Archives For Eternity Bible College

Eternity Bible College GraduationIn the unrelenting stream of life, the significance of each event, each person, each thing often goes unappreciated. Milestones help us to pause and take stock of what has happened and why it matters.

This weekend’s graduation marks ten years of Eternity Bible College. I’ve been here for eight of those ten years, and looking back, I can testify that God has done amazing things. This weekend we hosted a vision banquet, where we celebrated what God has done and looked forward to what we believe God wants to do through Eternity.

In the midst of lectures, meetings, projects, grading, and all of the other consistent aspects of my job, the significance of it all sometimes hides just out of sight. I’m thankful for this milestone because it forced me to stop, look around, and remember that God has been working in miraculous ways.

I was reminded of the transformed lives we’ve sent out across the world. Of the supernatural financial provision that has carried us to this point. Of the unbelievably gifted staff, faculty, board members, students, and supporters of many kinds that God has brought to the school.

Perhaps best of all, I was so encouraged to see that God has taken the mission of Eternity Bible College and has been making that into a reality. Our graduates are able to bring transformation into so many areas of society, all around the world. Our graduates are able to work hard and graduate without being crippled by student debt—94% of our students have graduated debt free, and the remaining 6% have less than $2,000 to pay off. All of this has been happening in close partnership with local churches around the world, and our graduates are leaving with a passionate commitment to the church.

Looking back at these first ten years makes me very excited for the Kingdom of God. If you resonate with the mission of Eternity Bible College, I’d encourage you to take a look at one or more of the short videos below. We showed these at our vision banquet this weekend, and they tell the story of Eternity from a few different angles. If you’d like to partner with us in some way, please visit our partnership page. And thanks to everyone who has supported the school in so many ways over these past ten years!

Art Night 051This weekend we hosted our annual Art & Music Benefit. You and I both knew I would say this, but it was an amazing night. Many of our students, graduates, and other friends of the school displayed and sold their art for the event. Three great bands featuring some of our students and alumni played. We had great crafts and baked goods. And we had a great turnout!

So I’m posting to thank everyone who took part in the event, because an event like that matters. It matters because art matters. Nothing connects us with our humanity like good art. It reminds us that while we’re on this earth, we find this world meaningful, and we explore that (often elusive) meaning in passionate and creative ways. Art reminds us that others are wrestling with the human experience as well, and it offers us an opportunity to see with their eyes. It allows us to step into their joys, sorrows, and questions. So thank you to all of the musicians, artists, bakers, and crafters who made Friday night a deeply human experience.

Friday night’s event also matters because Eternity Bible College matters. As we shared at the event, our passion is to see this generation trained to discover the riches of biblical truth and to creatively apply that truth in every area of their lives. Art Night 052We saw a taste of this played out in the art on display, and we shared about other students and graduates who are pursuing God’s glory and furthering his kingdom in traditional ministry and in a host of other creative ways. So thank you to everyone who came out to support the school and to affirm that art and music created by Bible students matters! We believe that it matters, and we were encouraged to discover that you think so as well.

If you’d like to see photos from the night, including some of the art on display, click on the images in the gallery below. If you’d like to see the videos we played during the event, scroll to the bottom of the page. And if you would like to invest in what we are doing with Eternity Bible College, click here. We charge our students roughly half of what it costs us to train them because an essential part of our mission is sending them out into the world without the shackles of student debt. To make up the rest of the cost of fulfilling our mission, we depend on the sacrificial investments of people who are also committed to the mission.

 

BenefitEver since we started Eternity Bible College in 2004, we have been training students to understand deeply the biblical view of the world and to apply that truth in every area of their lives. And we mean every area. While we have proudly sent many of our graduates into the world as pastors, youth pastors, worship pastors, and missionaries, full-time vocational ministry is not our only focus. We have also proudly sent many of our graduates into the world as teachers, musicians, paramedics, youth workers, and a host of other professions.

With that second category of graduates (those working in non-vocational ministry), it’s not that we trained them in the technical side of their field. We offer no classes in music theory, medicine, etc. Yet these students who are leaving Eternity with a degree in Bible are walking into these professions and feeling well equipped. Why? Because we are teaching them how to pursue God’s mission in every area of life. We are helping them see the implications of the gospel for everything they do. So while they still need to learn to teach world history and treat trauma wounds, they’re ready to bring God’s truth to bear in their unique part of the world.

