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Equipping the church

April 2017 | by Stephen Sharpe

There have been too many sightings of the African pastor’s ‘12-inch bookshelf’ for it to be dismissed as mythological! But do we prosperous, northern hemisphere Christians treat it as if it is?

When you have to prepare a sermon or Bible study on a scriptural passage in, say, Philippians, which commentator do you turn to first on your bookshelf? Is it Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Alec Motyer, Wayne Detzler, William Hendriksen, John Gwyn Thomas or Sinclair Ferguson? Your African counterpart may well not have a single volume to refer to!

Christian Resources for Developing Countries is addressing this book poverty of African pastors and believers, by providing sound, conservative evangelical literature to our brothers in the ministry at highly discounted prices.

For example, last year we provided 30 copies of Preaching pure and simple, by Stuart Olyott, to graduates from a Bible college in Kampala. And, of course, they need help in addressing the many pastoral issues that come their way.

Faithful ministry

In January 2016 we sent out nearly 3000 books to Uganda for distribution and 2000 have been sent this year. During 2017, as funds permit, we hope to send out smaller parcels to pastors. Please pray that these will equip and be a means of blessing to pastors, students and the man in the street.

Listen to the plea of a ministerial brother in Uganda: ‘The church here greatly needs to raise a generation of church leaders who are discipled into the faithful handling of God’s Word. The church in Uganda and other parts of the world has opportunity to change society, but is the church equipped for this role?

‘Please pray for resources to help our team take on this open door, to do refresher training on faithful Bible handling for all pastors and lay readers. Pray also that we will be able to reach students in the universities and tertiary institutions here’.

In the spirit of ‘he that hath two coats, let him impart to him that has none’, will you or your church help us address their needs? If you are downsizing your library or have surplus Bibles, or can help in other ways, please let us know ([email protected] or Christian Resources for Developing Countries, Arisaig, Crowborough Hill, Crowborough, TN6 2EA).

Stephen Sharpe

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Africa