“What I have discovered is that, when I go in the church to preach, I must be prepared before I start to preach.”- anonymous pastor in training
Pastor Joshua Obasang was orphaned at age 11. When he was 14 he came to know Christ and instantly had a desire to serve God. His ministry training started with sweeping his church. He was later appointed to youth leader, then assistant pastor. One day the pastor announced that young Joshua would be taking over because the pastor was leaving for six months.
The pastor never returned.
“I had never had any biblical training before and had no experience in biblical interpretation before AMG taught me,” he says. “For example, I didn’t know that in our age today, there are resources that a pastor can use to understand and get to the original Greek or Hebrew root meaning of Bible words. I had thought Bible words could only be interpreted academically.”
Joshua’s story isn’t unique though. Nearly 40 percent of Ugandan pastors have had no Bible training or access to resources, which sparked a passion in our donors to meet this need. This led to the creation of the Practical Bible Teaching Method. It is structured for a small class, and includes lectures, hands-on practical learning, repetitive teaching methods, and the use of word pictures and parables to explain concepts.
The strenuous program begins with a week-long training consisting of classes lasting 12 hours a day, along with written night work often stretching past midnight. For the final exam each pastor delivers a practical Bible message for their fellow students to critique. Upon graduation, they receive a Bible concordance, Bible dictionary, and an English dictionary to keep as their own. In addition, we equip each pastor in the program with in-depth introductions to New Testament books in their own local language so they can teach others who do not read English.
In year two, the pastors return for Level Two, which focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of Scripture and learning more about how to effectively teach God’s Word. They even begin learning the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek Lexical Aide and dictionaries.
But even then, the journey doesn’t end.
From each geographical area in which we’ve trained pastors, we select leaders whom we equip to teach Bible Survey and Bible Doctrine Courses and a three-booklet discipleship course. We entrust these reliable leaders with the things they have heard and been taught, so that they will then also be qualified to teach others. As with much of AMG’s pastor training initiatives, we seek to multiply our impact and reach in order to transform communities.
With near perfect scores, Joshua became the obvious leader for his area. “I thank the Holy Father in Jesus’ name for AMG teachers, Jim and Drew Everett, because through them I have been given an understanding of the word of God; to see it clearly and plainly. I had been asking God to teach me the truth and give me opportunities to minister to God’s people, and now with the help of the Everetts I have received what I had been desiring for so long,” Joshua says.
Pray with us that the AMG trained pastors will become the hands and feet of Christ, and that they will be equipped to teach people in their communities to serve Christ with all of their heart, mind and spirit.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news…who proclaim salvation.” Isaiah 52:7