Truly, the gospel speaks to everything we encounter in this world. It transforms every aspect of our lives. The mission of Eternity Bible College is to saturate this generation in biblical truth and give them the tools to change every aspect of the world.

This being our mission, we are pleased to announce our third annual Art & Music Benefit. This year’s benefit will take place:

This Friday, April 25 @ 7pm

Hosted by Cornerstone Church in Moorpark
379 Science Drive, Moorpark, Ca

Jon Kim Painting

One of the paintings we’ll be selling at the event. I’ll let the artist, Jon Kim, explain his heart in making this painting, including the theological significance. We’ll also be selling a series of paintings on the book of Revelation and many other inspiring pieces.

The Art & Music Benefit will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about Eternity Bible College, our students, and our mission. On Friday night, we will highlight some of the art and music that some of our students are creating. These students are thinking through all of life at a deep level, and their biblical worldview shows up in their creativity. We will also be sharing the heart and vision of Eternity Bible College.

If you are anywhere near Simi Valley / Moorpark, we invite you to come spend an inspiring evening with us. Come and learn about what God is doing through Eternity and learn how you can partner with us in our mission. Come ready to enjoy the music some of our students are making, to appreciate and even purchase some of the art, crafts, and baked goods that our students are creating, and to celebrate the vision and mission of Eternity together with us.

If you’re too far away to join us in person, please consider praying for the event. And we also invite you to partner with the school in some way. You can learn more about partnership opportunities here.

 

The following video is from one of our students who will be playing at the event:

To hear music from the other bands performing (also featuring students and graduates) click here (Rosie Harlow & the Tall Tale Boys) or here (Big Flambeau).

I’m super excited to announce that Eternity Bible College is looking to plant an extension site in Boise, Idaho. I’m also excited, though a bit nervous, to say that I will serve as the director of this extension site: excited because of the groundswell of enthusiasm among the Boise EBC boisechurches about the extension site, and nervous because this will require me to leave the promised land to a state where there is no surfing.

So why would I do such a thing?

Let me share my heart for second. While I love academics and teaching, I would have a really hard time dedicating my life to filling students with head knowledge about the Bible. I couldn’t do this for very long. And if Eternity Bible College were about making Christians smarter, or filling minds with endless doctrine with no connection to real life, then I wouldn’t have lasted 6 months here. Honestly, if Eternity’s education didn’t seek to fuel our students’ passion and further the mission of Christ in radical ways, then I’d probably be off on the mission field somewhere doing the “real work” of ministry.

But I believe I am doing the “real work.” Because I’m not just dumping content into empty skulls; I’m helping train students to live and die well; to think deeply and critically about the text; to live passionate lives for Jesus; to cultivate the God-given creativity and imagination to take the gospel to unreached pockets of creation; to think Christianly about all areas of life including sex, money, music, ministry, film, marriage (not in that order), business, athletics, entertainment, and every other part of life.

I’m playing a small role in training the next generation of Christian leaders to take the baton and run with it until their knees buckle.

In the last few years I’ve been amazed at our graduates. They’re sharp. They’re passionate. Most of all, they are humble servants of our foot-washing King. If we weren’t turning out graduates that demonstrate a more Christ-like character than when they came in, I wouldn’t be teaching here any longer. But the fact that we are graduating humble, wise, and passionate students makes me realize that we’re doing something worth putting more time and energy into. And this is why we want to take Eternity to Boise.

Here’s a brief timeline:

May 2013. My wife and I had the initial idea of starting an extension site in Boise.

July 2013. I contacted several pastors via email and phone to talk about the possibility of starting an extension site.

August 2013. Joshua Walker and I flew up to meet with several leaders and pastors in the Boise area to talk further about the plan.

October 2013. The board of Eternity approved the plan to continue to pursue the project.

November 2013. I met with several other pastors and leaders, who were very excited about the project.

January 2014. I met with several more pastors and leaders, who also were very pumped about Eternity coming to Boise.

The goal now is that my family and I would move up in May/June 2014, spend a year on the ground building relationships and getting connected with the leaders in the region, and then launch a full first year set of classes in Fall 2015.

