About the Bahamas Partnership

About the Bahamas Partnership (BP)

The Bahamas Partnership has a seven-fold strategy in the following order of priority:

  1. First, establishing a conservative, reformed, and Presbyterian denomination in the Bahamas that is biblical, and culturally relevant – Covenant Life.
  2. Secondly, instituting an Indigenous Leadership Development Plan that would facilitate the development of principal leadership in every positive aspect of life within the Bahamas;
  3. Thirdly, establishing Mercy Ministries which focus solely on the Christian Transformational Development of under-served communities;
  4. Fourth, establishing and facilitating Medical Missions and Disaster Preparedness teams comprised of local and PCA professionals;
  5. Fifth, facilitating at least 8 MTW Short Term Mission Trips each year;
  6. Sixth, incorporating formal theological, and leadership training for residents in the Bahamas, and Caribbean.
  7. Finally, by establishing a multi-purpose center for training, camps, and retreats in one of our larger Family Islands;

BP is a servant organization that will prayerfully work toward:

  1. Supporting a developing Church Planting movement, and a future Bible institute/seminary;
  2. Encouraging the development of financial resources for appropriate ministry;
  3. Identifying and training current and future Bahamian leaders;
  4. Cultivating mutually-transformative “word and deed” ministries serving the Bahamian people;
  5. Mobilizing a robust body of men and women who will become more engaged in the Great Commission, especially to the Caribbean;
  6. Energizing Reformed churches to increase their involvement in the Bahamas;
  7. Identifying Reformed and covenantal instructors who can serve in the Bahamas by teaching modular courses. 

 

Summarized Strategy for BP      January 2017

Mission:         Establish an aggressive Indigenous Leadership Development Plan that would identify and cultivate Principal leaders through a process. The desired goal is to commission and enable suitably qualified Bahamian residents who would plant a flagship church. The goal is to see this local church become a catalyst for an aggressive church-planting movement within the Bahamas.

Strategies, in this order:   

A.  Establish a healthy church plant in Nassau within 1 – 5 years upon our return

Rationale: This plant will become the flagship community that will launch future church plants throughout the Bahamas.

Description:    This church plant will look similar to a typical PCA church plant in its ecclesiology, its theology, as well as its witness. Its worship style will be faithful to the Regulative Principle, yet it will seek to become as culturally relevant as possible. This church plant is the foundation for all other strategies listed in this document. The church planter will intentionally model church planting to select indigenous leaders.

Plan:

  • Establish a 15-minute radio broadcast on several stations, (“Covenant Life”)
  • Develop a system of feedback from listeners
  • Contact and cultivate listeners, and establish a database
  • Make contact with as many persons within, and related to ministry focus area
  • Cast vision to at least 12 families
  • Begin separate Bible studies for men, and couples
  • Cultivate and mobilize core group out of these families, as well as others
  • Begin periodic pre-view services within a reasonable time frame
  • Intentionally deploy indigenous leaders within the leadership of the church.

 

B.  Establish an aggressive Indigenous Leadership Development Plan

Rationale: These men and women will lead the way in the “Isaiah 61-Principle”[1]

Description:    Implement an aggressive process of transformation in the ministry focus areas by developing and fostering leadership from the inside.  Through this process, we will seek to harness the talents and gifts that God has given persons in the ministry focus areas to redeem and redevelop their own neighborhoods into communities that thrive spiritually, physically, and economically. We will commit to pour ourselves into a vetted group of “Proven” leaders, from whom the desired church planters will emerge.

  • Create a forum for urban youth to be mentored by Christian professional, business men and women, from both the Bahamas and the USA.
  • Establish a “business-as-missions” model which will seek to develop their entrepreneurial skills.
  • Partner with like-minded congregations involved in various indigenous leadership development programs, to the extent we can.
  • Inform and encourage those congregations to provide meaningful job opportunities for youth in ministry focus area(s) that would have been screened and recommended by our own processes.
  • Identify and Recruit Possible leaders
  • Develop a system to determine Potential leaders from this group
  • Develop a system to determine Proven leadership
  • Provide the mechanism to recognize and deploy Proven leaders
  • Utilize sound and tested techniques for gifts assessment and evaluation
  • Cultivate and disciple these Proven leaders for deployment in church leadership
  • Establish Bible studies and Theological Training for different levels of leadership
  • Establish a base in a Family Island that imitates Pine Cove in Tyler, Texas

    C.  Establish Mercy Ministries which focus on Transformational Development

    Rationale: The ministry-focus areas have many spiritual, social, and economic challenges that are evident in most under-served, US-based urban communities.

    Description: What is Mercy Ministry? Tim Keller: “working to alleviate the burdens of another person…meeting their perceived needs through Gospel-driven deeds.” Keller then defines a need as a “distorted dependency which is aggravated by human’s alienation from God”. Philip Towner describes mercy as a concept integral to an understanding of God’s dealing with humanity. Randy Nabors notes that mercy is… One of God’s attributes; is at the heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom; Action with attitude; Proof of true love; A gift from God, not simply a feeling, nor an action.
    What Does Mercy Do? Randy Nabors advises that in order for mercy to be more effective in meeting felt human needs, the following should be considered. Mercy…glorifies God; seeks genuine faith in others; responds to circumstances; needs wise direction; leads to self-help and sustainability; needs an analysis of scope, intensity, and depth.
    We will seek to bring dignity to those to whom we minister. Our desire is to see these men and women become agents of transformation within their own communities.

