One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. [For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.]
We believe it is the church's role to equip cross-cultural global partners. The Nurture Program is Bethlehem’s pathway for intentionally preparing potential go-ers and affirming the call and gifting of the Holy Spirit in their lives as well as developing knowledgeable, grounded, and empathetic senders.
3 Dimensions of Preparation in the Nurture Program
In order to be sent out from Bethlehem you must successfully complete the Nurture Program, which includes three dimensions of preparation for cross-cultural ministry service.
- Knowledge: Bible classes and various readings root your mind in the truth of Scripture so that you are better prepared for the work of cross-cultural gospel contextualization and discipleship.
- Character: Regular involvement in community-accountable discipleship at Bethlehem aids in character refinement and development of your strengths that will set good patterns for the future.
- Skills: Local cross-cultural ministry involvement and language learning push you out of your comfort zone among the ethne of Minneapolis before moving to a foreign context.
Brief Overview of Nurture Program Requirements
- 3 Bible courses through the Bethlehem Institute and Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course
- 5 books (and weekend seminars) that cover many of the distinctives of Bethlehem
- 3 readings and a retreat that work through the import issues of conflict transformation
- Active involvement in ministry at Bethlehem and in a local cross-cultural context
- Opportunity to learn from the missions experience of Bethlehem partners
How long is the Nurture Program?
There are three levels to the Nurture Program. To progress through all of them and become a global partner takes at least two years.
- The goal of Level 1 is to ensure you are relationally connected and engaged in the life of discipleship at Bethlehem.
- The goal of Level 2 is to further equip you with knowledge, character, and skills for cross-cultural service.
- The goal of Level 3 is to connect you with a solid missions agency and the necessary support mechanisms for a life of cross-cultural ministry.
This time requirement allows the Global Outreach Department and church members to get to know you, as one seeking to be sent, so that we can better affirm and bless God's call on your life.
Do I have to be a Bethlehem member to be in the Nurture Program?
No, you may begin Level 1 without being a member but membership is required for Levels 2-3.
If you are not part of Bethlehem, and do not live locally, you may be able to duplicate many aspects of the program in your home church under the guidance of your elders. We’re happy to share our resources and help you get started. Email our office with questions.
How do I apply?
Contact the Global Outreach Department for an application form and dates of upcoming orientations.