Message From Executive Director
In the midst of a global pandemic the Lord has continued to do a mighty work with The Timothy Foundation. There is so much to report that it is a bit overwhelming! We have pictures and bios of the new class on our website. We have a new Board member, new mentors, a new coaching option, new videos of some of the guys giving messages and we have a new date for our Conference.
With so many new things happening, one thing remains consistent. Our passion for impacting the next generation of Christian leaders continues to excite and drive us and we invite you to join us in this great adventure.Meet The Class Of 2021!
It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the 2021 Class of The Timothy Foundation Fellows. This is another outstanding group of young Christian leaders and we are thrilled the Lord has called them to the Fellows program. Their pictures and bios are now on our website and we invite you to get to know them.
As we continue to grow the work of The Timothy Foundation we recognize the importance of expanding our Board. It gives me great pleasure to introduce our newest Board member, Mike Sambrook.
Mike is a graduate of Trinity Western University in Vancouver, Canada and holds a Masters degree in Leadership from there. He spent 20 years in full time ministry and for the past five years has run his own consulting business and is a part time professor of leadership at his alma mater. He is married to his lovely wife Dawn and they have two children.
We are thrilled to have Mike join our Board and look forward to him adding his wisdom and humor to our group.
There is a great Francis Schaefer quote, "Most men want to build their own kingdom. Some men want to build God's kingdom for him. Only a few want God to build His kingdom through them." When I think of the guys the Lord has brought to The Timothy Foundation and the mentors He has raised up, I know that God is building His kingdom, and we are along for the ride!
It was fairly daunting to think about having to find thirteen new mentors for this latest class of Fellows. But as we prayed about each guy, the Lord provided the right man for them as a mentor. The Mentor part of the program is one of the key components of our impacting the next generation of Christian leaders and our goal is for the mentors would be as blessed by it as the Fellows are. One of the mentors told me, " I am getting way more out of this than my mentee is!" It is just more evidence that God is building His Kingdom and allowing even us to be part of it.
We have thirteen new mentors for our 2021 Class of new Fellows and in each case it is a perfect match. A huge thanks to the mentors and to the Lord who has called each of us to this.
Coaching With Dr. Kooistra
We are continually looking for ways to make the Fellows experience more valuable. One of our goals is to make an impact in the lives of leaders who are going into the ministry. Dr. Paul Kooistra - who is a member of our Board - has agreed to host a monthly zoom call and meet individually with the guys in our program who are in the ministry.
Dr. Kooistra has been a faithful servant of the Lord for many years. He served as a pastor, as President of Covenant Seminary and as head of Mission To The World. This is an incredible opportunity for these young men to learn from one of the greatest leaders I've had the privilege of knowing. My time in seminary was incredibly enriched because Dr. Kooistra met with me monthly. I am grateful to Dr. Kooistra for giving himself in this way and for what our Fellows will learn from him.
Videos Are Here
One of our goals is to have each of our Fellows become great speakers. Last year they began our program by taking the "Christ Centered Preaching" course, and have been working on honing their speaking skills.
In January we began recording their messages and are posting them to our website. Click here to see the messages from Rob Gicking, Jacob Reed, and Ducky Ryan.
Conference In October
We are changing the timing of our yearly Conference. This years Conference will be held October 15 - 17 in Philadelphia. More details to follow, but block the dates now for a fabulous weekend of great speakers and a chance to engage with our Fellows.
Invest With Us
As with any ministry the financial health is an important aspect of it's ability to do the work God has called it to. It costs approximately $5,000 per Fellow per year for us to operate the program.
Please join us in making the Fellows program a reality for this and future generations of young Christian leaders.
We cancelled our yearly Conference in Philadelphia at The Union League but nevertheless needed to vet the new applicants and continue the training of our first cohort. We gathered in Naples for the weekend and asked everyone to take a rapid Covid test before they came. It was a phenomenal time together and the Lord met us in a powerful way. Eleven "Fellows" attended along with fifteen applicants for the next class. Invitations were extended to a fabulous group of candidates who will make up an awesome second cohort.
Some years ago there was a shopping mall which had the slogan "where the best stores put their best stores." I felt like this weekend was "where the best speakers gave their best talks." Every message was absolutely outstanding. The weekend began with Rev. Herb Lusk from Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Herb focused us on the Gospel for social justice: it was a powerful way to begin our time.
Rev. Erik Bonkovsky from City Church in Richmond spoke to us on Friday night and challenged us on "the story in the Gospel." Erik has become a regular speaker at our events and continues to plunge us into the deep end of the pool.
