For many years, the Michigan Conference has sought to develop a culture of active soul-winning and discipleship. In 2010, a small group of pastors and conference leaders conducted a pilot program focused on local church training and discipleship. Out of that effort, and with direction and support from the Michigan Conference officers and Executive Committee, the Training Center Church (TCC) Committee was formed. This committee develops resources to aid local churches in becoming training centers for dedicated Christian workers.
The philosophy of TCC is based on the biblical model of church ministry found in the book of Acts and affirmed in the prophetic counsel of Ellen White.
- Personal Truth-Sharing Labor – Every member of the church is trained to share Bible truth with others. “Let ministers teach church members that in order to grow in spirituality, they must carry the burden that the Lord has laid upon them—the burden of leading souls into the truth” (Christian Service, p. 69).
- Evangelistic Leadership Structures – The evangelistic mission of the church is infused into the worship service, the church board, and each department ministry.
- Systematic Discipleship – The members of the church receive discipleship training that strengthens their spiritual habits, integrates them into the life of the church, and teaches them how to win others to Christ. New members especially are given systematic discipleship training.
Training Center Churches believes that the primary role of the local pastor is to train and set members to work. Empowered and trained, a mobilized laity will be the key to finishing the work of proclaiming the three angels’ messages to the entire world. For this reason, “Every church should be a training school for Christian workers” (Christian Service, p. 59).