Chris Wright preaching, John Stott insert

eNews and prayer update February 2017

16 February 2017

Strengthening Theological Education in the Majority World

Theological education in the Majority World (MW) is growing fast. Churches are multiplying, and there is an urgent need for more trained teachers and pastors. There is also need for more teachers of teachers and pastors, especially teachers with biblical insight into the particular challenges of their local contexts.

The Langham International Research and Training Seminar was conceived in response to these needs. The Seminar is aimed at established teachers in MW seminaries. It encourages those who teach on doctoral programs to keep their own research and writing up to date, in order to be able to guide students working at the cutting-edge of their respective fields. The 12 participants who took part the first time the Seminar was run (2011-14) published 60 articles, chapters in books or books by the end of their 4-year program.

In June 2016, 10 participants of the second Langham International Research and Training Seminar met for their first, 4-week residency at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky, USA. Dr Ian Shaw explains what happened there: “The participants represented seminaries in Ethiopia, Brazil, India, Argentina, Nigeria, the Philippines, Romania, Singapore and Hong Kong, all of which have, or are about to have, a PhD program. The participating seminaries partnered with Langham by covering the travel and visa costs of their delegates. Asbury Seminary generously hosted the event, and members of their faculty took part in the training events.

Each participant is working towards publishing a book and two journal articles by the end of the 4-year program. But not just that ambitious end result is significant. The whole experience is significant: during the residency, members work and worship together as a scholarly community. They form a support network.

Each day starts with communal worship. There are many opportunities for fellowship, friendship and mutual pastoral care. When ten leading Christian teachers from such different cultures meet together in this way there are rich opportunities for transformational cross-cultural learning.” Two further residencies are planned, for 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The topics researched by participants in this Seminar are diverse: the NT teaching about persecution of Christians; coping with trauma, based on examples in the OT; looking at scarcity in the light of the abundance of God; responding as a Christian to secular culture in India today; finding lessons about human flourishing in the context of South-East Asia, based on the Book of Proverbs … all topics with great relevance for Christians today in the MW. By God’s grace, the Langham International Research and Training Seminar will bear generous fruit that strengthen theological studies in the MW.

By Ian Shaw, Associate Director Langham Scholars

 

Join us in prayer…

PREACHING

  • Please pray for Jennifer Cuthbertson (Preaching Training Coordinator) as she prepares and distributes the Preaching Helps Sheets: short documents which highlight ways to help preachers and teachers to make their messages simpler, clearer and more effective. These are emailed around the world every month in four languages and are then often translated locally into other languages. 

LITERATURE

  • 2017 is the planned year for the launch of the first ever Study Bible in the Burmese language. This represents the culmination of several years’ work, writing study notes and updating the Bible language. Please pray that the last few months of hard work to complete this resource will go smoothly, so that God’s Word can be opened up like never before to Burmese readers.

SCHOLARS

  • Please pray for Ethiopian Scholar Anwar Berhe as he returns to Ethiopia (with his wife and daughter) for a few months to do research for his PhD. Please pray for Anwar’s health and for safety for him and his family as there has been political unrest in Ethiopia.

ADMINISTRATION and FINANCE

  • In order to meet the growing needs of the church in the Majority World, we want to expand the ministry in all three areas of Preaching, Literature and Scholars. These plans for growth are summarised in Langham International’s Strategic Plan. However, we don’t have the funding to make this Plan a reality! Please pray that the Lord will provide the funds to help the ministry to grow and that Langham staff will have wisdom in how to help facilitate the required increase in support/ giving.

UPCOMING LANGHAM PREACHING EVENTS

  • 12–18 February: Cambodia, Myanmar, Kenya, Haiti, Indonesia, Caribbean
  • 19–25 February” Indonesia(2), Uganda(2), Spain, Liberia, Argentina, South Africa
  • 26 Feb–4 March: South Asia, Liberia
  • 5–11 March: Hungary, Zambia, Indonesia(2), Senegal, Bolivia(2), Spain(2), Sth Sudan, Sth Africa
  • 12–18 March: Guyana, Indonesia, South Sudan
  • Please pray for these upcoming events: for safe travel, good learning and that participants will practise what they learn

PREACHING CLUBS

  • The most recent Preaching Helps Sheet summarised the benefits of working in small groups. It is titled Learning and Maturing Together and makes the following points:

Learning – Small groups provide active learning opportunities not possible in larger gatherings: 

  • reflecting on what is taught                  
  • sharing our understanding                    
  • exploring new ideas
  • giving instant feedback                       
  • practising new skills


Maturing – As we work together we learn from one another, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,’ (Prov. 27:17).

  • We become close to people we meet and pray with often. They become trusted partners for our faith journey 
  • Discussions about God and his Word deepen as our trust in one another grows

Small groups in the classroom and outside of the classroom are about much more than just learning information and practising skills. They can provide a safe place to grow into the mature people God desires us to be.”
These are the benefits Pastors and lay leaders gain as they participate in Preaching Clubs to practice what they have learned in the Preaching training they have attended. Please pray for the ongoing work of Preaching Clubs around the world.