Lake Valley as a Training Center
When you say the word ‘church,’ people will think of many different things. Some envision a building at a certain address, “Lake Valley is a church at 910 Shady Grove Road.” Others consider the Sunday morning service, “Lake Valley has two services, doesn’t it? What style of music do you have?” Still others regard a church as a store offering religious products, “At Lake Valley, do you have small groups? I hear good things about your student ministry, and my friend loves that women’s Bible study you offer.”
Our elders have been praying, discussing, and visualizing the future of Lake Valley. In the coming months and years, we will have family conversations about our future. But, one thing has become so clear that we will start talking about it today.
We need to view Lake Valley as a training center and not just a gathering for worship services, although we will keep worshipping. We should not perceive Lake Valley simply to be programs, like our Home Groups, although we will certainly keep offering small groups. Instead, we must think of Lake Valley as a training center. By this, we do not mean classes that give out Bible information, but a whole life training center! We will continue be an oasis for people to rest and heal. We will continue preaching community, grace, and change from the inside out. But, in addition, we believe that we need to rethink Lake Valley as a Jesus-centered training center for men and women, students and children; from all walks of life, for all aspects of our lives, work, and play in Hot Springs.
This Sunday, we have a special opportunity. For over seven years, Lake Valley has been offering accredited theological training. Today, we graduate Morgan Golden and Roger Stanage with their accredited Masters of Theology degrees from The Antioch School of Church Planting and Leadership Development. These two men are the first to complete this long and arduous degree in the United States! Congratulations!
Roger and Morgan needed a formal type of training. Most of us do not need a degree, but hear this…we all need training in the Way of Jesus, and we all need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds! Remember the mandate Jesus gave His Apostles, “Make disciples…training them to observe all that I have commanded you.” We each need to be in training for our Kingdom assignment! – Dru Dodson