Equipping Servant Leaders

Reflections from a Polish Mission School Director

Since the autumn of 2012, SGA have had a Mission School in southwest Poland, at the Christian Conference Centre in Ruptawa, near Jastrzębie.

Its success owes much to its two dedicated directors, Pastors Andrzej Karzełek and Tomasz Chylka. It has been a great blessing, with over 50 graduates from the first two sessions, and around 35 enrolled for the present course. It goes from strength to strength.

Pastor Andrzej and Mirka Karzelek (Ruptawa Evangelical Church)
Andrzej and Mirka
Tomas C Family
Tomasz and his family

Tomasz shares his thoughts on the School.

'Students come from different evangelical Churches to consider the Word of God and various theological and practical issues. We hope that this will not only bring a better understanding of the Bible and issues related to the life of the Church, but also help the students to serve Christ better. The motto of our school is Paul’s words to Timothy: “… that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim.3:17).

We believe on the basis of the Word that the prepared man is not the one who knows more than the other people in the church or has more experience, but the man who puts himself at the disposal of the Lord and is a ready tool to be used in any way He wants - for every work of good. So, we try to make students aware that the knowledge and experience gained at school needs to be expressed in service for the Lord in the local community, after the humble character of Christ, who came to serve us.

Our school assumes that the Lord uses existing congregations, from which students are recruited to become workers in the harvest. Therefore, during the school programme, we keep in touch with pastors and elders of the congregations which recommended the students, informing them of their progress and how they are coping, and if necessary, sharing our suggestions. Just as the school began – in the presence of invited pastors – so we want it to end!

Of course, among the students are some already involved in the ministry (e.g. deacon, elder, missionary), but they also understand the importance of exploring further matters related to God, Christ and His Church, as well as their own spiritual development (1 Tim. 4:15–16). With so much liberal teaching around, seducing many, it is extremely important that those who serve God are evangelical in their beliefs and teaching.

Along with experienced and trustworthy translators, SGA helps us to achieve this. We appreciate that not only do they have a lot of experience (often they are former pastors), but they also present a substantive ministry on doctrinal topics, Bible exposition and practical issues such as evangelism, mission, discipleship and preaching, which together contribute greatly to the personal development of the students, and helps prepare them for ministry, and sustain them in it.'

One particular encouragement has been former student Sylvester Torbicziuk’s appointment to pastoral ministry in Zamość near Poland’s eastern border with Ukraine. Now in his second year as pastor, it is pleasing to hear Sylvester comment:

‘SGA gave me a solid foundation for service. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to be present, which meant that I could better serve in church today. I have seen different teaching methods, which are very helpful. Thanks to SGA, I understood the importance of perseverance and faithfulness in following the Lord. I think these few words describe what I owe SGA.’