On Saturday morning Rev. Trent Casto from Covenant Presbyterian Church in Naples blew us all away with his teaching on God wrestling with Jacob, the need for connection with our fathers and what it means when all you have is God. It was an impactful message for all of us.
We ended our time on Saturday evening with Andy Parham, CEO of Brado speaking to us on Paul's admonition, "when I am weak, then I am strong." It was another powerful admonition for all of us.
We were extremely privileged to have this group of men share their thoughts and lives with us. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to them for making this an impactful weekend for all who were there.
In addition to the various keynote speakers the Fellows worked through a full curriculum during the weekend.
Our current Fellows worked through the unit on the Constitution. They were assigned a case that was before the Supreme Court this past November: Fulton vs The City of Philadelphia. In this case the Philadelphia Catholic Charities were being denied taxpayer funding for refusing tp assess same sex couples for foster parenting. It is a complex case that brings into focus several constitutional issues that directly affect the next generation of Christian leaders.
The current Fellows were broken into teams of two and each given a side of the case to argue. Two attorneys, Jim Sweet from Philadelphia and Chas Jones from Baltimore, acted as Justices (and legal coaches) as the teams argued their side. The Fellows were stretched and challenged to think in ways they had not done previously; This is a key part of what we want to happen in the Fellows program.
Additionally, the Fellows were asked to create a five minute video that integrated what they learned in Christ Centered Preaching and from their time with Jerram Barrs in October. Those videos will be posted on our web site.
This year's group of applicants were guided through the Core Motivatorassessment. Each of them wrote their life history prior to arrival and, after introductory remarks, they were broken into small groups with facilitators to work through and discover their Core Motivator. We had wonderful facilitators who joined us for the weekend and the process made a huge impact for the guys. Many thanks to Jeremy Beadenbaugh , Eric Johnson, Andy Parham, and Naa Yirenkyi for making this a huge success.
Each evening after the sessions, we gathered the Fellows and Applicants in separate spaces to process the day. Many thanks to Eric Johnson for meeting with the current Fellows while I (Bob Perkins) met with the applicants.
Each night I sat with the new applicants and they were given the opportunity to process what they had experienced. It was an open forum and they were given permission to ask any question, talk about any subject, and voice any thoughts. And they did! On the last evening I asked them to describe their experience in one or two words They went around the room and said words like, "real," "honest," "transparent," "genuine," "I've never been to any Christian thing like this." Their response was exactly what I had hoped it would be. Real Christianity articulated by real Christian men being honest, authentic, and transparent. It was powerful. It was a wonderful time and the Lord has assembled another amazing cohort.
We continued our Fellows Training with our second weekend of coursework, this time traveling to beautiful St. Louis! We tackled two subjects - "Marketing" with Dr Jim Fisher from St Louis University, and "Outreach & Evangelism" with Professor Jerram Barrs from Covenant Theological Seminary.
Dr. Fishers course was a great blend of Marketing and Ethics. His "Case Study" approach was both engaging and challenging with everyone involved in the animated discussion. I watched the guys interact with Dr. Fisher and I realized the great intellectual challenges we face in our culture and the need to be addressing these issues with our Fellows.
Jerram Barrs' sessions were incredibly deep and personal. The Fellows had prepared for the session by listening to twenty-six of Jerram's lector's on line and were excited for this time with him. They asked great questions and he challenged them to live a deeper expression of Gods grace in their lives and towards other people.
It is an incredible blessing to have both of these men be part of our training and we all appreciated the time with them.
I am thrilled to let you know that again this year God has moved eighteen young Christian men to apply to the Fellows program. The group is an incredibly diverse group of amazing leaders and I am humbled and grateful that the Lord would entrust to us the joy of being a part of their lives.
Our first Training Weekend was everything we hoped it would be and more! It was an amazing time and exceeded all of our expectations. I am exhausted and energized! Here's a brief recap of the highlights.
Instruction: Our goal is that these young leaders would receive a balanced curriculum of Business, Theology, The Constitution and Emotional Intelligence. We do this while incorporating a Christ Centered approach and making it relevant to their role as leaders.
We selected two units of study for this time, "Strategic Planning," and "Human Resources." Dr. Al Socci, Dean of the Business Program at Eastern University was our instructor and did a great job of leading the guys through the basic understanding and process of strategic planning. Most of our guys had never had any instruction in this so it was a great introduction for them in this important discipline.
