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Leadership Resources - Missions and Expository Preaching Blog

Welcome to the Leadership Resources blog!

Leadership Resources longs to see the Word of God flow mightily in every church and every nation. That’s why we train pastors to preach God’s Word with God’s heart around the world.

This blog exists for two purposes:

  1. To equip and encourage pastors and churches to understand Scripture and faithfully minister it in all areas of their lives and ministries.
  2. To tell the stories of God’s work in the United States and around the world through our programs training in expository preaching (Fellowship of the Word in the US and Training National Trainers abroad).

If you’re new to the LRI blog, the list of posts below will catch you up on the great content you have missed.

You can subscribe to our blog through the widget on the right or subscribe to our Fuse Line eNewsletter to receive a monthly roundup.

Bible Study and Discipleship

Expository Preaching and Preachers

The Heart of Expository Preaching: Who’s in the driver’s seat of your church?

Interview with David Jackman on Expository Preaching, Gospel Ministry, and Scripture’s Authorial Intent

Pastors as Trainers (2 Timothy 2:2)

Missions and Mission Strategy

Stories of God’s Work in the Field (see where we serve)

Testimonials / Endorsements

Learn about joining our Fellowship of the Word program or about how your church can have a global impact partnering with Leadership Resources to equip pastors to teach God’s Word with God’s heart.

Moving Toward Christ-Centered Preaching in Ecuador

This story of God’s work through LRI’s ministry in Ecuador originally appeared on The Gospel Coalition.


“This is truly a miracle,” said the group of church leaders, pastors, and spouses in Ecuador. The opportunity to receive expository preaching training had helped them cross denominational lines.

As an international trainer for Leadership Resources International (LRI), I witnessed a gathering in May that fostered Christian unity among believers from churches in Portoviejo, Ecuador. A ministry that equips and encourages pastors around the world, LRI gathered 25 ministers for instruction on how to proclaim and apply the gospel with greater skill.

Although 94 percent of Ecuadorians claim Christianity, only 8 percent are evangelical. Portoviejo—less than 20 miles from Ecuador’s Pacific coast—is no exception. Even with many churches in this tranquil city of about 225,000 people, the state of the pulpit is far from ideal.

The widespread lack of expository preaching has resulted in legalism, with certain doctrines being overemphasized at the expense of others. Moreover, pastors and churches have remained isolated from one another due to denominational and theological differences.

Vision for the City

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Alexander (far left) and Oscar Paul (far right) with their spouses.

The training event in May followed years of prayer from Alexander and Oscar Paul, two key church leaders in Portoviejo. These next-door neighbors and intimate friends serve as co-pastors in a church and colleagues at a local seminary.

Both have been trained in biblical exposition through LRI’s Training National Trainers (TNT) program the past three years. TNT invests in a small group of national pastors through two-week training sessions held annually for four years. As pastors receive training, they then instruct other pastors.

Alexander and Oscar Paul have already trained pastors in various parts of Ecuador. Seeing firsthand the fruit of their training, they desired to lead interactive workshops in Portoviejo to equip local pastors and churches to faithfully preach God’s Word with clarity and power. By offering TNT training to many churches in their city, they sought to engender greater unity—for the wider spread of the gospel.

Major Stumbling Block

One obstacle stood in their way, however: local leaders had no incentive to attend. To an outside observer, TNT appears to be just another Bible study. I’ve observed people often need to taste the riches of the Word opened up in this program before deciding to invest their time.

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Six months ahead of the training, Patricio (LRI’s director in Latin America), Alexander, Oscar Paul, and I brainstormed how to attract pastors to the event. One idea was to provide something not easily available in Portoviejo or much of Latin America: books soaked in Scripture and solid in theology.

We perused titles of books available through TGC International Outreach’s Packing Hope before choosing Christopher Ash’s The Priority of Preaching. The book argues for the authority and sufficiency of the preached Word and unpacks seven blessings of expository preaching. Since it offered a perfect supplement to the training, we hoped the book would draw the interest of pastors and lead them to attend.

IMG_4122From Skepticism to Excitement

Many church leaders approached the training apprehensively, unsure what to expect. One pastor’s wife, who attended in her husband’s absence, announced her skepticism: “I have no problem leaving early if this isn’t worth my time.” The trainers encouraged her and others to let God’s Word speak to them during the gathering.

Over the next three days, attendees learned the basis of expository preaching and biblical theology as they studied the book of Ruth. The clear unfolding of Scripture proved an enlightening and enriching method that shaped convictions toward a more Christ-centered preaching model.

IMG_4119 As the training drew to a close, that skeptical wife expressed eager excitement to share the training with her husband. For the sake of other pastors, participants requested another training session, which has been planned.

The group of believers from diverse denominations left with full hearts and minds, having gained practical tools to more faithfully proclaim God’s Word. And in their hands they each carried one great book to further shape their ministry.

Join us in praying that the Word of God would spread widely and powerfully through more unified churches in Portoviejo and throughout Ecuador.

Learn more about our ministry in Ecuador:

Complete Audio from The Trellis & Vine Talk Podcast

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A few years ago, our friends Tony Payne, Colin Marshall, and friends hosted a podcast called Trellis & Vine Talk, coinciding with the release of their influential book on church ministry The Trellis and the Vine. This podcast unpacks the major themes in the book and goes deeper in talking about implementation.

Below you will find the nine episodes embedded for your listening convenience. You may also be interested in audio/video from the Re:Growth Conference that shared what Tony and Colin have learned in the five years since T&V debuted.

Leadership Resources and Matthias Media (the publisher of The Trellis and the Vine) are partnering together to foster an expositional mindset in pastors and churches. Learn more about our work.

You can download the audio by right clicking (audio) and saving the file to your computer.

1. Not about small groups (audio)

2. Who is Your Sheep? (audio)

3. Are Evangelistic Events Worth it? (audio)

4. All About Small Groups (audio)

5. Disciple-Making a Mental Virus (audio)

6. Discipleship Teams (audio)

7. Common and Uncommon Preaching (audio)

8. Sunday Sermons: Necessary, but Not Sufficient (audio)

9. Church Planting and Personal Discipleship (audio)

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