The Online Full-Time Training (FTTA-OL)

There is a growing burden in the ministry of the Lord’s recovery that we would be constituted with the truth so that we may become the pillar and base of the truth in reality (1 Tim. 3:15). One excellent but often overlooked avenue for us to become constituted with the truth is the Online Full-Time Training (FTTA-OL), which is conducted completely online and open to all the saints (in any country) who can handle English age 18 and above. Details of the courses offered, requirements, and logistics can all be found at https://onlineftta.org/.

As working saints, parents of young children, or FTT graduates, we may think that the FTTA-OL is mainly for retired saints and/or those who did not attend the FTT. In actuality, however, the FTTA-OL is for all the saints who have a heart to pursue the truth and to do so in a scheduled and corporate way, regardless of their age and status. Below are testimonies of working saints and/or parents of young children (some FTTA graduates) for our encouragement.

1. Married couple, both working full-time. Boston, MA.

What motivated or inspired you to attend FTTA-OL?

CM: I have been before the Lord a number of times over the past decade considering attending the FTTA, but each time the door was shut with regard to going. As my involvement in various church services has grown, I have felt the need for further constitution, perfecting and training. The FTTA OL provided the means by which I could be trained in a practical &structured way while being employed full time.

JM: I had heard about the FTTA-OL over many years in church announcements, but always thought it was something for older saints or saints who had not been through the FTTA. My reason for attending the FTTA-OL was very practical — my husband had wanted to take a class, and I took it to be his companion.

What benefits have you received from attending FTTA-OL and what are some highlights of your experience?

CM: The highlight of my experience in the FTTA-OL has been to not despise my talent or present function in the church life. Having the collaborative learning environment with various ages is a real encouragement throughout the week as you fellowship over the reading and create your oral prophecy at the end of the week. The structure of getting into both the word and ministry creates a solid foundation and I found spontaneously at each meeting I was more exercised and had more based on my enjoyment and digestion throughout the week in the course material.

JM: The FTTA-OL helped to ground me in the truth, and this anchoring opened the way for the Lord to shine on other areas of my life. The classes are structured with respect to curriculum and daily schedule, and I have benefitted from studying the truth in this structured way. The lesson is presented in different ways throughout the week (reading, short answer, quiz), and it is highly interactive. Because of the schedule, I was in the curriculum every night of the week, and found that this type of consistent study and approach toward the Word enriched the other aspects of my Christian life. I began to see more light in the HWMR and in my personal Bible reading, and was brought into experiences of the points that I was studying in the lesson.

What are some challenges you have encountered in attending FTTA-OL and how did you overcome them (or not)?

CM: The biggest hurdle coming into the FTTA-OL was the concern for how to balance work with the fairly rigorous 8 weeks of class. My wife and I have taken two courses thus far and found that while at times it can feel overwhelming with our various other commitments, the Lord supplies the grace. Having a companion or in this case spouse to pursue with has been crucial. We have endeavored to re-speak what we have enjoyed to each other, encourage one another and labor together throughout the week on the course material.

JM: The classes are only 8 weeks long, but the schedule is rigorous, and there is something to do every night of the week. It’s quite a challenge to balance the class with the obligations of daily life. However, I appreciated that we learners are encouraged to have a long-term view over the course of many terms. We are encouraged to do the best we can within the boundaries of our capacity, to pace ourselves and to not overextend ourselves, such that our family life and church life are affected. During my 2nd FTTA-OL class, my schedule picked up significantly and I had minimal participation in the last two weeks of the class. I noticeably did not get as much out of the class, but before the Lord was at peace with where I was and what I could do. Moving forward, we’d like to try to take 2 classes every year, with long-term endurance in view.

2. A mother, serving one, and working saint. Piscataway, NJ.

In early 2020, a group of saints in my locality had the desire to sign up for FTTA-OL. At their encouragement, I also registered for the Word of God class. Since some of my children would be starting school, I felt that I would have a small window of time to devote to studying the truth. Little did I know that right as the term started in March 2020, we would all be confined to our home for the next year. During this tumultuous period, there were big adjustments both in terms of our family life and church life due to the pandemic. However, I treasured the time spent in the Word of God class. It was not always easy to find the time since I had three children under the age of 6 at home with me all the time along with other responsibilities, but my testimony is that there was the time! Sometimes this meant staying up later at night after the kids were in bed, but the time spent in the truth was worth it.

