By Brooke Miller, GACX Content Creator
My grandma Faye is addicted to solving puzzles. I remember going to her condo every Tuesday afternoon to watch golf and complete the next challenging puzzle she had selected.
However, we all know the familiar feeling of not finding the right piece for a specific part of a puzzle. Sometimes, finding the puzzle piece can take an hour or two, or you can find the piece hiding on the floor. But once that piece clicks into place, the puzzle comes together.
A critical piece within the “GACX puzzle” is Third Millennium, a GACX member who offers high-quality, free Biblical education to Christian leaders. Dr. Richard Pratt founded Thirdmill to put seminary “in a box” and bring theological education to the multitudes of untrained or undertrained church leaders around the world.
“When church leaders, church planters, and pastors don't have any education, the likelihood of that church closing is incredibly high. Likewise, the likelihood of a pastor or church leader misunderstanding and then misleading their flock is high without education in the Word of God.” explains Brandon Lutz, Senior Director of Global Opportunities at Third Millennium.
Thirdmill prints or uploads their curriculum to an SD card and shares the materials with their partners for distribution. Thirdmill has reached over 2 million students in 176 countries in the last ten years, covering 26 different languages. Their curriculum is most popular in Africa, India, China, Latin America, and now, surprisingly, North America.
Thirdmill’s in-house translations include English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Mandarin. They rely on partners to provide additional language translations. They also work with partners to ensure that the curriculum is culturally appropriate.
Thirdmill and OneHope, another GACX member, connected at the 2022 GACX Forum in Minneapolis, where they discovered a shared interest in collaborating over Biblical education.
Prior to meeting, OneHope conducted research studies with the Barna Group and saw the massive global gap in biblical education for adults, church leaders, church pastors, and church planters. They were excited to partner with Thirdmill, whose educational materials were created to address this gap.
After the Forum, OneHope connected Thirdmill with the global Pentecostal denomination, where ThirdMill was able to share its full library of curriculum. Through additional connections initiated by OneHope, ThirdMill added its “Paul” curriculum to Pathway, an online school through the Assemblies of God, for pastors and church leaders worldwide.
“There are other factors into what makes a good and healthy pastor, like character, but this (theological training) could be part of the missing piece of the puzzle,” says Lutz.
Thirdmill is looking for partner organizations already conducting basic theological training that need additional resources to strengthen the depth of the theological training they offer.
Lutz explains, "Thirdmill partners with many types of organizations and ministries like educational institutions, denominational ministries, independent ministries, local churches, and mass media like television and radio. Thirdmill is very flexible and seeks to serve your ministry where you see fit. Some partner organizations use 1 to 2 courses, and some partners use all of our materials. How ever Thirdmill can serve your ministry in biblical education and training is how God has called us to serve in His Kingdom alongside you."
Could Thirdmill resources provide the missing puzzle piece your organization needs? Learn more at thirdmill.org.