Hello Church Family,
I am really glad that we are now using a weekly email as a point of communication for NWC. I was going to wait to share this update in my weekly email to you but I thought that it was important enough to send a separate message so I could explain a decision that was recently made.
LMI - LIFE MINISTRY INSTITUTE
Most (if not all) of you are familiar with our ministry school called LMI. This institute has been an important part of Northwest Church for many years so it is possible that you took some classes or you know someone who did. I am grateful for the history and fruitfulness of LMI which is most evidenced in the lives of those who are putting into practice what they learned through the teaching and ministry opportunities.
When I came to NWC four months ago, I began a conversation with Pastor Randy and our Ministry Directors regarding the future direction of LMI. While our whole team shared a conviction that we must raise up leaders for Kingdom work, we weren't sure if LMI would have the same fruit in the future that it once did in the past. The reason for this is very clear. The school no longer had the student base that it once did and as a result it was not financially sustainable without significant help from the church. This reality has been the case for a few years which is why we began talking about it as soon as I got here.
Knowing that we needed to make a decision I began to pray along with our Ministry Directors. I was willing to keep LMI going as long as I could receive a conviction from God and hear from our Directors that this was their conviction as well. As I prayed, I was more and more convinced that LMI would not be the program to best serve NWC in the future. However, I wanted to ensure that this was a unified decision so our Ministry Directors discussed this together and we all agreed that LMI had run its course.
With that said, we have decided that the current semester, which ends the week of December 9th will be our final one for LMI as we know it. Pastor Randy will be working with any current students who are set to graduate in the spring of 2020 but other than that we will not be offering anymore courses through LMI.
I want you to know that this was not an easy decision for any of us. We did exactly what you would expect from your leaders - we prayed, we received counsel, and we evaluated the vision, fruitfulness and financial reality of the school. I want to honor Pastor Steve Schell, Pastor Randy Strash, Katie Lanning, the current and past faculty of LMI, the current students and everyone who has been involved over the years as well. Our decision to close the school does not mean that it wasn't amazing in the past or won't be a valuable resource for the new things that we do in the future. We are so grateful for the legacy of LMI as I am sure you are as well.
WHAT ABOUT FUTURE DISCIPLESHIP?
Northwest Church currently has several discipleship opportunities that you can be involved in. Additionally, we are in the beginning stages of developing a free ONLINE and ONSITE discipleship school that will equip the people of God for the work of ministry. This new school will have a different structure in many ways but you can expect that it will have a similar heart to make disciples who know God's Word, are filled with the Holy Spirit and able to minister powerfully and effectively.
As plans develop and opportunities are made available, we will be sure to let you know ASAP. Our hope is to launch classes in the fall of 2020 at the very latest so stay tuned.
If you should have any questions you can contact Pastor Randy Strash (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself. We welcome your comments and questions at any time.
May God bless you and your family!