Throughout the entire plan, my number one question has been: are we forcing our project onto people who don’t want it, or are we being invited into what God has already been doing among the churches in the Boise region? Unanimously, it’s been the latter. The local leaders have expressed great enthusiasm over the possibility of Eternity coming to join them in what God has been doing in the Boise region.

If you are in the Boise area, or know of someone who is, and you want to hear more about this project, please feel free to email me at: preston@eternitybiblecollege.com.

Here’s a short video explaining the heart and mission behind the extension site.

What do we need to launch this site?

1. Prayer. Please pray that God would continue to move in this venture and bring whichever students he wants to come.

2. Finances. We need about $110,000 in “seed capital” to launch the site. Find more details and/or give here.

3. Inform. Please spread the word to anyone who might be interested in Eternity’s Boise site.

Again: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And if our graduates were blah Christians, then I wouldn’t care to promote what we’re doing here as a college. But, well, our graduates rock, and I wish there were more Christians like them.

Come to Eternity, whether in Simi Valley or in Boise, and learn how to live and die well.

How many graduation ceremonies have you attended where the speaker tells the graduates that they may well have wasted their years of study, that the degree they’ve earned doesn’t matter all that much, that they are no more self-sufficient than they were when they started, or that they now stand in a more dangerous position than they did when they started studying? I’m guessing not many. But I’ve been to several. In fact, every graduation ceremony that Eternity Bible College has ever held is full of such warnings. Watch this 9-minute video to hear Francis Chan and others warn our graduates about the danger of what they’ve just accomplished.

The reality is, there are lots of bad reasons to get a Bible education. These reasons are so bad, in fact, that if any of these describe your motivation for pursuing a Bible education, then that’s a good reason to reconsider.

1. Don’t get a Bible education to fuel your pride.

Biblical knowledge should not lead us to see how great we are. It should make us better servants. So if you find your head swelling because of the Bible facts you know, then you have prostituted God’s word and made it into a means of social capital. You have turned saving truths into damning lies. As long as you view the Bible as a source of doctrines that you can use as weapons to shoot others down and bolster your own self-importance, you’d be better off to stay away from the book altogether.

 

EBC GRAD W09 672. Don’t get a Bible education to become more self-sufficient.

If you want to study the Bible so you don’t have to rely on others, so you can get your study out of the way, or so that you can stand on your own two feet spiritually, don’t bother. In God’s economy, self-sufficiency is the equivalent of blasphemy. If you don’t see your need for God, his wisdom, and his provision at every moment, then you’re guilty of self-reliance—which is the opposite of faith.

Believing that you are not dependent on continued study of God’s word or the insights of other Christians shows that you believe you have what you need. Some pursue a Bible education in order to confirm what they already know. Then they get upset with their teachers for not teaching something they believe ought to be taught in this or that course or not teaching it with sufficient force or emphasis (I’ve seen this happen many times). If you already know everything you need to know, then no educational experience can help you. You’ve destined yourself for a life of ignorance.

 

3. Don’t get a Bible education to become a speaker or an intellectual.

We all look up to intellectuals. To those who have the answers. And we look up to speakers who can forcefully proclaim the truth. But if either of these is your greatest goal in life, a Bible education won’t serve you well. God’s truth is meant to be lived, not just understood or even proclaimed. Now, being a brilliant thinker or a convicting speaker may well be the outflow of a life lived in submission to God’s truth and mission. But if all you’ve ever wanted is to be a Bible scholar or an arena-preacher, then you should put your Bible education on hold until your goal is to live in accordance with God’s truth—whatever that might end up entailing.

 

There are many good reasons to get a solid Bible education. I would switch careers if I didn’t believe that. But I’ve seen students come for many of the wrong reasons. We have to work very hard to ensure that our students develop a godly motivation for their studies in addition to developing solid theology and ministry training. So we begin the warnings at orientation and, as the video at the top of this post shows, we keep the exhortations rolling right through to graduation day.

 

Eternity Bible College is running an end of the year campaign. To help support the mission of Eternity, please visit http://eternitybiblecollege.com/campaign. All of your donations are tax-deductable and will be used efficiently to train our students to live and die well. 

2013-14 Giving Campaign

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...