Small But Mighty Preachers’ Groups

BY hgoody | 29 September 2009 |

JSM-Langham Preaching in Peru

In a small campsite in a dry valley two hours from Lima, a group of 75 pastors from Peru gathered for the third JSM-Langham Preaching training event.  Hosted and organised by Desarrollo Cristiano, an agency supporting the work of pastors in Peru, the weeklong seminar concentrated on preaching from the epistles, with a special focus on the challenges of Christian ministry presented in 2 Corinthians.

Since the launch of the JSM-Langham program several years ago, many small preachers’ groups have been founded in towns and cities – now part of a preaching movement called Sociedad de Expositores Biblicaos Peru.  There are some 20 “societies” of preachers now meeting regularly, some with a membership as large as 30, but each group meeting to support the cause of expository preaching – working together on Bible passages, preparing preaching programs for their churches, praying together and – of course – enjoying meals together!

To mark their graduation after the level 3 training program, everyone received a certificate, a specially prepared plaque, and a gift of books. But there were signs of protest! No one wanted the training to end!  As a result, three significant objectives were agreed.  First, a training of trainers program will take place next year, equipping many of the leaders to train pastors and lay preachers elsewhere in Peru.  Second, a new level 1 program will begin, specially designed for younger pastors and preachers. Third, the idea of an annual event for all members of the Sociedad will be considered, to supplement the growing work of the small preachers groups across the country.

As the societies reported on their plans for the future, many of them indicated that their aim was to gather more people to their groups, to extend the work in nearby towns and villages, to share resources across the preaching movement, to publish the best of their expositions and sermon outlines for a wider audience, and to explore new ways of developing training in the churches and seminaries across the country.

Igor Amestegui, Langham Preaching facilitator for Latin America, led the seminar, and will sustain contact with this lively preaching movement! The small team of leaders in Peru, led by Jorge and Nelsa Zolezzi, has done a remarkable job in extending the vision for expository preaching and resourcing pastors with good books.  A regular monthly newsletter keeps the societies connected and provides fresh ideas for their work. And Jaime Mendoza and Francisco Calderon travel regularly to the 20 societies to encourage them forward. The rapidly expanding work owes much to the leadership and energy of this strong Peruvian team!

Browse through the JSM-Langham Preaching photo gallery to see more photos of this event:
http://picasaweb.google.com/langhampartnership/LanghamPreachingPeru# .