Just finished a wonderful time with my dear friend Philemon over food and coffee. We talked much of family and personal issues but quickly began to talk about the world of missions and the needs out there. Philemon is part of the Training Leaders International and is traveling extensively throughout the world in the course of his job. In every point of the conversation we reflected on the critical situation throughout the world for theologically trained pastors. What is needed to get into the unreached areas? Theologically trained pastor are needed. What is needed to strengthen weak denominations and churches in barely reached areas? Theologically trained pastor are needed. What is needed in countries with long-standing churches to further the work of the gospel? Theologically trained pastor are needed.
He was recently in Douala, Cameroon with a team I of which I was to be part. They taught in a Pentecostal seminary where on day one the question was raised by the students, why do we need to learn how to study the bible, the Spirit will tell us what it means. By day two they were hungrily learning what they had never been taught before and by the week’s end they were convinced that they must master the Word of God. Another team goes out in August, Lord willing I will be part of it. One of the leaders of the seminary took the class as well, at the end he stood and testified that Pentecostals are too loud and that they all need to learn to be quiet and hear and see what the Word of God actually says. Think of the difference just one course of theology has begun to create in a group of people preparing to pastor God’s people.
The gospel in God’s means to save people, but it is the unapologetic proclamation of the Word that grows them in respect to their salvation. Untrained, poorly trained pastors simply can’t do that. Here is a 31 day prayer map to consider using. And if you do, pray that God will bring training to the pastors that they might be able to teach the people.
I am thankful for a church that understands this actually, but it is a good read regardless.
A relative said to me, “It must be great to only have to work one hour a week on Sundays.” I replied, “Do you know what’s better? Olympic sprinters only have to work for 9.6 seconds or so, every four years!”
Most congregants don’t realize the preparation that goes into a solid expository sermon. A common sigh among those in the fulltime teaching ministry– those who are faithful to prepare expository sermons– is how little time is left over for the variegated pastoral responsibilities clamoring for attention.
From counseling to corresponding, premarital sessions to divorce prevention, from house visits to hospital visits, from baptism to burials, the pastor is present in every facet of life from the cradle to the grave. What an honor. What a joy. And what a load to bear.
My dear friend Philemon Yong over at TLI’s site wrote an excellent article on why Bible translation is insufficient on its own. Worth the read.
The work of Bible translators around the world is to be applauded. The Bible has been translated into many different languages and as a result, people in their tribes have the Bible in their mother tongue. It is a beautiful thing, for a grandmother, who cannot read, to have a book in her house and have someone read it to her in her own dialect. There is no doubt that this brings them closer to the word of God and creates an even greater interest in seeking to hear more of it. So, the work of Bible translation is to be applauded and encouraged at all costs.