More than 40 people attended the Nashville District’s Lay Servant Ministries School from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2016 at Hillcrest United Methodist Church in Nashville. Sixteen of the participants came from six different Hispanic and Latino ministries in the Clarksville, Cookeville and Nashville districts. The sixteen participants took the Advanced Course and attended “Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition.” Revs. Eliud and Janet Martinez lead the course in Spanish.
A participant of the course offered in Spanish shared, “I learned about John Wesley’s life and ministry. He was a disciplined man who grew spiritually through fasting, prayer and reading the Bible. Wesley was faithful toward God, guided by the Holy Spirit.”
Although one of the participants previously read several writings from John Wesley, the course gave a deeper understanding of spiritual disciplines and demonstrated how to put them into practice in daily life.
Another participant noted a core teaching from the course, “We are not productive when it comes to work in the ministry without spiritual discipline tools. And it is not enough to just know them; we must put them into practice.”
The class was encouraged by John Wesley’s testimony. Those attending the class were made more aware of how discipleship in small groups contributed to the growth of the church. The instructors challenged the class to have discipline in their faith journeys. As John Wesley approached his daily walk with God with discipline, he also sought to love and be among the poor. Wesley’s devotion became a motivation for many of the participants to make renewed commitments to live out God’s Word.
An important realization for one of the participants was, “The book is an example of how John Wesley did not achieve everything in one day, but instead it was a process over a lifetime. He was a persistent person despite making mistakes.”
Many of the sixteen participants from Hispanic/Latino ministries came from outside the Nashville District. The participants of the Spanish course, as well as the instructors, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be part of the Lay Servant Ministries School. Those attending the course in Spanish had equal opportunities to participate in discussion and freely communicate any questions. The Hispanic and Latino Ministries Committee extends a thank you to the Nashville District for not only providing this opportunity, but all assistance offered in caring for those attending the Spanish course.