Last week, Michael and I had the opportunity to teach at our church, Okotoks Alliance (Okotoks is the name of the nearest large town, pronounced oak-a-tokes). This summer, our church is going through the book of Proverbs, with guest preachers walking through various topics addressed in the book. Michael and I preached on marriage, and we were so blessed by the chance to share with our friends at OAC! Our sermon was third up in the summer series called “Walking With the Wise;” the previous two sermons, and the sermons that will follow in the weeks ahead, can be listened to/watched at http://www.okalliance.ca/media.php?pageID=5.
When I was a little girl, a popular birthday party game was “Pass the Parcel.” In this game, party-goers sit in a circle, and while music plays, they pass a present, wrapped in many layers of paper, around the circle, until the music stops. When the music stops, the person holding the parcel gets to take off a layer of wrapping paper. The music then starts up again, and the game continues until the present is completely unwrapped; whoever takes off the final layer of wrapping paper gets to keep the present.
As I was thinking about SBS and Titus today, this game came to mind. Michael and I have been School of Biblical Studies (SBS) staff at YWAM Turner Valley for two years now. When I think of SBS, the two words that come to mind are “foundational” and “gift.” SBS is foundational because students spend nine months reading through and studying the Word of God, using the Inductive Bible Study method. Throughout this time, students are essentially unwrapping the layers of Scripture, discovering who God says He is, who God says we are, and learning the history of salvation. At the end of nine months, the students have a foundation in the Word of God. Foundations are meant to be built upon; SBS isn’t the end of Bible study, but the beginning. After SBS, graduates can move forward with an understanding of the Word, and build their lives, and deeper study, upon what they have learned through SBS. This foundation is a gift. So many people around the world would do just about anything to have the opportunity to dig deeply into the Word for nine months, but for any number of reasons, they are not able to. To spend nine months in the Scriptures is a gift, and the foundation gained from that study is a gift.
Titus is an outreach program available to graduates of the School of Biblical Studies. The purpose of Titus is to send Bible teachers into parts of the world where Bible teaching is not available or accessible. Perhaps a particular people group does not have the Bible in their language yet. Or perhaps they are not able to read or write. Maybe Bible teaching/training isn’t available in their community, village, city, or even in their nation. As SBS students graduate with a foundation in God’s Word, they are equipped to go and bring the Word of God to those who do not know how to study it. Titus participants receive three weeks of training, and then go into the nations to teach Bible overview, the Inductive Bible Study method, specific books of the Bible, and preach as opportunities present themselves.
Michael and I are preparing to participate in the Titus Project this Fall in Mexico. Our three weeks of training will take place in Tijuana, and from there we will go on outreach, likely in the Spanish-speaking world. Our long-term goal is to bring Titus to YWAM Turner Valley, and this is the first step in achieving that dream – a dream we believe is very much on the heart of God.
As I think about SBS and Titus, God reminded me of “Pass the Parcel,” because Titus is an opportunity to “pass on” the gift that we have unwrapped in SBS, and that we continue to unwrap through growing in our understanding of the Word. This “Pass the Parcel” is a bit different from the traditional game, however, because not only do we get to pass on the gift of Bible study and making God known, we get to continue to delve into the Word, and know God more ourselves. We get to both pass on, and keep, the gift. We are so grateful!
The following video explains Titus Project more fully; it was filmed for Titus at YWAM Lakeside (in Montana), but the program described is the same as the program we will be involved with in Tijuana this Fall.