A Pastor’s Nightmare
As the pastor arrives at church on Sunday morning,
he senses that something is dreadfully wrong. In sudden spasm of humiliating insight, he realizes that…
a. He supposed to preach, but he hasn’t prepared
b. He forgot his Bible and all of his notes
c. He forgot to put his pants on
d. All of the above
Most pastors in the world feel naked in the pulpit. They know they must speak, but they feel woefully unprepared. They lack confidence in their ability to faithful teach God’s Word.
Here’s the root problem: most pastors have never had the opportunity to attend a seminary or Bible school…and they never will. They’ve got 6 kids…they’re 50 years old…they’re not educated enough…and, they can’t afford it. Besides, pastors in the jungle or mountains or slums simply live too far away.
Of the estimated 3.5 million pastors in the world, 85% or more have little or no formal Bible training*.
Home Town Delivery
Leadership Resources (LRI) brings the Bible training to them – not buildings and chairs, but teaching and resources. We’re a Bible school on wheels, but with training that is highly targeted – focusing on the Word of God and the heart of God.
These pastors may be uneducated, but they’re not stupid. They simply haven’t had the opportunities that we in the West have had. Often they are people of prayer, full of faith and courage. Many could teach us about endurance in the face of hardship. All are serving their people the best way they know how.
Yet so many feel wholly inadequate, painfully aware that they haven’t been equipped to teach God’s Word and to shepherd God’s people. Pastoring a church well is tough anywhere, but nearly impossible for these untrained men and women.
These under-resourced pastors of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union grip our hearts. Our team keeps praying and asking: “how can we best serve them?”
A huge problem, but not an impossible one
TNT – Training National Trainers – is a field-tested strategy to meet the pastoral training needs of the global church.
We select small groups of gifted church leaders (“men of influence”) who then train others as well. We equip these TNTers over the course of four years. Twice a year, we travel to their area for a week of in-depth training. These pastors (the 1st generation), in turn, commit to pass on the training to other groups of pastors and church leaders, a 2nd generation.
Since 2001, TNT has enabled Leadership Resources to achieve both depth – through an ongoing mentoring strategy – and breadth – through a “large numbers” multiplication strategy.
TNT has proven itself across different cultures, including those places where the Church is a small minority surrounded by dominant ideologies such as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, animism, or communism.
* So where’d we come up with the claim that “of 3.5 million pastors worldwide, 85% have had little or no formal Bible training”? Of course, they’re only rough estimates, but based on the best-available data provided by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and their annual snapshot of Global Christianity, the continuing research of the US Center for World Mission, the School of Cross-Cultural Studies (Fuller Theological Seminary), Operation World, and TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition) surveys in several regions of the world.
“The training helps to avoid heresies and focus on the Word…” Francis’s Story
Join us in strengthening God’s church around the world.
There are many ways to become involved: