Authentic Christian ministry begins with a man or woman that understands that it’s all about Jesus and not about them. This group is called “RAGAMUFFIN” for just this reason. To learn more about why we’ve chosen this weird name for a discipleship group, please read THIS.
This is a HARD-CORE discipleship group with Pastor Michael. We meet and go DEEP. This ‘program’ is not something that is advertised in the weekly bulletin. It would take someone two years to complete and requires a weekly meeting, as well as approximately 4-6 hours of homework each week.
Once completed, the individual will have grown exponentially in their Christian walk and in their knowledge of Scripture and Christian ministry. If you were ever thinking of being in full-time or part-time ministry, after completing this two-year discipleship program, you would be eligible for licensing, and with a two-year internship could be ordained. This, of course, is not mandatory and can simply be for the serious student of the Word and Christian ministry.
If interested, please see Pastor Michael for a sit-down, one-on-one interview for this group. If a person wants to ‘jump-in’, they’ll have to wait until the beginning of the next semester.
- The Church
- The Spiritual Disciplines
- Spiritual Leadership
- Armor Bearing
- Biblical Interpretation 1
- Ministry 101
- Biblical Counseling
- Character of God
- Character of God-followers
- Communicating the Scriptures to this generation
- Anatomy of Preaching
- Biblical Interpretation 2
WHY IS IT CALLED, ‘RAGAMUFFIN’?
…God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong.
— 1 Corinthians 1:27
Consider for a moment just how incredible it was that God chose David to fight the giant Goliath. David was just a young boy when God called him. He was so young in age and immature in physical development that the Bible says, “When the Philistine looked and saw David, he despised him because he was just a youth, healthy and handsome.” (1 Samuel 17:42). Goliath took it as a joke when he saw who had been sent to fight with him. The giant laughed when he saw whom God had chosen!
First Samuel 17:43 tells us what Goliath said: “…Am Am I a dog that you come against me with sticks?” Then he cursed David by his gods.” Who would have ever dreamed that God would select a young, inexperienced boy like David to bring down this giant? It may have looked laughable in the eyes of the world, but this young boy who fearlessly faced Goliath in battle was the exact person God had chosen!
When Paul wrote the letter of 1 Corinthians, the Corinthian church was the laughingstock of the city. In fact, believers were viewed as the laughingstock of the entire Roman Empire. Governmental authorities considered Christians to be a weak, puny, pathetic, useless group of religious idiots… ragamuffins. They were literally the butt of all the jokes and were viewed as societal rubbish. Check out how he describes himself and the other Jesus-lovers in 1 Corinthians 4:11-13: “Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we respond graciously. Even now, we are like the scum of the earth, like everyone’s garbage”.
Yet these same Christians turned the world upside down in their day and evangelized the Roman Empire! Through their steadfast endurance and commitment to Jesus Christ, they liberated Rome from pagan religion and paved the way for the Gospel to go into the whole world.
The unbelieving world today views Christians very much in the same way. You see, the devil fears believers because He knows the power and authority they possess. That’s why he uses the entertainment industry, educational institutions, and other human agencies to try to belittle Jesus-followers and make them look irrelevant, inconsequential, and trivial.
The enemy does everything he can to give the impression that we are minor-league players — a worthless waste of time. He knows the power God has placed at our disposal, so he attempts to discredit us in the eyes of the world. Therefore, we need to understand that when we see Christians today be the butt of jokes and viewed in a derogatory fashion, this perception is nothing new.
Paul told the Corinthians, “…God has chosen the weak things of the world to ‘shame’ or ‘confound’ the wise or the things which are mighty.” The word “confound” is kataishuno, which means to put to shame, to embarrass, to confuse, to frustrate, or to baffle. The word “mighty” is the word dunatoi, describing people who have political power. When you keep in mind that the political arm of the Roman Empire was trying to wipe out the Early Church, it becomes clear that this verse packs a powerful message!
A ‘RAGAMUFFIN’ may be seen as a dirty, lowly, weak individual. But the truth is, our feelings of weakness and inadequacy actually qualify us as a candidates in God’s service! God is looking for people just like you, because He knows He will receive the glory for what He does through you. You’re exactly the kind of person God wants to use! A ragamuffin!