"What will we be teaching?"

August 10, 2015

"What will we be teaching?" It seemed like a simple enough question. Percy Muleba and I (Doug) were chatting by phone a couple of weeks ago about our upcoming week of training at Justo Mwale Theological University in Lusaka. We've been invited by Justo's Dr. Silavwe to train a group of pastors there, and Abby and I were anxious to prepare. "Just come prepared to teach anything," Percy replied. Well then, I thought, that really narrows things down! I had to laugh...

Now, to be fair, by "anything" Percy didn't really mean anything at all. He meant anything in our training manual. But, still...Our training manual contains over 100 hours of instruction on Understanding the Bible, Introduction to Pastoral Care & Chaplaincy, God's Plan for His Beloved, Jesus Empowered Savings Groups, Missionary God, Vision in Leadership, Servanthood vs. Servitude, Biblical Submission and Church Planting.

Percy's perspective was simple. We don't know these pastors yet. How can we know what we should teach them? How can we know, indeed? Relational and responsive, that's what we love about Zambia. We're not the experts offering our pet lectures in Zambia, we're co-laborers seeking to encourage our brothers and sisters where they need it most. I wonder where that will be?

One thing we know for sure. The hunger for learning we will encounter the week of August 23rd will be intense. American Christians are information saturated. We have knowledge our Zambian friends desperately need and want. And, we're glad to share what we have learned through the years.

On the other hand, what do we need? We need the "mystic" Christianity we encounter in Zambia, the deep prayer and passionate worship that is so common there. We need the ability to be quiet and listen, to sit under the tree with our friends, to hear the heart cry of our brothers and sisters, and to laugh together.

Zambian Christians might need our knowledge, but I think we need their zeal even more. I've heard it said that zeal without knowledge leads to error, but knowledge without zeal leads to death. Which is worse? Please pray that both zeal and knowledge come together for us on this trip and that we are led by the Holy Spirit every step of the way.