‘Great joy’ as lay preachers in rural Australia gain new skills

Langham’s Preaching programme is about training pastors and lay leaders (most of whom will never get to attend Bible college) to teach the Bible, equipping them to biblically lead their churches. The program is active throughout the Majority World and in other places where there are few evangelicals and a lack of training in expository preaching.

Rural New South Wales
Church elders and lay leaders from rural New South Wales and Victoria gathered for Langham Preaching training for the first time last month.

Last month, twenty lay preachers from remote country and outback areas of Victoria and New South Wales Australia gathered for the first level of Langham Preaching training. These preachers are chiefly involved in agriculture and are vital to the ministry and fellowship of their churches.

Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley attended the event and gave this report:

“Trudging through the dust from their camps to the corrugated iron shed that served as the training venue, the participants gathered for the first session of the Level 1 preaching training.

Eager to learn

“Mostly farmers, they were all rural folk, many of whom came from small churches with no pastor at all, but all were eager to learn how to better preach God’s Word faithfully, clearly and relevantly.

Rural Autralia Preaching Training
Attendees agreed to form preaching clubs in order to practice what they learnt.

“This could have happened almost anywhere in the world, but to our great joy it was here in Australia that this first training session for rural Church elders and lay leaders was taking place.

“Partnering with Presbyterian Inland Mission at the training facility at New Dunesk, in Ardlethan NSW, Langham was delighted to bring the preaching training program to folk who are leading their churches and preaching regularly without the benefit of having attended theological colleges or Bible schools. 

Great encouragement

“Held over four days in early April, it was a time of great encouragement and learning facilitated by Steve Williams and Tim Johnson.

“As participants worked together to develop sermon outlines using the principles being taught, they agreed that continuing to meet together, whether physically or over zoom, would be a great advantage as they practiced their preaching, in line with the Preaching Clubs being established all over the world.

Steve Williams
Langham Preaching Regional Coordinator for the South Pacific Steve Williams (pictured) facilitated the training alongside Tim Johnson.

“While there were many similarities with the Majority World preaching training seminars, one key difference was the ability for participants to afford the cost of the program.  My dream is that this new initiative may continue to grow, with the potential for Australian training participants to partner with Majority World brothers and sisters, to help them experience the same benefits and opportunities from the program.

New preaching clubs

“The tents have been taken down, and the campervans moved on, but the enthusiasm and new skills generated in the participants by these few days will bless their rural congregations as they continue to grow and mature under the faithful preaching of the Word.” 

Two preaching clubs have begun as a result of the training: one in the Riverina and another in Victoria.

This article first appeared in Langham Australia’s April 2022 eNews.

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