After a pastor attends a bible training program, what happens next? Is he able to use the materials and teaching he was given? Will he be able to pass on what he has learned effectively to his congregation? How will those he teaches continue to grow when he is absent?
One Challenge worker Jeff, living in Guatemala, tells of one pastor’s experience…
“Gaspar shared that the books he received in the SEPAL* Bible training program continue to serve as a reference, and the results are showing up in the churches. I asked how the churches were being affected. He shared that the practice of church discipline had changed. It used to be that the person the church put under discipline was an expression of condemnation. They were not allowed to read the Bible during their period of discipline. If they came to church, they had to sit in the last pew. But the believers have learned that this was wrong. They still practice church discipline with persons who have sinned in one way or another, but now other church members visit them, and the leaders counsel them.”
“I mentioned that I was very tired from a ministry trip, and Gaspar said that he was also getting strength back after a ministry trip. He is visiting a village three hours from his home and spending five days each month with the people there. I asked to hear how this had come about.”
Sharing the Word by Visits
“A year ago a brother shared that this village had just one family who were believers, and Gaspar sensed God’s leading to visit them. This couple welcomed him and offered to provide his food when he visited. Gaspar puts money aside for bus fare. During his monthly visits he has seen 12 people accept Christ. I asked him how this came about.”
“He recounted that he would visit house to house each time he visited, and the people were glad for a visit each month. They would ask him questions about the gospel. He said that they believed in God and that Jesus had died on the cross, but did not know what they were to do. He talked to them about the need to repent of their sin, and the pardon and new life in Christ. Now the group of 14 believers meets together for prayer, worship, and a message when he is visiting.”
Hearing the Word by Audio Bible
“I asked if the folks have Bibles to learn from when he is not there. He said that few adults can read. I gave him one of the megavoice players with the recorded scripture in the their local Language. The village does not have electricity, so the solar rechargeable audio Bible provides them the opportunity to hear and learn when Gaspar is not there. They have demonstrated a disposition to ask questions of Gaspar. Pray that they will come to apply the oral learning method to the God’s word.”
Marilee and Jeff continue training Christian leaders to prepare others to know the God of Scripture through the oral inductive learning resulting in personal spiritual growth and an effective means for discipling others. To read more about what Jeff and Marilee do with oral inductive learning go to Storytelling in Guatemala
*SEPAL – this is how One Challenge is known in Latin America.