Naa Yirenkyi was our instructor for the Human Resources component. Naa has spent her career in Human Resources and engaged the guys in understanding the fundamentals of HR as well as case studies to help them get a better understanding of the issues.
Both Dr. Socci and Naa did a fantastic job of covering a lot of information in a short period of time and were outstanding instructors and facilitators! The guys were engaged and have already told me how much they learned in those sessions.
Messages: Each Fellow has been given the book, "Christ Centered Preaching, by Dr. Bryan Chapell. This is the benchmark text on the subject and is used in many seminaries. Each Fellow was assigned a passage to speak on and a coach (Dr. Kooistra, Rev. Erik Bonkovsky or myself) to help them in their preparation. Six of the young men spoke during the weekend. After each message the group evaluated them according to the rubric laid out in Dr. Chapell's book. The guys did a fantastic job of speaking and worked hard at their messages. It was incredibly encouraging to hear them speak and to see the insights they had gained from the Scripture.
This is one of the most important parts to our Fellows program. We want every Fellow to graduate knowing and seeing the sovereignty of God in every passage of Scripture and to be able to present a message that encourages and enables others to see it as well.
Dinners: We had two dinners at homes of friends here in Philadelphia. My heartfelt thanks to Brad and Bekah Palmer and John and Nanette Ballbach for opening their homes to us and hosting fantastic evenings. I love having my friends meet this class of Fellows because they are a living testimony to what the Lord is doing in this work.
Cabin Time: Well that's what we used to call it. On the last night the guys gathered on our deck after dinner and we talked about "deep end of the pool" stuff. One of the guys said, "I don't know about you all but I've been a Christian my whole life. I was raised in a Christian home, was a volunteer with a Christian organization and went to a Christian university. I never heard the thing about Jesus coming from Solomon and Bathsheba was Solomons mother until January ( our Conference). I'm still blow away."
We've started a kind of liturgy with this group. I say to them, "From which of Davids sons did Jesus come?" They answer, "Solomon." I say to them, "Who was Solomon's mother?" They say, "Bathsheba," I say, "If God can use David?..." They say, "He can use me." It is powerful stuff. It's the Gospel. If you don't understand that God can use David you don't understand the Gospel.
We talked for several hours about this and how God has made them each to be leaders. That He has uniquely gifted them and called them to lead. It was an awesome time and the time I loved the most.
Valley Forge: The next morning I took them to Valley Forge National Park. Most of the Fellows are not from the Philadelphia area and they have never been there. We stopped at Washingtons Headquarters, drove the Encampment tour, and finished at the Arch. We walked to a place in the shade overlooking the valley and I told them the story of the Marquis de Lafayette. I challenged them regarding what kind of leader they were going to be. "Know who they are and be it!"
We closed by gathering in a huddle, arms around each other's necks and did our liturgy five times, changing the ending for the last two times. The second to last time I said, "If God loved David..." and they replied, "He loved me." The last time I said, "If God loves David..." They said, "God loves me."
The Gospel begins with the reality that God loves us. As I John 4:10 says, "In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us..." We will never understand the Gospel or the ways in which God uses us unless we begin with the fact that God first loved us.
We prayed together, said our good byes and our first Training Weekend was in the books. This has become very real, very fast! We have an amazing group of guys and I am thrilled at the privilege of being in this with them.
It's been two months since our January conference and we still have our hands in the air, enjoying this great ride the Lord has us on.
There are two ways to ride a roller coaster. The first is to grab tightly to the safety bar and wait for it to be over. The second is to put your hands in the air, scream at the top of your lungs and say, "let's do it again!"
For Christians, we know that God will never let us go off the rails. We can put our hands in the air and enjoy the ride because we know that He is in control. But some rides are more fun than others, and right now The Timothy Foundation ride is so much fun I I just want to keep my hands in the air and scream "let's do it again!"
A lot has happened since the January conference. We have fourteen young men who are in the Fellows program. They are an amazing group of young leaders and I could not imagine a better first class of guys to be part of this. We have added their bios to the web page so take a minute and check out this great group the Lord has put together.
The Mentors: Just as the Lord raised up this incredible first cohort of Fellows He has also provided an phenomenal group of mentors.
After the conference I honestly didn't know where I was going to find fourteen men to be mentors for the Fellows. I wanted the right guys to engage with this group of Fellows and I wanted every young leader to have the "right" guy. Of course (oh me of little faith) the Lord provided exactly the right mentor for each Fellow. It has been every bit as amazing to see the Mentor group come together as it was to see the first cohort of Fellows come together.