Although I finished the FTTA more than 10 years ago and had previously taken the Word of God class, I felt that being able to concentrate on the material for just one class allowed us to dive more deeply into the class. The way the class is structured also helps guide the learners into how to consider the truth, not merely as points of doctrine, but how to apply it in our experience. We were also placed into study groups with saints from all around the world which was a precious experience to apprehend with all the saints the dimensions of Christ.

After finishing the first course, one of the sisters in my small group asked if I wanted to take another course a few months later. Originally, I felt that I would be able to take on the course, but ultimately it was too much of a time commitment at that point in time. As the opportunity has now arisen to register for another FTTA-OL course, I am currently seeking the Lord whether I would be able to take another class. I felt it was such a help to me to have the outward structure to not simply study the truth, but to be in the ministry of this age, which helps to keep us in the central lane of His economy. May the Lord continue to keep us in His economy, and gain us as His overcoming Bride.

3. A mother and graduate student. Boston, MA.

What motivated or inspired you to attend FTTA-OL?

I wanted a structured way to get into the truth, as well as something that would keep me accountable.

What benefits have you received from attending FTTA-OL and what are some highlights of your experience?

I received so much benefit from attending FTTA-OL. I was struggling to get into the truth in a regular way on my way own, but signing up for a class kept me accountable and I loved the corporate pursuit with the other saints in my class.

What are some challenges you have encountered in attending FTTA-OL and how did you overcome them (or not)?

I was really unsure about signing up for a class at first because I’m a mom now and I just wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to fit in the time. But eventually I decided to just try it out for one term to see how it would go. I ended up being much more efficient with time management after having signed up rather than before! Knowing that I had readings or assignments due on a deadline helped me redeem evening hours that I would have spent vainly otherwise. The Lord met me every time I sat down to give Him a little time a few times a week. Also, I thought I might get more tired being in FTTA-OL but instead I experienced being supplied with zoe life even to my mortal body. I haven’t signed up for a second class yet, but I would really like to take more classes in the years to come.

4. A.L., job-dropping serving brother with children. Orange, CA.

What motivated or inspired you to attend FTTA-OL?

With every profession there is a need for continuing education, so why wouldn’t we feel the same need with FTTA? I felt FTTA-OL afforded me an opportunity to “dive in deeper”, to “mine even further” the riches in the ministry as presented in the FTTA curriculum.

Of course, the FTTA curriculum itself brings forth the central line in the divine revelation of the Bible and though we may be familiar in a general way with the Word of God, the Triune God, the economy of God, the all-inclusive Christ, the life-giving Spirit, the Body of Christ, and the New Jerusalem, FTTA-OL affords us MORE opportunity to study, enjoy, and linger in a focused way on any of these crucial lines.

What benefits have you received from attending FTTA-OL and what are some highlights of your experience?

Through attending FTTA-OL there has been more light, more life, and more fellowship with the Lord and with those placed together in the same “class”. The materials are bite-sized with quizzes and fellowship questions that bring forth a more “active learning” environment. I have treasured all the fellowship we’ve had over the readings with my fellow classmates and also have enjoyed hearing our weekly prophesying as part of our class assignments. Finally, one helpful tool with FTTA-OL is the need to present a crystallized sentence of the past week’s lesson. This truly produces something that becomes a source of long-term nourishment.

What are some challenges you have encountered in attending FTTA-OL and how did you overcome them (or not)?

At times the assignments and deadlines to submit were challenges amidst a busy schedule with service life, church life, family life, etc. But being grouped with other brothers and sisters in classes helps to encourage the “running of the race” with endurance together. Though many submissions were at the last hour, before time was up (or sometimes time did run out), it was always a healthy way to ensure a solid deposit of the Word and that the truth was gained in a weekly way.

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