Certificate in Christian Ministry program. Here is what one of them shared:
‘Greetings to you all. My name is Doljin, I am 47 years old, and a member of the Jesus Assembly in Orkhon province. I am so happy to be able to tell you about the wonderful opportunity that the Lord opened in my life through TEE. Through this training, anyone can study in an international Bible School without leaving their work, family, business or ministry for only the price of the text books. This kind of training suited me very well. I found that I was not just gaining more information, but through a combination of home study, group discussions and practical assignments, I was being changed in mind, spirit and body as well. My character and my relationships were impacted, and I have become more mature. The training has delivered a great deal.
In 2005, I began to study the Foundation level TEE course Abundant Life. We looked at becoming a child of God, repentance, prayer, the study of God’s Word, and the life of obedience. We looked at the church, and ministry, and learnt so much about the life of faith. And this was not all: we shared our joys and sorrows with the group facilitator, and with her support and help, group members became a united team.
The Certificate program has truly helped me to find life’s purpose and gain a vision, filling me with joy and peace. It is so effective in encouraging service to others, and growth in discipleship and maturity.
I really want to give the glory to God for the way that the six-part series covering the Life of Christ, together with other courses, have been effective in training disciples who can disciple others, and who can minister in church and society. The three courses on Paul’s Life and Letters helped us to study mission, and then we went on a short-term mission trip to the country to the south of Mongolia. The course that I found the most interesting and helpful was the course on Christian Family Life.
I would really like to encourage many, many Christian brothers and sisters to find blessing through this programme.
A big thank you to the leadership and training coordinators, together with those who translated these courses, for making them available in the Mongolian language. May God bless you all. Amen.
N. Dolgor, a student in one of Mongolia TEE’s evening groups, gives a word of encouragement to students just starting.
‘My name is N. Dolgor, and I serve as a leader at ‘Jesus the Saviour’s Love’ Church. By profession I am a Physics teacher, but at the moment I am working as a Maths teacher in the COC centre. I have responsibility for the adults in the church.
I want to say to the students who have recently been accepted into Mongolia TEE’s evening groups: ‘You have come to the right place, and you are truly blessed. I wish you blessing and successful study in Jesus’ name!’
Several years ago, when my pastor said that I should study, I excused myself, saying: ‘I’m elderly – I don’t know when I’ll finish at Theological School, or when I’ll ever be used by God in that way.’ But a young lad in the church, a student, encouraged me by saying, ‘Even if after four years study, our mighty God only chooses to use you in leadership for one month, wouldn’t it still be right to study?’
So then, a student who first matriculated in 1965, became a student again with Mongolia TEE – 45 years later at the age of 64! Hallelujah!
Isn’t it wonderful that God does not discriminate among us on the basis of age and youth, education or lack of it, or profession or lack of it! Isn’t it wonderful that God doesn’t look at our externals, but at our heart attitude!
I used to like to give the excuse to my pastor that I was elderly – but then he would encourage me by saying, ‘But remember, Dolgor, how old Abraham was when He called him!’
Since starting to study with the MSTEE, I’ve had the opportunity to learn many things, to grow and change in spirit, and be cleansed from sin. As a result of reading and study of the Synoptic gospels, the life of Christ has become much more clear and understandable. For example, as we discussed just where Jesus went, how he crossed the Jordan, where he stayed, who he met with, and what he spoke about, and drawn a picture showing from which town how many kilometres he went, it’s become as clear and understandable as though we had been travelling with Jesus ourselves.
Before, I did not know about the order and structure of the Bible, but since beginning my studies with the MSTEE, I have a better picture of the content and organization of the Bible.
Mongolia TEE’s teaching method proceeds through fellowship in a small group. Studying is simple, we receive blessing from each other, and it causes the flow of life to well up. Each one grows in maturity and faith, becomes more open, and finds opportunities for healing. You can see how important this fellowship is: if you don’t share your insights and blessings with others, you stagnate, overcome with putrid green algae, dead like the Dead Sea. But if you share the good things you have with others then you become like crystal clear, clean water.
Even though I am now only a second-year student (from four years): I’ve studied the life of Christ in detail; I’ve learnt the techniques of analysis and comparison in Bible study; studied how to preach; how to listen to others; how to tell others about Jesus; how to plant a new congregation – and so much more!
Each lesson has associated practical work. It’s very interesting, and brings a way of evaluating yourself, growing, and correcting things that are not right.
So to conclude, it’s clear that although it has only been a year of study, we have learnt so much. I am confident that you new students will study not just through to the completion of the Certificate program, but then on to the Diploma level as well. May I wish you all every success.’
