What benefits are there for training for ministry in South LA?
- The People of South LA: South LA is right in the middle of a cultural divide between African Americans and Latinos. By being right in the middle of this line, we have the opportunity to interact with multiple cultures (and languages) and to think through how the gospel applies to them. We also are forced to evaluate our own cultural values and to think through if they are biblical or not. By God's grace we can also see the reconciliation that the gospel brings to these different cultures by uniting people from them both into the church.
- The Children of South LA: Due to the nature of inner city ministry, there are many opportunities to reach out to and care for children, many of whom may not have one or both parents (40% of the children in our local schools are in foster care). There will be plenty of opportunities for all of our apprentices to serve with youth, and more than that, to build and foster longer relationships with individual children. Apprentices will also be forced to think through how to communicate the truths of Scripture clearly in ways that apply to various age groups.
- The Injustice of South LA: Unfortunately, one of the results of being in the inner city is that there are many systemic problems that the people of our neighborhood face. Whether it be racism or the difficulty of being an immigrant, many people have been oppressed by those in our society with power. By God's grace we can be those who care for and stand up for justice, and to preach the good news of God's coming justice. The love and light of Christ shines even brighter to those who have no hope.
- Cultural Dicussions - Our team in South LA has been living in this neighborhood, studying, and learning about the issues that most affect it. We will have regular dicussions about these cultural issues. You will also be assigned articles and books that deal with how to understand and apply the gospel to various cultural issues.
- Cultural Interaction - By God's grace, the church reflects the diversity of our neighborhood. This means that being a part of the church family means you will regularly encounter and be challenged by different cultural values than your own. This will force you to think through which values are biblical, and which ones are merely preference or even which ones of your cultural values are wrong!
- Standing for Justice - When our church encounters various injustices, it gives us an opportunity to care for those who are being oppressed. Apprentices will be encouraged to jump in and care for people and more systemic issues that are affecting the people of our neighborhood. As those who represent Christ, the church is refuge for those who are oppressed.
- Serving the Community - As a regular ministry of our church, we serve in various ways in our community. This gives us opportunity to show the community how much we care about them, as well as to build relationships and trust with those who do not yet know Christ. As we follow the example of our Lord who did not come to be served, but to serve, we pray that people will see Him in us.