The Pastors Tale
“The unfinished work of the Church is to make sure every person on earth hears about the finished work of the cross.” Louie Giglio
"I could tell right away that your perspective on the issues facing missions today is absolutely accurate." a senior Missions leader
Can you imagine a pastor that is in a far-off land, or might actually be from another culture but is living right next door?
He was fortunate to go to some Bible College, most of his other pastor friends did not. The Bible college was taught by missionaries from a very foreign culture. Who came to teach him about the Bible and lead the church. Some of the coursework was helpful, but some of it just did not fit his situation, his small village church, and his culture. Many in his village are openly hostile to the church. They believe that it is against not only their religion but their culture too. They say he has become a foreigner.
Throughout the week he has to work 40 to 60 or more hours just to feed his family. He tries to prepare a message for the people. Fortunately for him, he has a Bible in his own language. He knows the people in the next province over are still waiting for the Bible to be in their own language. He is grateful for his Bible and the concordance has been very helpful, but he knows that most languages don't even have a full concordance.
On Sunday while talking to the members of his church, he hears about some people who have been telling his congregation about a new way of understanding what the Bible means. He knows it is not correct as it does not match what he has been taught and knows in his heart, but he can not quite give an adequate argument for himself or his congregation. The people teaching a new and different way of understanding the Bible are very persuasive and convincing.
He has seen books in English that expose the very heart of the Bible, from a cultural, historical, and linguistic background. Even if he could afford these would not help him understand how to preach the word and apply it to his culture and situation. He wants to prepare sermons that connect the Bible to where people are at exposing them to the awesome beauty of the Bible but feels as though he is just skimming the surface. He wants to teach the very heart of the Bible to see people transformed by Gods working through him and in the hearts of his people to make them into his church.
He knows the passage:
"preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV)
He knows that there is so much that he does not understand, and he feels completely inadequate. He knows of local pastors, many of them dear friends, who have left the ministry. They have left, not just because of the challenge of pastoring but many from a deep sense of inadequacy in knowing the word and having confidence in being able to teach and preach it.
Resources for studying God's word might not lead to a revival around the world. Revival and evangelism are ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit. They are important for equipping pastors and church leaders to know and teach the word.
Is he calling you to participate?