What is Aspire?
Poquoson Baptist Church exists to glorify God by shepherding sinners from lost to leader. Aspire is an extension of this mission as we develop men into leaders. This training program is based on 1 Timothy 3:1, which states, "The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task."
Through Aspire, PBC elders will provide pastoral training and practical experience to men who desire to serve in the context of the local church. Participants will be equipped for life-long pastoral ministry through the disciplines of reading, writing, discussion, and practice.
Who Should Sign Up?
We encourage all male PBC members who have any aspirations to serve in pastoral ministry (either vocationally or as a lay elder) to prayerfully consider signing up. Because the Bible limits pastoral ministry to men (cf., 1 Timothy 2:12), only men are eligible for Aspire. Women are encouraged to sign up for our sister discipleship program, Unreviled.
Men who complete the two-year Aspire program should be equipped theologically to serve as lay elders. But since the majority of the qualifications for elders focus on the application of Christian character, completing Aspire does not guarantee a man will ever be recognized as an elder or an elder candidate at PBC.
Men who do not aspire to eldership but are willing to commit themselves to the coursework in order to grow as students of God's Word are also welcome to register.
What Will We Do?
Over two years we will study a variety of topics each term. We will study the following topics:
- Term 1: The Gospel
- Term 2: The Bible
- Term 3: The Church
- Term 4: The Mission
- Term 5: Biblical Counseling
- Term 6: Preaching
- Term 7: Marriage & Family
- Term 8: Controversial Issues
Participants will attend monthly meetings, which will be scheduled before the term begins. (Note: childcare is not provided for these meetings). During those meetings we will discuss the monthly reading and cover any other assignments that were assigned. Each month, we will read one book.
What's the Cost?
The only fee for Aspire is the price of the reading material(s), but there is a cost. Those involved must commit to faithfully attend monthly meetings for the duration of the term and complete weekly readings and other assignments.
In addition, participants must model meaningful membership by their faithful and consistent involvement in corporate worship, fellowship groups, members’ meetings, and regular service to the body.
How Do I Sign Up?
The elders reserve the right to decline admission, if we have concerns about an individual's readiness for this level of ministry preparedness.