Just how does one become a Bible expositor?
Edgar was so hungry to learn biblical preaching that he asked to listen anonymously, from behind walls, while waiting patiently to be invited into the escuelita. Young and passionate, he faithfully grew in expounding Scripture through the three levels of the Langham Preaching Training Seminar programme.
During that time he caught the vision to coordinate an escualita. And, after having received training he started one in his own church.
Next (because he was recognized to be gifted) he became part of the facilitators teaching group.
Then, more recently, he was included in the ‘Seed-bed’ Project for mentoring those who are ‘good and faithful servants’ to maximize their ‘talent’ of exposition.
Edgar is an Assemblies of God pastor in the city of Bogotá. Reflecting on his story identify the essential components of our philosophy, pedagogy and strategy in Latin America for the formation of Bible expositors.
Escuelitas (called clubs or societies in some countries). The most important component of formation is participation in an escuelita. These groups are made up of 5 to 7 people who are leaders in local churches or pastors of a denomination. During each session, participants practice ‘praying Scripture’ and preaching, and they receive feedback from the group and implement what they were given in the 3-level training programme. We now have escuelitas in 10 countries in Latin America.
Coordinators. An escuelita simply does not work without a coordinator – someone with a passion for and some experience in Bible exposition. Coordinators receive training in how to prepare a session and lead it using principles of adult education. In March of 2017, Langham Preaching will start in Mexico with the training of 25 coordinators.
Facilitators. When someone has enjoyed coordinating an escuelita and is recognized as a gifted expositor, they may be invited to become a facilitator. Teaching first locally, then regionally and nationally, these men and women know the 3-level programme very well. During training they receive guidance in how to use the principles of adult education and learner-centered pedagogy, in order to facilitate others in their growth as Bible expositors. A recent facilitator training event took place in Salta in northern Argentina.
Actualization. These are annual refresher encounters, usually of a short duration, for everyone who has participated in the Preaching training programme. The intention is to update them, especially about preaching on the different literary genres used in the Bible. There have been refresher events in Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. The most significant one takes place in Medellin, Colombia, in association with the Colombian Bible Seminary. For example, in September 2016 close to 300 participants were deeply impacted there by a Peruvian Pentecostal preacher/Langham Scholar who taught from the Book of Acts on ‘Narrations that Changed History’.
Regional Team. These are mentors who, through years of preaching have gained insight in how to be a Bible expositor. The four members of the current team are pioneers and visionaries, each of them aware of their own pilgrimage in Bible exposition and all active participants in every level of the 3-level Preaching training programme: one Peruvian, two Colombians and, the leader of the group, a Bolivian.
Towards the future. Scripture and the Latin American reality are both pushing us to explore formation in narrative exposition and contextualized preaching – that is, to focus on the ´how´ as well as the ´what´ of preaching. An initiative called Seed-bed Pilot Project has been started, involving 10 preachers from 7 countries. As proven ‘good and faithful servants’, they are being mentored and challenged to become passionate Bible expositors, who also humbly accept the vision for their preaching to become sources of deep change in the church and throughout our continent.
So, this is our story … the story of a preaching movement, starting with a Bible expositor…
by Jorge Atiencia, Langham Preaching
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