As most of you know, I traveled to Ventrapragada, India from May 5-16 to be part of a team that taught (and learned from) Indian Pastors and those training to be pastors. The team was sent by the Treasuring Christ Together Network (our family of churches) to serve an Indian ministry called Reach All Nations (RAN). This week I would like to share with you about my time of ministry at RAN’s Bible School.
My primary responsibility at RAN was to teach expository preaching. I was able to spend sixteen hours of formal instruction with the students, and many more hours engaging in ministry and playing cricket! In our classroom time I (1) tried to persuade students that carefully preaching through books of the Bible best honors the Word of God, (2) presented a seven-step method for developing expository sermons, and (3) helped the students develop two full sermons from the gospel of Mark.
I was surprised to learn that not one of the staff or students knew an Indian pastor who had led his congregation through a book of the Bible. Therefore, I carefully affirmed the ministries of the pastors they knew and loved, while gently suggesting that there might be a better way to honor the Word of God in the life of the church.
The Lord granted me much success in this endeavor. As we completed the first sermon, I could see the lights turning on for one student after another, and then the Lord opened a door for me to preach at an evangelistic outreach. I decided to deliver the sermon that the students had developed, and when I told them what transpired even the remaining skeptics became convinced that this was a valid way to approach preaching. All of them agreed at least to try preaching through a book of the Bible in their various ministries. Mission accomplished!
In addition to teaching the students, I also had the privilege of preaching in the main church on Sunday morning, sharing my testimony at the Sunday night service in the Hindu part of the village, preaching at three evangelistic outreach events, and sharing more informally at a number of gatherings. I would be hard pressed to share the details of these events, but I will say that the Lord was gracious and much fruit was borne.
Thank you, Glory of Christ, for allowing me to minister among our friends at RAN. This brings my series of devotionals on my trip to a close, so let me encourage you one more time to visit them www.reachallnations.org and lift them up in prayer.