April '18 Update
Fifth Module Completed
If you notice any errors in spelling, run-on sentences or other grammatical abnormalities, it’s because I just returned from the Philippines last night and I’m still trying to get my bearings as to what time zone I’m in. And though this proved to be an extremely busy trip it was nonetheless highly rewarding and encouraging.
During the last two weeks, I traveled to Davao and Cebu where we completed the fifth of six modules in the course on Expository Preaching that I teach with The Expositor’s Academy. This fifth module was a challenge for the men because they had to preach two prophetic passages, one from Zechariah and the other Revelation. And while many of them said they had never previously taught from a prophetic text, they handled these difficult books very well.It has been particularly encouraging to see these pastors not only grow in their confidence but also to excel in their preaching with each module. And this is something that is not only being noticed by me but also by people within their own congregations. In fact, in response to a sermon by one of the pastors in the preaching program, one church member sent the following note to me and Sean Ransom:
Dear Ptr. Tim and Ptr. Sean,I just want to bring you a wonderful news. Brother S. preached yesterday on Zechariah chapter 3. Our congregation was so blessed hearing him preach. People cannot seem to stop talking about it, long after the sermon is over. In fact this morning when I talked with a sister she said, if there is any more training he needs after this, people are willing to support him. Someone said, if the preaching is good, it is a manifestation of God’s mercy upon His people.Thank you for equipping our men.
These responses are not uncommon. I hear comments like this all the time from those being ministered to by these faithful pastors. Speaking of faithful pastors, here are the men who completed Module 5 in both Davao and Cebu.
In addition to the preaching labs, we also covered key topics in bibliology and worked through the book of Habakkuk together (using the exegetical process we have studied in the previous four modules). This exercise proved helpful in showing the men the entire process from start to finish. By the end of the week several of them indicated a desire to preach through Habakkuk to their congregation – and this from men who had told me in the previous module that they felt so unequipped to preach from the prophetic books of the Old Testament. I was so blessed to see how much their confidence in studying the Scripture on their own had grown by using the process that we have been going through together these last two years.
Not only was I involved in teaching during the week, I was also kept busy on the weekends where I had the opportunity to preach three services each weekend at four different churches. This continues to be one of the great blessings for me on these trips not only because I get to spend time with the pastors but also with the congregations whom they serve. In all of this I am reminded of how much I appreciate your support. The work being done is only happening because of God working through you. And for that I am grateful. Please continue to pray for God to work in and through the Pastor’s Training Ministry. Here are some specific ways you can do that in the coming month.
Continue to pray for the men in the preaching program, that they would persevere through this last module and that they would be more effective in their preaching.Pray also for other potential opportunities for training pastors in other parts of the Philippines as well other countries in the region. I will share more about that in the coming months.Please be in prayer as I prepare for my next trip in August where I will be teaching Module 4 in Baguio as well as participating in the annual TMAI/Asia regional meeting.Pray for the second batch of students who will be starting up the training in Cebu this coming October. Pray that God would provide for many men to come as we start a new class in Module 1.On a personal note, Tina and I will be taking a much needed and long anticipated vacation to Europe in the coming weeks. We will be traveling to Rome, Greece and Switzerland. Please pray God would use the time away not only to refresh us but also to grow nearer to one another and nearer to Christ
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