I changed things up a bit on Friday during our Bible School class and showed the students the beauty of Logos Bible Software. It is one thing to blow someone's mind showing them this amazing Bible software, but it is even more so when these someone's have rarely even used a computer before.
Most of them have no computer, no Ipod (though they are digging these MP3 players with sermons on them), no technical thing (except their cell phone) in all of the world. No Facebook, no email, no nothing. So as I showed them the ESV Greek Interlinear and I did the Englishman's Concordance and I showed them how I do a Bible Word Study, the murmuring increased. At one point, I said, "What? What are you talking about?" And they said, "We need this!" And I smiled and then said, "Well, this is the reason I almost didn't show this to you. Because you don't need this to be a good preacher. It is a resource to help you that we want to make available but 2/3rds of the world are good preachers and they don't have this program. But, we want to help you by making some computers and Logos Bible Software available so it can help aid your studying." They seemed a bit satisfied, but I should have warned them that coveting is a sin, even if it is for a Bible software program.
There is so much good that can come out of this type of Logos software, but it does come with a bit of caution. Most of them don't have electricity at their house. They could never own a computer let alone two or three. But, we can be a resource to them, a place to study and grow and learn so they can counter the culture and help equip their people to live the Word. (caution: rabbit trail ahead) We talk a lot about the Word, but we speak to through the cultural lense. One example of this is how week after week we hammer on humility, on servanthood and how being a pastor is purely a gift of God's grace. In Zambia, the pastor is "the man" and thus a lot of pastors seek this position for power or other ungodly reasons. We talk about what it means to model humility for the church and what effect that will have on not only the church, but the culture at large.
(O.K. Back on track...) So much of this begins with solid preaching of the Word of God. I taught them this past week that as pastors, they are responsible to equip the church for the good works to their community. But, if you don't preach, they won't be equipped. We talked about how preaching must be in love to build up the body in love so that they can love the hurting, the diseased, the poor and the sick in their communities.
So, then, to get them all fired up, I busted out a sermon video of Mark Driscoll preaching to a pastor's conference on the importance of preaching in a church. It was really great seeing these pastors really be challenged by this message, as evidenced by the "Amens" and "Uh-huhs!" that would spontaneously erupt for this preacher on the wall. They left built up and encouraged on Friday, as did I. It was interesting though, watching this sermon through the eyes of a Zambian. It is amazing how American Americans can be.. He used examples of facebook and blogging and emails (o.k. more than just American) and it was very not Zambian (at least the guys I am working with). And it is a total shift for me to have to not only learn Zambian customs and cultures but to be able to apply it to the scripture so it hits home. These are challenging days and I feel privileged to be able to be in this role. Thank you for your prayers.