Update on Pastor's training
Greg sits under a banyan tree, sharing tea with Nixon and Moses. This tree is a beauty. The space between its labyrinth of ground roots, its canopy of leaves, and its columns of prop roots provide the perfect retreat from the sweltering summer sun. So the café which sprung up around it is one of our favorite meeting places.
Moses, who is in charge of NTCCA’s extension courses for reaching village pastors with theological teaching, and Nixon, who the District Superintendent overseeing 200 churches in our area, are asking Greg to consider starting a new teaching program. Things have been going well with the training Greg is leading for about 10 pastors in the city. In spite of language barriers and schedule interruptions, Greg has been leading 10 pastors through The Word Transforms’ curriculum. He has condensed teachings going through the entire story of the Bible in six two hour sessions, in a way intended to help church leaders pass the teachings on to their members. Whether the training has been a particular success, or whether village churches are merely thirsty for more teachings, Moses and Nixon want to start a new training as soon as possible. They’ve identified an area close to Mphewa, a place where we started some overview trainings in 2021. Now the negotiation begins. At first they want to offer the training to 95 people, but Greg expresses concern that this type of teaching needs interaction and small group participation. He negotiates for forty-five participants, realizing that this might mean duplicating the training, or understanding that 100 people may arrive anyway. They discuss printed materials. Each group coming from a single church will begin with shared materials.
“If it’s in that area, the teaching will need to be in Chichewa” Greg points out. “If I’m the one teaching, I will need a translator. Are you sure you want me to be the one teaching?” Moses and Nixon assure him that the idea of an expert coming from the outside will help this training start strong and carry long-term impact. “What about a training schedule?” Greg asks. They warn that people in these villages will struggle to come one day after another. It will be better to have a couple of meetings over the course of a few weeks. “What about food?” Greg asks. “Can we do shorter trainings with a tea break so that the community and churches don’t have to worry about providing a full meal?” With the price of maize tripling in the last year, it is going to be a lot easier to provide tea and a donut compared to a full lunch. This agreed upon, the conversation moves towards other logistics. “I can possibly do the teaching in 12 hours” Greg says. “Instead of just 2 meetings, can we do 3 sessions of 4 hours each?” This agreed, the final step is to decide when to start.
The group decides on next week as a start time. Greg is still finishing his Wednesday classes, so he’ll start the new teachings on Wednesday. As the trio finishes tea, all that is left is to sort out are the invites and the printing of participant booklets.