An Old Friend, Now a New Student
This is my old friend Blessings Chikakula. We used to work together 10 years ago at a Christian Secondary school in Lilongwe. Imagine my surprise to find he was a student at JMTI preparing to enter ministry! I'm thankful for sincere friendships with brothers like this in Malawi. I got to spend the day teaching Blessings and the entire student body, looking at how we got the books of the Bible we have today (called Canon from κανων for 'rule').
The faculty of JMTI asked me to take a day of their classes and lead a seminar on the doctrine of Scripture. Thrown into the deep-end, I got a taste of how much I will have to learn in bridging two very different intellectual cultures. Tradition looms much larger there, whereas we value creativity and precision. This is as true for communicating the gospel as it is for teaching theological skills to students with a very different set of assumptions about learning and research. This highlighted to me that value of everything we’ve learned pastoring God’s people in an ordinary context. Thankfully, the students encouraged me that my pace was good, my English easy to understand, and that I wasn’t “like some Americans; you were humble.” Phew!
Shape African Pastors,
Shape The Future of Christianity
The growth of the African church is well documented, and has not slowed. Its growth is expected to place the African church as the dominant force in Christianity in the next 50 years, making up 40% of the total church. Historian Philp Jenkins says, "By 2050, Christianity will be chiefly the religion of Africa and the African diaspora." What will that church look like? What will they teach and preach?
Those questions are answered by looking at the seminaries today. If we can be involved in shaping the next generation of pastors, this will not only effect the African church but the shape of Christianity in the future.