Growth Under Pressure60 preachers clubs underway in Francophone Africa
Jonathan Lamb, Langham Preaching
There’s no doubt that it is one of the most under-resourced and demanding areas for Christian witness in the world. Some 196 million people live in the 24 countries that make up Francophone Africa. Despite the fact that this region is often neglected in terms of the global commitment to mission and resource deployment, God is at work – there is substantial growth in the Christian community, courageous Christian witness, sacrificial leadership, new efforts in training, and compassionate identification with the needs of communities impacted by AIDs, poor health care, or poverty.
So in this mixed situation – the rapid growth of the church, set in a demanding social, economic and religious context – the need for partnerships that strengthen the church and provide strategic investment of training and resources is paramount. For Langham Partnership this means there is need for good training for preachers, for literature to assist pastors and theological students, and for strengthening capacity in theological education in the region.
|Christophe Sadiki, Muhindo Isesomo, Stephane Makata, DRC|
Langham Preaching coordinators from several Francophone countries have just met, joined by those coordinators from English-speaking African contexts where the work has reached the stage of equipping teams of local trainers. Positive plans were made for the development of local training initiatives in each country, equipping small teams of facilitators, running basic preaching training in new towns and villages, and taking preaching modules in local seminaries. Despite economic pressure, there is positive local commitment to help support the work – churches provide food for participants, and local trainers are encouraging pastors to pay their own costs wherever possible.
Christophe Sadiki teaches in a seminary in DRC. He has been involved in the Langham Preaching training in Congo for the last few years, and is now taking the material and teaching students in the seminary. Christophe writes that, following his return from the Consultation, ‘I have facilitated two level 1 seminars, each for 24 people. The first was in Kiswahili and brought together 24 evangelists from several local churches, and the second in French made up of 24 students from the Anglican University of Congo. On Thursday 26 April I have been allowed by the governing body of the Shalom University to talk about the work of Langham Preaching’.
Across Francophone Africa over 60 small preachers clubs are meeting, encouraging pastors and lay preachers to faithfully expound the Bible and speak to the needs of their context. So much more could be done if finances permitted, but what was so impressive amongst the leaders from the region was a determination to grow the work, equip more preachers, strengthen local support and trust the Lord for his provision.
country coordinator, Benin
country coordinator, Burundi
country coordinator, Rwanda