Pastor training International
Can you imagine how your Christian life would develop if your pastor had never been trained for church ministry, had few or no books, and was unable to access biblical helps on the internet? Yet this situation faces many pastors and congregations in developing countries today.
Gold and hot cake
When such needy pastors are given Christian books, here are examples of their responses: ‘The books you sent me are like gold and hot cake. I look forward to the time when each man that I train will have their own library to make it easy for them to study lessons and sermons’.
‘I am dumbfounded with the books you sent to me. I am more equipped than before I read, and share with Christians being a church leader’.
‘I can’t express my feelings and appreciation for the gift you sent me. It has changed my life entirely’.
These words from Zambia, Malawi and Ghana are typical of hundreds of pastors who received books from PTI during the past year. Most days bring letters from Africa and Asia telling of help received and changes in preaching and pastoral ministry. The spiritual hunger is amazing.A pastor from Tanzania recently wrote: ‘Please, I beg of you if possible to send me some more books for I have some other future leaders and pastors who are to learn much from those books’.
As they get to know us, pastors feel able to write for advice about the Scriptures and pastoral problems. What a responsibility before God it is, and a joy, for our growing team of ‘distance mentors’ to deal with these. But how much grace and wisdom we need from the Lord!
Christian publishers are generous in making books available at considerable discounts. We are grateful for their help and fellowship in seeking to strengthen the cause of Christ in the developing world.
In addition to disseminating books, PTI conducts training conferences in response to invitations from national pastors or missionaries. About 100 attend each conference and are given carefully selected book sets. A year or so later, PTI returns to provide further instruction and help.A pastor from a rural setting in north east Zambia wrote recently: ‘It is through your books and the Kasama conferences that has helped me to know about leadership and how to choose leaders of the church. The two conferences have brought great change to me and the ministry too’.During 2007 conference ministry is planned for Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. The teaching programme is primarily in the hands of men from the UK who share the doctrinal convictions of PTI. Increasingly, however, African church leaders are being drawn into these leadership responsibilities.