Do pastors around the world really need training?
Our primary focus is training pastors to know the Bible and be able to minister to their people. We do this through modular training of pastors on the field, and we hope to do it in a few years through a residential academy.
As I talk to others about going across the globe to train pastors, I sometimes encounter skepticism. While this skepticism takes many different forms, one prominent objection is that pastors don’t need training. Many of my fellow Kentucky Baptists remember good pastors who had no formal training. They never went to Bible college or seminary, but they were used powerfully by God.
Why then spend so much time and money on something so unnecessary? Let me give two reasons.
1. Pastors themselves know they need training. This objection to pastor training usually comes from lay people. Pastors themselves know their inadequacy for the task and their great need for training, whether formal or informal. No good pastor has ever said, “Well, I know everything there is to know about the Bible or how to care for the flock of God.” Pastors crave training, and even those untrained pastors that I have spoken to in the US confess that they would have taken advantage of training had it been available to them.Pastors themselves know their inadequacy for the task and their great need for training. Click To Tweet
2. Pastors around the world are saved out of non-Christian cultures. As we think of the untrained pastors we know about, we will note that they often grew up in church, became familiar with the Bible as a child, or at least lived in a culture that held to some basic Christian beliefs. Pastors around the world do not have these advantages. These men grew up with different religious backgrounds. Children in Christian homes possess more biblical knowledge than some pastors. Therefore, they are in great danger of syncretism—the mixture of religious beliefs. For example, it is not uncommon for cultures that worship multiple gods to accept Jesus as another god. They do this because if fits within their view of the world. Pastor training is necessary to ensure that pastors understand and teach the biblical view of the world and do not drift into heresy.Children in Christian homes possess more biblical knowledge than some pastors. Click To Tweet
I’ve benefitted from the gift of training available in my home church and at the seminary I have attended, and therefore I know firsthand the blessing that it is. That is a gift that we must not keep to ourselves but share with the world.