    Plan:
    • Establish a mutually beneficial relationship with several schools in ministry-focus    area(s)
    • Work with administrators and teachers to identify students with learning             challenges
    • Develop a reading plan to assist teachers with said students
    • Recruit and screen local mentors/readers
    • Evaluate and train the above
    • Establish CEF, or similar curricula, at several schools
    • Establish Young Life-type programs for older students
    • Establish Bible studies for parents, using local leaders in training
    • Recruit young men and women for the process of identifying widows in ministry focus area
    • Train these young people in recording data on such families
    • Establish Bible studies and training for these young men and women
    • Establish a kitchen, or partner with reputable ministry which focuses on those aspects of mercy ministries
    • Train them to deliver food, clothing and other essentials for “widows”
    • Include these young men and women in ILDP

    D.  Establish and facilitate Medical Missions and Disaster Preparedness teams comprised of missionaries and local professionals;

    Rationale: Urban environments are more likely to see large disparities in socioeconomic status, higher rates of crime and violence, the presence of marginalized populations with high risk behaviors, and a higher prevalence of psychological stressors that accompany the increased density and diversity of cities.
    Persons of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to live in urban areas and are more likely to lack health insurance. Thus, these populations face barriers to care, receive poorer quality care, and disproportionately use emergency systems. Other commonly represented populations in cities are undocumented immigrants and transient populations. The high prevalence of individuals without health insurance or citizenship creates a greater burden on available systems. This often leads to vast disparities in health care outcomes as well as a two-tiered health care system where insured individuals have access to preventive and routine health care while marginalized populations utilize “safety-net” emergency room care.”

    Description:
    • Communicate good health care practices to persons within ministry focus areas;
    • Offer voluntary Assistance at local clinics in Nassau and Family Islands;
    • Conduct joint Health Fairs and Screenings;
    • Assist with Disaster Response planning with local authorities.

     

    E.  Facilitate at least 4 MTW Short Term Mission Trips each year

    Rationale: This process will enhance efforts to introduce Covenant Theology in both word and deed. It will serve to recruit future missionaries to the Bahamas and Caribbean region, and it will also explore opportunities to reach the millions of tourists who frequent the Bahamas annually.

    Plan:
    • Continue with current plans that were met in place
    • Continue to collaborate with the Kirk, and other ministry partners as often as possible
    • Include others areas, especially ministry focus area as a place for ministry
    • Acquire land from Bahamas government on New Providence
    • Build suitable accommodations for STMs and meeting/training
    • Acquire land on Andros Island for larger “Pine Cove-style” center
    • Offer retreats and seminars at these sites for US Christians
    • Establish the Bahamas as a “shaping” and “sending” agency for world missions

     

    F.  A Long Term goal to establish a formalized theological and leadership training center through accredited institutions

    Rationale: Capitalize on existing relationships which can facilitate this goal at minimum cost.

    Description: By the Lord’s grace, we long to see more Christians develop a world and life view that is founded on solid biblical foundations, one that fosters spiritual, personal and professional development, and one that seeks to shape flourishing communities within the Bahamas and Caribbean. Thus, we will collaborate with institutions such as 3MIL, and others, in order to offer courses to men and women with and without college degrees. We will seek accreditation from the Bahamas Ministry of Education to ensure compliance. We will offer certificates to persons without an undergraduate degree, and offer an accredited master’s degree through collaboration with the above accredited institutions. Qualified facilitators could be recruited to help conduct this training.

    Plan:
    • Formalize relationships, and gain approval from accredited institutions, such as 3MIL
    • Introduce these institutions to Bahamian authorities for approval
    • Advertise and Recruit potential “students”
    • Establish a base of operations for formal classes in Nassau, then a larger base in Andros, and other Family Islands in the future
    • Recruit suitably qualified facilitators from both the USA and Caribbean

     

[1] Jason Mandryk, Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation. 7th edition. (Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica Publishing, 2010), page 130.

[2] The Isaiah 61 Principle is a shorthand explanation to Isaiah 61:3-4. Because of the Holy Spirit-filled ministry of the Messiah, people who were once despised and repressed would become “oaks of righteousness”. They will Rebuild ancient ruins, Renew ruined cities, and Restore places long devastated.

[3] Third Millennium Ministries’ mission is to equip church leaders in their own lands by creating a multimedia seminary curriculum in five major languages. The curriculum is designed to be used in support of existing schools, as well as by groups and individuals. It consists of three central elements: graphic-driven videos, printed instruction and internet resources. All instructors are seminary professors, and their writers and editors are theologically trained educators. Their website also provides additional materials to supplement their videos.

[4] Taken from the following website: http://www.uniteforsight.org/about-us/history.

J