(Youth) Pastors Without Training

One of the people I admire is Dr. David Sills, professor of missions at Southern Seminary and President of Reaching and Teaching International Ministries. He works tirelessly at training pastors, mentoring missionaries, and challenging the church to finish the task of global evangelization.

The other day he was tweeting a lot about training pastors and the work he has been doing in Latin America.

Here are some of the things he was tweeting:

  • SIM tested Bible knowledge in a Bolivian church w/Bible & their own pastor for 10 yrs. “Who was Adam's wife?” They responded, “Who is Adam?”
  • In a pastor training event in Peru one thought you could not go to heaven if you are illiterate, saying they'd always been taught that.
  • We asked a shaman pastor in a “reached” Ecuadorian tribe which they'd choose if forced, “Jesus or traditional spirits.” He chose paganism.
  • Church leaders argued that witchcraft in shamanism is ok if meant for good, and only wrong if hurtful to another. #pastorswithouttraining
  • Pastors w/o Bible in South American jungles reported that they preach on Sunday what they dream the night before. #pastorswithouttraining
  • A 7-yr pastor in Africa asked a similar ministry, “If I eat the flesh of another man will I get his sins too?” #pastorswithouttraining
  • A pastor (w/glasses & a Bible) was so excited upon hearing the Exodus story. He said he'd never heard that before. #pastorswithouttraining
  • Where we taught Old Testament to leaders of 4 tribes in Peru, 2 of the 4 did not even have the OT in their language. #spongesfortruth
  • Why is it wrong to live with my fiancĂ©? A pastor told us it's the best way to assure compatibility? #questionsfrompastorswhocomefortraining
  • What was that woman's name who saved and baptized Jesus? #questionsfrompastorswhocomefortraining
  • When was Jesus born again? Before or after the resurrection? #questionsfrompastorswhocomefortraining

After reading his thoughts, I asked myself, “If senior pastors without training are saying these things, what are those who are in positions of youth leadership saying, since there is even less training for them?”

My desire is to help youth leaders get the training they need in order to know God's Word and be able to communicate it to young people in their churches and communities.

The majority of the time, the senior pastor of the church is the one who will be able to receive some training. Dr. Sills has quoted many of those who have been privileged enough to go to one of his training sand have those issues addressed.

However, there are many others who have no training. We need to be training both pastors and youth workers. That' why Reaching and Teaching exists, and that's why Youth Ministry International exists.

 

A Video for Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving in the USA today, and I got to thinking a little about what we are usually thankful for at this time of the year. We talk about how blessed we are and about all the wonderful things that God has given to us. Those things are good, but I’m reminded that the Biblical call to being thankful is not only in the good things but also in the bad things.

I bought the newest Shane & Shane album this week (affiliate link), mostly because of this song. It comes from a passage in Job 13:15 that says, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.”

We know the story of Job, and he was determined to hope in the grace of God despite all that had happened to him.

Our trust, our thankfulness, is not only in Him when all things are going well with us. God gives us good things, that is for sure. We are to be thankful for those things. But also in the trials and tribulations, we are to trust that His ways are higher than our ways and that He is God. We are to praise Him in all of it.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and that, despite what is going on in your life (good or bad), you can find a way to hope in Him.

Youth Leader Summit in Cuba

I just got an email from Darwin, one of our graduates and the Director for the Center for Youth Ministry in Santa Clara, Cuba. He is a good friend with a great passion for youth ministry and a great leader. Darwin is at the forefront of youth ministry on the island and is constantly pushing other leaders to become better at what they do.

This week he and his team hosted a national youth leaders' summit for over 120 leaders from 40 churches all over the country. Here are two pictures from the event. It's so fun to see what God is doing there!

 

Summit Cuba 2013

 

 

Trip to China

Wenzhou, China

A panoramic view of the city.

I haven't really posted much about this because I have been really busy, but the reason we are in the USA for these six weeks is because I took a trip to China for 10 days. It was a 14-15 hour flight, the longest one I have ever been on. The trip was great, and I had a blast.

I stayed in a city called Wenzhou, which is on the southern coast. I had fun experiencing a new culture and making new friends. Here are some pictures from my trip.

Temple

A Buddhist Temple

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Speechless

We just got back from vacation. It was much needed, but now I feel like I need a vacation to rest! For a while now, my little princess has been asking us to go to Disney World so she can see the princesses. Thanks to our friends at Kissimmee Guest Services, we got some tickets to go to Disney World for one day during the first week of vacation.

We took lots of pictures (you can see them here), but this one is one of my favorite of all times.

My little girl was speechless when she walked into that castle room. Her interaction with each princess was so cute, and her timidness was evident. She slowly warmed up to them, but you could just tell that this was a special moment.

I wonder if one day that is how we will feel when we finally meet Jesus face to face. It’s like that old song, “I can only imagine.”

I wonder if we will be in such awe that we won’t know what to say. I wonder how we’ll act. One thing is for sure, that is going to be a great hug from our Savior.

What a wonderful day that will be!

Trip to Chiapas

Last weekend I was invited to Tuxtla, Gutierrez, in Chiapas, a state in the Southern part of Mexico. I went to teach a class at a Missions School and also to speak at a youth camp. It was a fun experience. I had never been to Chiapas before, so I enjoyed learning a lot about this region of Mexico.

I had a chance to meet Julio, a youth pastor who writes about youth ministry on his blog “Monologos de Julito.” I have been following his blog for a while now since I started ministeriojuvenil.com, and he is one of the few who publishes regularly on youth ministry in Spanish.

I had a great time speaking to his youth group about how they need to be God’s representatives in their local school. I shared about Esther and her decision to do what she was supposed to do even though it wasn’t easy, and the result was important for all of history.

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More Desireable than Gold and Honey

I preached in chapel last week, and I used the guys in the picture as my illustrations. Do you know them? The guys in the picture are Wario and Winnie the Pooh. You probably know Pooh. He has an insatiable love for honey. He regularly gets stuck in Rabbit’s window because he goes after honey with his whole heart.

Wario, on the other hand, is a villain from Mario Brothers. If you know our family, you know we love Super Mario Brothers. Wario has a great desire to get as many gold coins as he can. He runs around with a bag of gold coins and collects more and more. Keep reading to find out what they have to do with my sermon…

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