Recently, a group of Senegalese, Liberian and Ivorian pastors and Christian workers, whose hearts God had burdened to take his Word more effectively to fellow Africans, let it be known that they wanted help with this outreach. New Tribes Mission (NTM) is more than happy to be involved.
Some of the participants, both trainers and trainees, had come to trust Christ as Saviour through the ministry of NTM missionaries. They subsequently were discipled and are engaged in gospel and pastoral ministry.
As a result, an exciting project is now under way to give these mature believers cross-cultural training as church planters. The introductory course started with a series of sessions, which lasted for four weeks, starting at 9.00am and continuing until 4.00pm, from Monday to Friday.
Teachers include both Africans and expat missionaries. One of the instructors, NTM missionary Joel McMartin, writes that often students were asking questions and holding discussions late into the night, long after classes ended.
‘They have been challenged with new paradigms of church planting and ministry. Many of them have gained a new understanding and appreciation for cross-cultural ministry’, Joel says.
Jean, an African, came to Christ and subsequently ministered faithfully as a pastor for years, without having the advantage of being formally trained. Later, his ministry opportunities were increased when he was able to take a three-year Bible training programme.
Jean and Sylvie both feel that NTM is uniquely equipped to train them effectively to fulfil this ministry goal of reaching lost people waiting to hear the message of the gospel.
They are now learning from experienced NTM teachers, who have an extensive experience in ministering to unreached people groups. This will be an ongoing programme, although in future it will probably meet less regularly.