A report by Natagdorj pastor, the Senior Pastor of ‘Salvation of Jesus’ church, South Gobi Province, Mongolia
Users’ Forum April 2011
I love and support MSTEE. In South Gobi we have a great Coordinator, whose name is Haisandai. I don’t lead groups now myself, but I support them as a pastor.
We heard the Good News in 1998 in South Gobi province, and I became a believer. I first came across the TEE course with the title, ‘Abundant Life’. The title spoke to me. I was the son of a family of shamans. I had Buddhist/shamanist leanings myself. But this book was not ‘religious’. I wanted to know more about this ‘Abundant Life’, so I studied with great interest. Later I saw the potential of this material for training. Although we started off meeting in a ger now we have a church building that can seat 200 people. Praise the Lord!
We’ve used TEE materials from 2002 until the present: all the daughter churches we’ve planted also see TEE as a key part of the ministry, and all the church planters we’ve sent out having been trained as tutors. We see that leading Abundant Life and Abundant Light brings people together in a group for discussion and fellowship. This ministry has become a means of getting a church going. Abundant Life and Abundant Light can provide a foundation in faith, and then the beauty of TEE is that it can provide a step by step, orderly theological education. Not everyone can study at a residential college. But the advantage of TEE is that through the tutor, training can be provided where the students are.
TEE emphasizes practical application: there’s some application or practical exercise with each lesson to do together, discuss and evaluate. I think this is one of the ways TEE is effective for each student.
TEE also has the spin-off of reaching those who have not come to faith who see the class going on in their ger.
It is clear that TEE’s structured training results in the growth of churches, and the growth in maturity of believers. The mother church and the church plants are now working hard at the TEE Certificate in Christian Ministry program, which has the aim of training leaders. Among the church plants, those in Bayandalai, Bulgan, Hurmen and Tsogttsetsgii counties (soums) are running the TEE program effectively. We are even running the program among the herders. Our tutor Saruultuul, who is a herder, is leading Abundant Life and Abundant Light effectively in Bayandalai county, and is a student in the Certificate program, studying the Life of Christ Book 3. And in Mandalovoo county, Ganbat and Tsogzolmaa are leading two groups which are going well among the herders.
The churches in the provincial centre are using this training effectively, and in the future, we look forward to training at all levels througout the province. There are so many advantages to using TEE!
At the present time we have 19 trained tutors at the main church in the provincial centre, 25 in daughter churches in the provincial centre, and 28 out in the counties. Of these tutors, the numbers who are active in leading groups are as follows: of the 19, twelve, of the 25, twelve and from the 28, sixteen. A total of 329 people are involved in the groups being led by these tutors. Those who get involved develop a heart for ministry, and a desire to study more.
We’ve trained new tutors in some of the countryside congregations, and they have gone on to lead groups: six in Bulgan, six in Hurmen, four in Servei and four in Nomgon country. We’ve also trained eleven new tutors in the provincial centre. It’s a great advantage that our TEE Coordinator Haisandai has been trained to train Foundation level tutors, and now we can prepare them as the need arises.
Our church’s vision for TEE in the future:
We want to build the capacity, and improve the quality of all our tutors.
We want to introduce the program into all the counties where it is not yet running e.g. Bayan-ovoo, Tsogt-ovoo, and Gurvan-tes counties.
Our aim is that the first countryside graduates of the Certificate in Ministry program should be from South Gobi province.
We want to introduce the Certificate in Christian Ministry program into all the county church plants. At present the Certificate program is only running in Bayandalai, Hurmen, Tsogttsetsgii and Nomgon counties.
We want to prepare many effective ministers in both church and society through the Certificate program – people who will influence and change both church and society.
Difficulties and critical factors:
1. If you don’t choose the right people as tutors, then you’ll see no fruit. The right choice of tutor is very important.
2. We need spiritual people whose hearts are open and ready to serve. Haisandai, our TEE Coordinator, now pays close attention to this.
3. If the local church leader does not understand or value TEE, there will be little fruit. Tutors need encouragement!
4. Potential tutors need encouragement to start. They may well say, ‘I can’t do this!’ We say, ‘No, you can’t now. You need to learn! Then you will be able to!’
5. Tutors have a heavy load. There’s the danger of burnout. We need to protect and help them.
6. There is the need for finance to pay for the courses.
How did we overcome these issues? We pray with fasting. There’s early morning prayer, and there’s night prayer. We overcame by prayer.