Watching Transformation in Colombia
Seventy pastors gathered in Bucaramanga in April for a Level Three programme. Facilitator Jorge Atiencia is encouraged by what he sees developing: “These people are maturing in their preaching. They are placing more emphasis on the text, working harder at application as well as becoming clearer in their communication”. The church in Colombia needs such preachers. Like in so many countries they are struggling with allegorical and topical preaching, with nominalism and secularism, and with prosperity teaching and a lack of unity. The preached Word of God can, and does, transform these situations.
Dionisio Orjuela, Country Coordinator for Colombia, notes that there is a “growing number of churches and pastors who are immersed in the task of preaching. They value, receive, assimilate, and apply this teaching – and this is reflected in their growth, year by year, as Bible expositors.”
“This has been a turning point for their ministries,” says Dionisio. “They can no longer preach as they did three years ago. Their respect for the Word and their sense of responsibility as they preach has grown significantly.”
The preaching clubs, or escuelitas, are at the heart of this growth. One meets every Monday in Medellin – facilitated by Eliana Ortiz. People gather from four churches to study the text together and to prepare next Sunday’s sermon together. This has been happening for two years. They’ve worked through sections like the parables of Jesus together – and even the book of Revelation! The growth in each other is obvious and encouraging.