Thursday, February 27, 2014

Theology Simplified for the village pastors

Whenever i travel in my mission trips among the nomadic communities up in northern kenya, am amazed at how enthusiastic pastors and other leaders are in teaching their people what it means to follow and obediently serve their saviour. What does it look to teach people what you barely know? This is a reality here in Kenya. Its more real in the bush where you don't get to see alot of written materials.

In the month of January we gathered together approximately 40 church leaders for a time of training and equipment. We were set to begin a six month training program on 40 church leaders. Majority of them dont own their own Bible. They often share one bible for three pastors. We are not distracted as we do the training. They all want to ask questions- its basically theology in the village. We don't use a lot of big terms in our discussions- we aim to make it their level. Can you imagine a pastor who has never gone to any school, doing  chronological Bible story telling?

To bring theology into the nomads is to take them back to the early years when as shepherds they gladly shared with others about the amazing birth of their shepherd in a small unrecognised and not very popular village. And am back in nomad village meeting the shepherds and retelling the story of their saviour. Its the same old story that they did once told and now they are just reminded.

The pastors come from different backgrounds, education, status- but being shepherds is the common element. Without this trainings where they are placed, they would struggle to say what the Bible teaches, but now we can see them asking questions and being amazed at how deep the scriptures are. Let them have enough Bible in their own hand- If they have God's word in a plain language-they understand God just as he appeared to them.

Its uncommon in urban areas to have a pastor without any training leading or doing preachings. Without training they are not capable to teach basic doctrines. Its not that they want to distort the word of God, but circumstances makes it easy. We can help them lead their people and churches into flourishing and well discipled churches. I see the future for the nomadic communities- with this type of training taken across villages, they will begin to teach and rebuke in love. How can they know unless they are taught?

The villages will experience growth as the we provide the pastors with basic skills to effectively communicate the truths of God. I remember my professor few years back at seminary telling us that the biggest sin a minister can do is to mishandle the word of God. So unintetionally these pastors due to lack of skills in discipleship, evangelism and discipleship are so close to mishandle. Its for these reasons that theology in the village was birth- to recall the shepherds from these nomads into their rightfull roles and effectively handle the truth of God's word. We dream to see theology in the village touching and transfroming not just the village but the villages who include the pastors themselves. We need materials and resources to let theology saturate the village. I