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Developing Leaders

The local leaders in the bush village churches need a wide variety of gifts and capabilities. Firstly they need to be able to live an authentic Christian life in an environment where the prevailing culture draws in tribal traditions and where behaviours are rooted in deeply ingrained survival instincts. Secondly they need to be able to share the gospel through teaching, preaching and drama to church members who only speak Chichewa, many of whom have little or no literacy. It is a huge blessing if the leaders have good enough English language skills to be able to help with interpreting. As church leaders they need pastoral skills of healing prayer, discernment for times when deliverance ministry is required and the ability to offer discipline and correction. Thirdly they are the channel for sharing sustainable agriculture approaches and will need also to be able to model good farming practice. This is a lot to ask of someone brought up in the bush villages.

They are discipled by the senior leadership team and by the most experienced amongst their number. Teaching conferences twice a year (often supported by a visiting trustee from UK) bring church leaders together from a very wide area for several days of teaching, discussion and encouragement.

In early 2020 Julian instructed John as to how he might teach a discipleship course called Rooted in Jesus. This has been prepared by the Mathetes Trust in the UK specifically for African churches in similar situations to those faced in Malawi. That course is slowly being introduced by John and Biliat to the church leaders around the country. The reports from it are very encouraging. In October 2020 a team of church leaders from Mozambique met with John to receive instruction before returning to their villages with the intention of using the course there too.



Leaders from Mozambique with Rooted in Christ materials at Tengani in Nsanje district


Rooted in Jesus Lilongwe Area 26th July


Church Leaders and Wives meeting 9th September