It all started with a church plant called Charis Community Church. We met initially in our home, a townhouse, but gradually moved to two different locations which provided greater visibility to our meetings. After six years it was evident that the Lord would have us move on, so we as a group each began to attend different local churches.
Through a process of waiting on the Lord over some months, the recognition that Lloyd’s calling to ministry still remained vibrant resulted in the founding of Charis Ministries. That was in March 2010. The Lord has continued to provide enabling this personal discipleship ministry to fulfill its original mandate of one-to-one discipleship expressed in individual, flexible ways alongside structured, direct Bible teaching.
The most fulfilling evidence of the value of Charis Ministries is the evident spiritual growth in different individual men over the last several years. But in addition to that was the Aletheia Bible Institute which operated for three years in cooperation with Toronto Baptist Seminary. There were several men and women, from young people to those who are retired, who shared the personal benefit from one or more courses that were offered.
Through our regular newsletter, “The Charis Connection,” we have often listed resources that we believe will enhance the spiritual growth of every Christian. This newsletter keeps all those who are prayer and financial supporters appraised of the way the Lord is using Charis Ministries in the lives of different believers.
The foundation for all of this is our personal, consistent walk with Christ manifested in the relationship amongst our family members. Paul made it clear in his description of the character qualities of an overseer/elder or Christian leader is the oversight of his own family with a demonstrated faithfulness to the Lord.
This is best explained by Paul in Col. 1:28-29, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” This approach to ministry will help to foster an attitude or outlook by every believer that they are to focus on growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18) throughout their lives as long as the Lord gives them life.
Another way to express this is found in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
This is primarily direct Bible teaching in a more formalized setting. “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues…” (Matt. 9:35a) The verb ‘teaching’ is in the present tense indicating a continuing action. Often Jesus would spend considerable time lecturing his disciples. Consider the Sermon on the Mount and His instructions to the twelve in Matthew ten which are lengthy discourses. Also, Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees in chapter twenty-three and His extended teaching on end times in chapters twenty-four and twenty-five.
In the early church, Acts 2:42, the first description of their activities was, “they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching”. Paul’s continuing exhortation to Timothy was the preach and teach (see 1 and 2 Timothy).
Charis Ministries was involved with organizing, overseeing, coordinating and teaching with the Aletheia Bible Institute in association with Toronto Baptist Seminary and several churches on the Lower Mainland particularly Southside Baptist. Check out the website for that school at www.aletheiabible.org.