International Pastoral Training – A good start to the New Year!
“Happy New Year Dr King!!” It was a joy to be gathering again after a Christmas break. It was evening for Dr Jonathan King, FDM’s International pastoral training Director, and 7am in the morning for these pastors from Southern India. Despite the 12 hour time difference, they have been gathering faithfully for months over Zoom calls studying FDM’s materials on discipleship, and are now on the 3rd workbook, ‘Marriage is a ministry’. There are about 25 pastors from different parts from all across the state gathered in this weekly call which always begins with a worship song in Tamil, a southern Indian language.
The students at Maranatha Ministry Bible College (MMBC) are also going through the marriage workbook. This time it is 6.30am in the morning for Dr King, and he has a Swahili translator. FDM’s courses are part of the program at this Tanzanian Bible College, where students graduate with accredited degrees. This is Dr King’s third semester teaching at MMBC and the students attest to how helpful it is to have a qualified lecturer who is able to clarify theological concepts for them.
These are 2 examples of the many classes taught by Dr King. The need for an international pastoral training director at FDM came about organically, as more and more people requested for training on FDM’s materials, and mentorship as they taught these to others. In the majority world context, access to sound theological teaching is often challenging. Very often, people moved by the Spirit upon hearing the gospel quickly come to the faith, but then are not taught to mature in the faith. They do not understand that being a Christian affects every part of their lives, especially their marriages and parenting. Not knowing how to live new lives as Christians, they continue to lean upon their own understanding, culture or traditions. This is true of Pastors as well. There is also a lack of Christian material in their own language. And so, it is an answer to prayer for these pastors in India and Africa to receive this training. Having translators and workbooks in their own languages has also made these classes accessible to non-English speaking audiences, where the need for good teaching is the greatest. Please join us in praying for Dr King’s teaching and mentorship to continue to bear fruit in the lives of these Christian leaders in Africa and India!