Langham Preaching in Nigeria and Ghana

Emmanuel Oladipo is a seasoned traveller in Africa. Formerly the African regional secretary for Scripture Union, Emmanuel now serves in a similar capacity in Langham Preaching. His travels recently took him to Jos, a city which has experienced much turbulence in recent months, with clashes between Muslims and Christians resulting in a devastating loss of life and property.  For some years, under the wise leadership of a strong country coordinating team representing all major Christian denominations, Langham Preaching Nigeria has been developing multi-level seminars to train pastors and lay preachers. Last month a two-level seminar was held, which attracted large numbers despite the unrest.  Plans are now being put in place for a training of local facilitators, due in early November to equip more Nigerian pastors to train other preachers in their towns and regions.

Emmanuel also visited the team in Ghana, discussing ways to extend the reach of the LP programme. He met several leaders of preachers’ clubs, and was encouraged to listen to their testimonies of the growth of the work.

Emmanuel reports: ‘We had a full day visiting several pastors who have completed the three levels of LP training, spending an hour or two with each of them in their local settings. Even granted that those we visited were specially selected for my benefit and encouragement, they still provide striking evidence of the value of the ministry and much cause for much praise to the Lord.  Here are some of the highlights:

•    Rev Dan Nii Tackie, coordinates the work of Radio Preachers for the Church of Pentecost. He attended the first Level 1 programme in 2005, together with his wife who is in charge of the Women’s work. “I had learned about Expository Preaching as one of many options at Seminary,” he told me, “but Level 1 opened my eyes on the issues of clarity, relevance, and faithfulness to the Text.” Until then, his methodology was based on “one word that jumps at you from the text.” He has now gone through the training of local facilitators, and his monthly training of some fifty Radio Preachers for the denomination is now based on what he learned from Langham Preaching Seminars. They broadcast regularly on 33 local radio stations and 2 TV stations.

•    Rev Hesse, Aboma, from the Presbyterian Church, passed on what he learned at Levels 1 and 2 to 8 people with whom he met at 7-8 pm on Saturdays over a two-year period. They then joined the national Level 3. He plans to start again with a new Level 1 in which he intends to include the Church’s youth leaders and participants from other churches. The fact that his Presiding Bishop is a Langham Scholar, he says, is a great help!

•    Rev Fr Albert Akai-Nettey is an Anglican and trains a group of church workers on a weekly basis, using lessons he learned from Langham Preaching. His plan is to use the good standing he has with the National Council of Churches to offer help in training their lay preachers.

•    Very Rev Emmanuel Bortey, a Methodist, is a member of the Planning Committee which has charge of different church workers. He invited me to speak at one of their meetings to help introduce the Preaching Seminars programme he is about to begin with them. There were about 20 present, and the questions they asked provided a heartening insight to the calibre and quality of those involved.’