I just finished the ITEM-hosted lunch meeting with the denominational and evangelical leaders from around Madagascar. Julien Mvemba (pronounced mmmm-Vemba) did a great job of bringing this group together. They introduced themselves. Then they turned it over to me. I introduced myself, training, experience, and a brief history of ITEM, followed by a pretty complete explanation of ITEM’s goals and strategy. That was followed by some Q&A. Then lunch.
The goal was to build trust and a relationship that will lead to a partnership here in Madagascar. I felt good about the meeting. Now it will be up to Julien to follow up.
Our ITEM team members were there also. Each of them has a relationship with most of the men who attended. I will meet with our team tomorrow to debrief the meeting.
For a little more detail about the meeting and a yet another reference to Nigeria, CLICK HERE.
When speaking to the Christian leaders, I tried to make a few things very clear.
- ITEM is in Madagascar to serve these men and their churches.
- We are first and foremost committed to helping them establish strong, mature churches by training their pastor to be godly examples, equippers (disciplers), and Bible expositors.
- We are committed to Bible exposition (and preaching through complete books of the Bible).
I explained our strategy.
- A Bible and theology seminar
- Followed by a second seminar, covering “healthy church principles” and the pastors preaching ministry.
- Followed by the most crucial step, mentoring.
A few questions were asked. Here are the ones I remember.
- How can I get the notes and use them in my church?
- What is the difference between formal and non-formal training?
- What “fruit” have you seen from the training you have conducted over the years?
- What is your view of the woman’s role in the church? (I think this was a test question. When I told them that we believe a woman can do a lot in a church but can’t be the pastor – and the biblical evidence – the one who asked the question seemed pleased with the answer.
Now it is up to each of these men to think it over and let Julien know.
ITEM LEADERSHIP EXPANSION NECESSARY
A big need here in Madagascar is to broaden our geographical coverage with team members. Julien and I plan to talk about bringing in capable trainers and mentors from strategic locations in Madagascar to be trained to help us train and mentor pastors.
TEAM MEETING TOMORROW
Tomorrow, Wednesday, the ITEM team will meet and debrief what took place today.
NIGERIAN INFLUENCE IN MADAGASCAR
During my presentation, I mentioned my recent stay in Nigeria, doing some training for the ECWA denomination. When eating lunch, the English speaker next to me told me that the Nigerian influence is all over Madagascar. The other English speaker next to me was glad to hear that there was actually some good churches preaching the true gospel in Nigeria. The implication in his question is clear. All they see and hear coming out of Nigeria is the heath and wealth, signs, miracles, and wonders teachings. That is Nigeria’s reputation.
Thankfully there are some wanting to stand strong for the truth and we support them.
All for today. Thanks for praying for this meeting today. We will know soon what the response was.
By His grace,
I uploaded several pictures of street businesses plus pictures of our meeting. CLICK HERE FOR NEW PICS