March 08, 2013

South Asia: Equipping Church Leaders

Informal seminars are offering help to church leaders who otherwise would not have the chance to receive formal Biblical training.

  • Vital Training

    Church leaders from remote mountain villages got Biblical training that they otherwise might not have access to.

Many followers of Jesus in this part of South Asia have a problem. After they put their trust in the Savior, there is no one with Biblical expertise or training to provide them with spiritual guidance. A new movement among believers here seeks to meet that need by offering informal seminars in which church leaders can learn how to read, teach, and preach God's Word.

A TEAM missionary recently led a one-week seminar where a group of men learned the steps of interpreting and teaching parts of Paul's letter to the church at Phillippi. The seminar was taught in the Hindi language to men from such varied places as a big city in the region and small towns in the Himalayan Mountains.

One of the church leaders was Ajay*. He shares the good news of Jesus and cares for believers in house churches in a region where more than 200 million people live. Less than one percent of the families living there know Jesus. Ajay leads worship services in a variety of homes on different days of the week. He doesn't have a building large enough for all the people to gather who have come to know Jesus.

Another church leader was Sameer*, who lives in a town in a valley of the Himalayan Mountains. A congregation meets to worship Jesus in the home he shares with his brothers and their wives. During the week, Sameer runs an after-school tuition center where grade-school children from Buddhist and Hindu families have needs met like math, nutrition, and hearing about God's love through Jesus.

During the seminar, church leaders learned to find the main theme of a Bible passage and teach it to their congregation with clarifying illustrations and life-changing application. One participant was so excited about what he learned that he said he felt like he had completed three years worth of education in one week. The seminar also included times of worship and fellowship so that church leaders could encourage each other. Church leaders left feeling prepared to share God's Word in a region of the world where many have never heard the good news of Jesus.

-Written by a missionary in South Asia

*not their real names