“A certain sense of fulfillment came to me when I realized I was a small tool God used to impact the lives of men who are ministering to people I would never have made contact with otherwise.”
Dr. Richard Bargas is Executive Director of IFCA International, an association of like-minded individuals, churches, and organizations of which Calvary University has been a long-time member. Before his current leadership position with IFCA, he was involved in pastoral ministries in Southern California for over 25 years. He also trained men in seminary for over 12 years while balancing his role as pastor of his church. Richard’s experience of being in the academic world and the church has brought him to the firm belief that the church needs the academy, and the academy needs the church. He states: “Theology used to be considered the ‘queen of the sciences,’ and the clergy used to be among the most educated people in society. For various reasons, this is no longer the case, but I still believe that the Church is best served by well-trained ministers who love God and their neighbor.”
Dr. Richard Bargas’ ministry was especially impactful through his discipleship of young men. As a pastor, he recognized that many churches are weakest when they do not have a plan to develop future leaders within the church: “This also extends into the home where fathers are unaware of how to lead their homes, and young men often need help in transitioning from being boys to men in a way that is reflected in Scripture and not simply in our culture.” During his discipleship ministry, Richard trained men to be preachers, leaders, elders, missionaries, and church planters: “I believe that this sort of training within the church is necessary to fulfill what Christ says when He gave us the Great Commission to not only bring people to the knowledge of saving faith but to teach them all that He commanded.”
His ministry has made a powerful impact in his personal life, too. Several weeks ago he made a trip to California for ministry and experienced a “joy-filled time” hearing how God had been greatly working in the lives of his brothers and sisters in the faith. He reflects: “My heart rejoiced as I heard the evidence of God’s continued work of grace in their testimonies. We felt like we were back home again and we could have stepped right back into that ministry because our hearts were knit together through the gospel and the shared ministry of serving Jesus together.”
In addition to his service in the local church, he has had the privilege of working with seminary students for years, watching God take them all over the United States and the world: “A certain sense of fulfillment came to me when I realized I was a small tool God used to impact the lives of men who are ministering to people I would never have made contact with otherwise.” He goes on to say that his ministry with IFCA has changed many of these opportunities, but in many ways, it has also expanded them: “Whereas I impacted a limited number of people in a single church, I am now afforded the opportunity to lead and encourage thousands of churches and Christian workers all over the world.” Truly appreciative of Richard’s long-time service in ministry, Calvary University is thrilled to have him empower and encourage graduating students at this year’s commencement ceremony.
Richard has been an outstanding man of ministry, both in the local church, and as Executive Director of IFCA International.