On Thursday, Graham and I, along with 10 Zambian church leaders (mostly compound pastors) started a new discipleship program. Over the next year, Graham and I will be leading this group through some material focused on Deepening Our Intimacy With God.
The first meeting went really well. We did the normal introductions, introduced the material and then tried to memorize a verse from scripture. Everyone seemed to be really excited about what God is going to teach us as a group. Our desire is that the pastors attending this discipleship program will take what they learn and start similar discipleship programs in their own churches.
One of the biggest needs in the church here is discipleship. In most compound churches, the pastors have no more than the equivalent of a 7th grade education, coupled with little to no theological training, which is the case of most of the pastors in our discipleship program. Imagine having only a 7th grade education, no theological training, struggling to read English (in some cases) and overseeing congregations where 70-80% of the members cannot read and therefore are unable to learn from God's word unless taught by someone else. Now, you can somewhat understand what these men are up against.
Please pray for this group. Pray that God would use this program for His glory and for the benefit of these men and their churches. Pray for the daily physical provisions of these pastors. Many of these men struggle to provide for their own families, much less their churches physical needs. Pray for Graham and I. Pray that we would be sensitive to culture, and would lead in a way that equips these men for effective ministry.