Building Healthy Churches in Sub-Saharan Africa

9Marks News
08.28.2018

All across the great continent of Africa, men and women are coming to Christ. That’s what the reports say—and that’s what our friends on the ground say, too. This is wonderful news, but it raises some questions: How will they grow? Who will shepherd them? What will protect the gospel and keep them from bad teaching in years to come?

Our hope is that African Christians will gather in churches led by elders who disciple them to disciple one another.

This is why 9Marks strategically invests into people and resources in Africa. It’s why pastors Bobby Jamieson and Isaac Adams spent two weeks last month in Zambia and Kenya.

In Zambia, Bobby taught at the Central Africa Baptist College & Seminary. For 30 hours, he taught 170 African pastors and students about the doctrine of the church. The training was in English. But two-thirds of these brothers will minister in their native language, Bemba.

In Zambia, Bobby taught at the Central Africa Baptist College & Seminary. For 30 hours, he taught 170 African pastors and students about the doctrine of the church. The training was in English. But two-thirds of these brothers will minister in their native language, Bemba.

Isaac spent time building relationships with local leaders and strengthening local partnerships. In a fun twist of events, through no initiative of his own, Isaac ended up on a local radio station in Kitwe. How? Many Zambians love spoken-word poetry, and they recognized Isaac from his work.

During a session break, one of the “young chaps”—what Kenyans call pastoral apprentices—asked Bobby and Isaac if they knew their audience. Apparently, this gathering was full of pastors who are in charge of their own conferences, Bible colleges, or pastoral internships. Lord willing, they will pass on this biblical training to many other pastors and congregations.

This is slow work, but it’s enduring and effective. Please pray for us, that we might have the discernment to create partnerships in more great nations across the world.

By:
Rick Denham

Rick Denham serves as the international director for 9Marks. He is also executive director of Ministerio Fiel, a Brazilian ministry which serves churches and equips leaders in Portuguese-speaking nations across Europe, Africa, and South America.