Dear Friends and Family,
Pastor Dalmas picked me up about 8:20am this morning (Tuesday) and as we drove to the seminar location, some 45-50mins away, we had a good chance to talk. As I suspected, he is theologically educated, is pursuing additional education, is mature in his faith, and has a vision for equipping men for ministry. I was greatly encouraged and felt immediately drawn to want to help him any way possible.
Besides getting to know Dalmas, the feedback from the first day of the seminar made this a good day.
Pastor Dalmas has received some theological education from two different schools in Africa; one in Tanzania and one in Kenya. Currently he is pursuing a Master’s degree from Southeastern Seminary in North Carolina.
I found him to be a mature believer and able to converse at a high level biblically and theologically.
He told me that the prosperity gospel was becoming a major problem and that pastors were becoming more and more political, bringing politicians into their churches believing that will result in their church getting some money.
Besides himself, he has a church with a nice building that is still under construction. You will see painters in a picture in the picture album. He has started Manna Bible School at his church. He is building a library to encourage believers to establish a habit of reading. He is also training leadership from approximately 150 churches in the general area of his home and church.
He lives in a rural part of Mombasa. He refers to the area as “this is my village” as opposed to a city. Villages are small and I think are a part of a larger city when it comes to laws. Maybe it is the equivalent of an incorporated and unincorporated area in the US. Not sure. Anyway, villages are where the majority of Africans live and where most churches are found.
Dalmas is a key man here. I am confident this is only the beginning of a good ministry here. For the record, we (ITEM) want to serve Dalmas and help him accomplish his ministry vision. Not the other way around. The second of ITEM’s seminars is already scheduled for August. Then mentoring will follow.
You and I have been down this “curriculum road” before so let this serve as a brief reminder. This is our basic Bible and theology seminar, the Institute in the Foundations of Church Leadership (IFCL). Today we covered bibliology (the Bible is God’s inspired revelation of Himself to us and is all that we need for life and ministry), a philosophy of ministry that begins the God, and the emphasis on His holiness, at the center, and what we might call “pastoral theology,” the pastors call, his role in the church, the qualifications necessary to serve as a pastor, and Paul’s instructions to pastors/elders from Acts 20.
Dalmas was overjoyed with the content. He told us that there are a lot of white men in Mombasa who do seminars but they are mostly motivational speakers who focus on psychologically oriented topics, health, and prosperity. He was excited that ours was completely Bible based.
QUESTIONS THAT WERE ASKED
I forgot to write them down so I’ll do my best.
Q: Nathan said that the pastor needs to be an example and that his wife will know if he is or not because she will hear his sermons and see how he lives at home. So, it the pastor and his wife argue is he unqualified?
A: No. No one is perfect. The example he needs to set, in this case, is dealing with the argument biblically and with maturity.
Q: When Nathan was talking about the pastor he kept saying, “he, he, he.” We have a lot of women pastors. Can you comment on that?
A: My answer is two-fold. First, one of the qualifications for a pastor is that he is a “one woman man,” or “the husband of one wife.” Only a man can be a husband. But many have started reinterpreting the Bible to say that was only a cultural thing in Ephesus but it was more than that. 1 Tim 2 says it was because Adam was created first, then Eve. Think of the conflict if the wife was the pastor of her husband. He’s the head of the home. She’s the head of the church. How do they work out a biblical authority structure in their relationship? I also warned them. Churches are giving into the cultural pressure to ordain women as pastors and bishops. Next will be the ordaining of homosexuals, etc. Then I admonished them to stand firm. My second point, women are leading the way in church ministry. Question: Where are the men? And I challenged them in this area. “Men need to step up” and take responsibility.
There were one or two others but I am out of space. When I have space left, I’ll bring you up to date on some things Nathan and I talked about at dinner regarding ITEM’s strategy and his place.
Continue to pray for us and the seminar attendees.
By His grace,