The Training Sessions: Next we had to plan our first training weekend and that too has come together beautifully. The Fellows will gather in Naples from April 2 - 5. They will tackle "Christ Centered Scripture," and " Participatory Leadership" as their first learning block. They have each been given a copy of Bryan Chapell's excellent book, "Christ Centered Preaching," and have been assigned a passage to speak on at the training time. Dr. Kooistra choose the passages and let's just say he didn't pick the easy ones. It should be interesting, but for this group it is perfect.
The next training times will be June 25 - 28 in Philadelphia, and then October 15 -18 in St. Louis.
Of course there is still much to do.
The Next Class: We have already started thinking about our next cohort that will start in 2021. Their applications need to be submitted by October 1st, 2020 and that date will be upon us before we know it. If you know of a young man who is a proven leader whom you think would be a good fit for The Timothy Foundation, please encourage him to apply. The application can be found on the web site.
Professors: We continue to need qualified professors to teach the various courses. We are looking for professors to teach Economics, Accounting, The Constitution, and the various theological units. If you know of someone who would be a great professor for the program please let us know.
Funding: And of course we need to raise funds to make it all happen. We have a fabulous Board of Directors who have committed significantly to this work but we are going to need additional funds to enable us to fulfill the vision.
I know that the same God who raised up this great class of young leaders, who called this amazing group of mentors, provided Leah, and has called our Board to this work will also provide the necessary funds. If this work excites you and you would like to be part of it, please join in supporting what God is already doing in the lives of all of us involved.
When I look back at my life in ministry there were five times over the twenty-two years that were so incredibly God filled that they stand out from everything else. I think of Dulaney's club the year it took off, the Saranac trip with Freedoms club in 1983, the Kirkwood trip to Saranac in1989, the Disney trip with the Kirkwood guys in 1991, and the third year in Canada when it all came together. Each of those times are burned in my memory as times when the Lord did something so out of the ordinary that it was simply a pleasure to have been part of the ride.
This years Timothy Foundation Conference was another one of those times. It was the kind of "pinch me, I can't believe this is happening" weekend that was a God breathed experience from the moment it started.
God has taken us out into the deep water, raised up a gigantic wave, and is allowing us the privilege of riding it!
I want to thank all the men who attended the conference, the wonderful speakers who gave of their hearts and wisdom, the incredible staff at the Union League, my awesome team of Vision For Your Life facilitators who donated their time and energy, and our fabulous Board of Directors who have been focused on submitting themselves to the direction of the Lord. We are blessed.
The Young Leaders
The big difference at this years conference was the inclusion of the Fellows candidates and the vision the Lord has given us for impacting the next generation of Christian leaders. We began last May with a call to our network to invite potential candidates who have shown existing leadership gifts, to apply to the Fellows program. By our October deadline we had nineteen applications. We invited eighteen to the conference and sixteen attended.
The group immediately meshed and became quick friends. The egos were put aside and the commonality of broken people being used by God to His glory bound us together as we sought to understand our uniqueness and how God might use us.
All sixteen went through the Core Motivator assessment and engaged with the speakers, the men in attendance and our Board. Immediately after the conference was over we voted to accepted fifteen young leaders into the Fellows Program.
It would be impossible for us to be more excited.
Each of these young men have incredible gifts and abilities but more importantly they desire to be used by the Lord to His glory for His purposes.
Here are just some of the comments from the Fellows:
"I wanted to thank you as well for the generosity of you and the men who made last week possible. It was amazing. I have already benefitted tremendously from the lessons of emotional intelligence. It was an honor and a blast meeting all the men who came. I've been encouraged in the grace of the gospel, which was put on a great display throughout the week."
"I thoroughly enjoyed the conference this year. My wife and I spent last night talking through everything I learned there and had a particularly great conversation on how the love of God impacts our leadership."
"Thanks so much again for inviting me and covering all the expenses. It was a blessing to be there."
"Thank you for the past couple of days. I am blown away by the investment made in me. It was an honor to spend time with you and Andy throughout the weekend. I’ve also been digesting our conversations about grace."
"This past week was life-changing for me. Who am I? I am brave. I am bruised and God is shaping me into exactly the man and leader I am meant to be. Thank you for everything you did to organize, prepare, and lead this week. If nothing else, know this: you were a blessing to me. Thank you."
"What an incredible weekend - life changing to say the least."
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