Sitting Round a Big Table
Reflections on the start of Langham Preaching in the Solomon Islands
by Paul Windsor
Associate Director, Langham Preaching
In its commitment to nurture biblical preaching movements, Langham Preaching often finds itself ‘convening a table’ around which a broad spectrum of the church gathers.
Nowhere has this been more true than in the Solomon Islands. From Pentecostals, Nazarene, Catholics, Worldwide Church of God, to Scripture Union, Campus Crusade, and Bible Society to the largest groups present – the South Sea Evangelical Church (SSEC), the Anglican Church of Melanesia, and the United Church of Solomon Islands – there were 67 people who gathered near Honiara for the Langham Preaching training on 16-19 June 2009. On the final evening, tears were shed as participants prayed for the church in the Solomons. As one pastor expressed, “This is just what the Solomons needs. We have for too long kept to our own little boxes.” And so this was a week which nurtured both biblical preaching and the unity of the church.
Training was in the hands of Chris Mulherin (Australia), Langham Partnership International Director Chris Wright, and Langham Preaching Associate Director Paul Windsor, and focused on the basic skills of understanding the text and building clear, faithful and relevant biblical sermons. One highlight of the week was the opportunity to have lunch with the Archbishop of Melanesia, David Vunagi. Langham Preaching thrives on the endorsement of leaders like Archbishop David.
We have agreed that Level 2 training will be held from 19 – 23 July 2010 with a condensed Level 1 event immediately prior to this week so that an even larger group of pastors can stay on and journey on to Level 2 and 3.
Largely due to the commitment of Langham Partnership Australia (LPA) and Director Wendy Toulmin’s vision and energy, Langham Preaching is off to an excellent start in the Pacific. Godwilling, in 2010 Vanuatu will hold a Level 3 and both the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea will hold a Level 2 seminar. With Langham Scholar, Ma’afu Palu, recently appointed to the Sia’atoutai College in Tonga, there is also local expertise on which we can draw.