Helping churches to resist false gospels and grow toward health is a long, slow work that requires patience. It is not a work accomplished through grand or easy solutions.
Yet, despite what often feels like a lack of banner headlines, I think it is the most important work in the world today. Not only are unhealthy churches damaging to the believers gathered in them, they also hinder the spread of the true gospel to the unreached peoples in the world.
But the lives we are investing in — the young men who are growing in their understanding of sound doctrine — are the tools in the hands of the Lord to accomplish his work for his glory.
I continue to teach and mentor our five college students. It has been a great joy teaching Christian Doctrine I so far this semester, and I must confess that I have learned so much about God’s attributes myself while teaching through them. Students are currently preparing doctrinal sermons to apply what they are learning to a local church context.
Since we have seen such success with our first college class, we decided to open up enrollment in our 1-week intensives in 2024 to anyone in Malawi who wants to join. Starting in April 2024, students may take our courses for either undergraduate or seminary credit through Spurgeon College and Midwestern Seminary. Pray as we promote the program among like-minded churches and select qualified students to study Baptist History and Ecclesiology with me in April.
The new year of Shepherds Academy is well underway at this point. Due to the economic conditions in Malawi, we only have 15 students this year, but the faculty and staff have noted a greater level of maturity among those that God has brought us.
We are especially excited about our growing team of faculty and staff. In addition to myself and Isaac Dzimbiri, we have added Pastor Maya Kuthyola, a Zomba pastor who is completing his DMin at Midwestern Seminary. We also have Susan Dzimbiri teaching Chichewa Grammar and Syntax. Shepherds Academy graduate Owen Kachumba joins Patrick Matope this year to direct student discipleship and ministry.
Additionally, we were blessed this week to be joined by our colleagues from the IMB, Chris and Jamie Schilt, who serve in Lilongwe. Chris encouraged us with his chapel messages.
We have been blessed to partner with many committed sponsors through the years to fund Shepherds Academy. This year we remain with 7 students needing sponsorship at $40/month or $480/year. You can give to student sponsorship here.