Pastors in Mongolia have a desire to serve God but lack training and have limited resources. In April this year, 30 pastors began Langham Preaching training with a hunger to know how to preach God’s Word well. This is the second cohort as 25 people have already completed three years of Langham training.
Apart from pastoring churches, attendees are involved in outreach to alcoholics, Bible translation, writing worship songs, and many other ministries across the nation. Half of this group came from rural areas, some traveling by bus for 30 hours to attend. They were especially invited so that preaching clubs can be established across the country to spread commitment to biblical preaching.
Mongolians love to ask questions, offer ideas, argue and laugh together. The training sessions were lively and interactive. At the end of the week, many people shared that they planned to return to their churches and share what they had learned with other pastors, preachers and teachers.
One attendee said: “This is the first time I have learned what preaching is and how to do it correctly!”
The ministry of Langham is headed up by local pastors Bayar and Puje. Bayar is currently serving with the United Bible Societies producing the first Mongolian Bible translated from the original languages. Puje was one of the first converts in Mongolia after the end of Communism in 1990.
Apart from pastoring a church, and teaching younger pastors, he also writes many of the songs being sung in Mongolian churches. Together they facilitate Langham workshops, organise and support the preaching clubs, and encourage those trained to train others in their church networks.
Mongolian church reborn
The church in Mongolia is young, having been reborn after the democratic revolution in 1990. So almost all church leaders are first generation believers and relatively young. Many pastors have to support themselves financially with a second job. There are few Bible study tools in Mongolian and the current Bible is a translation from English.
Despite these pressures and limitations, most pastors have a good foundation in the truth, a desire to learn and a commitment to evangelism and missions. As a result the church has grown rapidly and currently there are about 600 churches and 400 pastors in Mongolia.
However, in the last few years church growth has slowed as prosperity has increased. And unhelpful trends and teachings from overseas are starting to influence some churches.
Confidence in God’s Word
In this context, Langham Preaching is working to help establish strong foundations for the future. We are encouraging a confidence in the Word of God and modelling good Bible study and preaching practices. Even with limited resources, pastors will be able to strengthen their ability to discern error and stand firm.
The next training is planned for April 2019. Chris Wright has been invited to facilitate this with a focus on the Old Testament. Plans are also in place to have his book “Sweeter than Honey” translated into Mongolian in time for this visit.
Please pray for:
- The leadership of Bayar and Puje in Langham and in the wider church.
- All those who have attended training workshops that they will use what they have learned and will continue to attend preaching clubs to keep learning and growing.
- The translation of the Bible into Mongolian and for the translation and publication of “Sweeter than Honey” in time for the training next year.
Article by Philip Nicholson, Langham Preaching’s Regional Coordinator for East Asia.