Meg and I have been privileged to be engaged in the work of ministry leadership development through training programs in the Africa church over the last 23 years. We have directed pastoral leadership training in both residential and extension school formats at the church planter training–level and diploma-level in the countries of Zimbabwe, Burundi and Madagascar. We feel this level of training is vital to the growth of the church as new churches are planted and disciples are trained and multiplied for ongoing harvest.
I have also helped direct pastoral leadership training at the degree-level, MA-level and at the doctoral-level through East Africa School of Theology, Global University and Pan-Africa Theological Seminary. We believe that this level of training is essential for developing the kinds of leaders necessary for the higher–level leadership and training ministries of the African Church. All these levels of training are making a difference in Africa and are necessary if we are to have ongoing success in the harvest on the continent.
The investment we make as trainers into developing pastors and spiritual leaders in Africa is truly worth it. I love teaching and building mentoring relationships with students on all training levels. But one of my great joys and passions is in developing training models and designing training programs and delivery systems that can achieve the current and future training needs of the African Church. While serving as the Academic Dean and principal of East Africa School of Theology (now called KAG EAST University,) God helped us to re-envision some programs of study and delivery systems that enabled the school to go from a negative growth pattern to doubling in size in two years. Now, through the leadership of Jeff Nelson and Steve Pennington, EAST has become a government accredited University in Kenya. I also had the great privilege of helping to create, design, and implement the doctoral training programs of Pan-Africa Theological Seminary.
I believe our vision for training in Africa must become more strategic. We must envision and anticipate the training requirements necessary to facilitate the future growth of the African Church, 10 to 15 years in advance. We must work together with our national church leaders to design training programs that will build their capacity for fulfilling their vision by preparing the kind of pastors and the numbers of workers needed to achieve these goals. Then we can establish visionary training priorities and objectives, determine appropriate programs and delivery systems, and implement the specific curriculum needed that will produce the desired results or outcomes.
As trainers in Africa, we truly have the tremendous opportunity of influencing the future of Africa’s full participation in the mission of God through establishing effective training programs. May God grant us the wisdom and vision to boldly engage the future of training in Africa through the power of the Holy Spirit.