Prenote: I am currently in the Nairobi, Kenya lounge waiting to board my flight to Amsterdam. We leave at midnight.
This is pretty long. But I wanted to provide highlights of all that was shared yesterday, Tuesday. Feel free to hit the “Pause” button in the middle of your reading and come back later. 😊
This is a day late.
Dear ITEM Partner,
Yesterday’s (Tuesday) agenda was meeting with the teams from Uganda and Kenya. Three members of the Kenyan team didn’t make it. Three did. More about that later.
We spent the first hour sharing highlights of the guy’s personal ministry. Many sounded like those I shared with you from the meeting in Rwanda. Here are some highlights from Tuesday.
Tom is a pastor and very active missionary besides serving on the ITEM team. He made seven mission trips in 2019 including ministry in South Sudan, Sudan, Chad, Egypt, Tanzania, and Burundi. He does church planting and leadership training in these places using ITEM material in the training. In Muslim areas he’s helped start 500 “story telling” centers (churches) that tell the story of the Bible / Jesus. He’s a part of the Kisumu Baptist Seminary as is Apollo and Denis. At the seminary they use ITEM curriculum. He is preaching through Genesis.
Patrick (Younger) – Uganda
Patrick is preaching through Mark. The church is growing spiritually. His form of preaching (expository) has been noticed and he’s been asked to speak various places by various groups because he doesn’t have a denominational agenda. He just teaches what the Bible says.
Noah – Uganda
This is where the Glasscocks are going to church. Jim says Noah is an excellent preacher. Noah confesses that ITEM training has changed him as a pastor. He’s going back to his village and apologizing for teaching error before he came in contact with ITEM. He has trained others in his church to do exposition so the church is not dependent upon him. Because he is committed to preaching expository (verse by verse) sermons, he studies more, and his own life is being changed by the Word.
David – Uganda
His church is small. ITEM training from years ago opened his eyes. He picked four people out of his church to disciple and he is using ITEM material and the people are growing in their faith and are even starting to teach others.
He had a chance to speak/preach in another region of the country and the response was “we have never heard this kind of preaching before.” Now he is being invited to speak to other leaders in other churches and is receiving regular invitations to train others.
Patrick (Older) – Uganda
When he joined ITEM (years ago) he didn’t know how to preach. Now in 2019 he is training other pastors. He is training a group of 35, some come from a distance. He is planning to start a Bible school. Other pastors see the difference in his preaching and are starting to preach differently. His own “Timothy” is preaching expository sermons. People are asking for copies of ITEM materials.
Denis – Kenya
He’s been a pastor for 25 years. He’s involved in teaching at the same Bible school as Tom and Apollo. He joined the ITEM team in 2013. He already had a Bible school diploma but ITEM training caused him to see things differently. He has worked with Tom and Apollo doing seminars and now mentoring. Currently he is mentoring pastors in 6 different places. He has 5 Timothys, six satellite schools. He believes that expository preaching is what changes minds and the thinking of church members. People start looking for Bibles so they can follow week to week. He’s currently using Eph 5 as a foundational chapter to teach family life. A big challenge is Bibles. When people are saved, they need Bibles so they can follow Denis’ sermons from the Scriptures.
Fred – Uganda
In his area he is the only one trained to do Bible exposition. He hands out ITEM materials. People notice they are organized. Fred is seen as a resource person in his area. In fact, they say he will soon be like a Bishop who oversees many churches. He now has a church in Kampala (Uganda capital) that is growing and has many college students. People want ITEM materials.
Moses – Uganda
He is doing training in Baptist churches. They see that ITEM training is good and important. Even Pentecostals come for the training. Thru ITEM, Fred has learned a lot. He is currently preaching through the book of Acts.
Hillary – Uganda Coordinator
There is a large demand for the Truth. Whenever there is a seminar, they are always asked when are they coming back. He believes churches and lives are being changed. He’s seen growth in Bible knowledge in his own church. His church is growing in numbers. They had to expand the sie of their church building and because of his testimony as a Bible teacher, when the Bible society published a Bible in the local language, Hillary “let the parade” holding the Bible above his head.
Another testimony to his teaching is that he has been promoted to VP in the Baptist Union of Uganda. He’s working with various groups of pastors and his ministry is starting to reach beyond the borders of Uganda.
Apollo – Kenya Coordinator
He says that ITEM “changed his life.” Before ITEM, he preached only topical sermons. Now he preaches verse by verse and is currently preaching through Romans. People leave church each Sunday knowing exactly where they will start next week. Over the years he’s been involved in training pastors in different denominations. He is currently mentoring in various places.
Edwin – Uganda
He is new to the team. Edwin is a young man (24 years old) who has a passion for working with youth. He has been to seminary and has been attending ITEM training. He’s been using ITEM material at conferences that he speaks at. He and I talked about how we can begin to incorporate training for youth in the churches represented by pastors we are mentoring.
PASSION, CONVICTION, MORE PASSION
After the sharing of highlights, I covered that same outline I have followed in all previous locations: ITEM’s past, ITEM’s present, and ITEM’s future. I again strongly, Strongly, STRONGLY, and PASSIONATELY emphasized that our goal is not to see how many pastors we can run through our seminars. Our goal is to be used of God to see churches transformed as God uses the pastors that we are training/mentoring.
Howard Hendricks was a well-known professor, lecturer at Dallas Seminary. In one of his leadership seminars, he said, “Men, if you want people to bleed, you have to hemorrhage. It’s true! If you want your “student” to have a level 7 or 8 commitment to something, you must demonstrate a level 9 or 10. I was hemorrhaging today! I was pushing level 10 to its limits.
PRUNING WAS NECESSARY
I had to make a hard decision today. Two Kenyan team members have not been coming to the team meetings we’ve had in the past couple of years. They always seem to have excuses. One is very busy with various other ministries. The other has many other responsibilities that take his time. So, today, I told our Kenyan coordinator that I was removing them from the team and asked him to let them know. They seemed to find time to help with seminars but not attend team meetings.
Thank you for coming with me on this trip. Thank you for praying. If you give to help fund these trips, thank you.
Don’t ever forget the 90%
90% of the pastors here will never get to a Bible school of any kind. They need the training that we provide. And from what I know, we are one of very few if not the only ministry that requires team members to be Bible expositors and puts Bible exposition at the heart of its training emphasis. So, help us help them bring their churches to maturity. Click Here to gave any amount one time or monthly to help the 90% get the training and mentoring they need and want.
If you are not caught up on seeing the newest pictures HERE IS THE LINK
By His grace,