Pastors' Book Set Conferences Equip and Encourage African Pastors
9 August 2006
Following the launch of the Africa Bible Commentary (ABC) in July, 2006, one might expect to find the SIM literature consultants relaxing, congratulating themselves on reaching such an important milestone. Instead, they have been busy running Pastors' Book Set (PBS) conferences in Zambia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, distributing study libraries to hundreds of church leaders.
While the ABC is the headline book in this collection, it is only one among 59 volumes, ranging from Bible study reference materials to books on leadership, finances, and discipleship. This library, at full cost, would be impossible for an African pastor to purchase, but thanks to the generosity of publishers and many donors, each pastor pays only USD $75 for the entire collection and a weekend training conference.
Pastors Feel Blessed, Thankful
This sum is still a significant sacrifice. One Ghanaian pastor who received books through a previous PBS project commented, "Where will I get [the money]? But I must because you are giving me over a year's salary in books." He is one of the 69,270 pastors who have benefited from SIM's book distributions around the world.
Some Zambian pastors are saying:
Books and Training: A Powerful Combination
One highlight of the project is the training conference that accompanies the book distribution. Hearing teaching on topics from expository preaching to marriage and finances, they are encouraged and equipped to use their new tools. At a recent conference in Kisumu, the Archbishop at the Voice of Salvation and Healing Church said, "I have attended conferences around the world. I have never attended a conference as meaningful or as well organized as this one."
These conferences have been instrumental in promoting good will across denominational lines. SIM Associate Younoussa Djao, a leader of the World Evangelical Alliance Africa Vision Project, states that these conferences have created a good spirit of cooperation. As the African church grows as a leader in world mission, this good spirit may be a rallying point for future cross-denominational collaboration.
The PBS conferences will continue through the fall, including the first-ever PBS women's conference to be held in November in Zambia. Charles Price of Peoples Church, Toronto, will serve as the expository preacher, while his wife Hilary will lead the conference for women. Soula Isch, of SIM's pastoral team, will also participate.
Please pray that God will use this project to strengthen the Church in Africa.
The USD $1.5 million project is just over 66% funded. To give, please contact your local SIM office.