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2-6-13 PICM graduates eight lay pastoral assistants

Every pastor an equipper, every member a minister...

Barbara Allen, Christian Po’oi, Shawn Anderson, Dennis Reed, Yvonne Gabrys and Mike Fui (not pictured) received their Certified Lay Pastoral Assistant diplomas on Oct. 27. [Photo by David Brown]  
This year, the Pacific Institute of Christian Ministry (PICM) conducted graduation ceremonies for eight students in its Certified Lay Pastoral Assistant (CLPA) program. On Aug. 1, two graduates received diplomas in a ceremony at the Shasta Lake Bible Fellowship company, and on Oct. 27, six others graduated during the Northern California Conference Asian/Pacific Convocation held at the Fairfield Community church.

Now an official ministry of the Pacific Union and the North American Division, PICM was founded in 2006 by VicLouis Arreola, III — then pastor of the All Nations church of Elk Grove, now director of Asian/Pacific ministries for the Pacific Union and the North American Division. Since its beginning, the institute has grown from 24 students to 318 students enrolled from 15 countries. “My goal is to give the students a shadow of seminary,” said Arreola. “PICM is an equipping ministry for local churches where many graduates have gone on to become Bible workers, lay leaders and lay pastors.”

PICM’s objectives are to help church members discover and use their spiritual gifts effectively; to provide professional training in ministry for all church members; to prepare gifted members to disciple others in the local church; to encourage more lay leaders to work with pastors in fulfilling the great commission; and to adapt the concept that every pastor is an equipper and every member a minister.

The institute’s main campus is at the Fairfield Community church, with an extension campus at Shasta Lake Bible Fellowship company. “We are very fortunate to have this type of training available for our laity,” said James Crabtree, Mount Shasta church/Shasta Lake Bible Fellowship company pastor.

Upon graduating, the newly commissioned lay pastors were eager to return to their home churches to put their ministry dreams into action. Shawn Anderson, an elder at the San Andreas church, reaches out to his local community through the church’s community garden. Ted Neely works with prison ministries in the California correctional system. David Brown serves as lay pastor/leader for the Shasta Lake Bible Fellowship company and as PICM student services coordinator. Yvonne Gabrys (Livermore), Christian Po’oi (Sacramento Tongan company) and Mike Fui (Riverside) are all active as elders in their local churches.

Barbara Allen serves as an elder at the Market Street church. “This course has caused me to get more involved in homes and hospitals, offering prayer, singing, reading Scripture with and for members and their families who just might need a spiritual lifting,” she said.

Dennis Reed, an elder at the Hayward church, has served as an international lay evangelist with ShareHim. “Lay people are the frontline ministers,” he said. “They don't just minister in church; they minister in factories, offices, schools, hospitals, clinics, neighborhoods and health clubs.”

PICM has announced the creation of an additional advanced program — Certified Pastoral Ministry Associate (CPMA). Registration begins in the spring. For more information, contact David Brown, student services coordinator.

By David Brown
Reprinted Courtesy of Pacific Union Recorder
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