Our Training Ethos
Langham Preaching is about preachers. Other ministries belong within the mission of God in the world, but we are committed to preachers and preaching. “We believe that God wants his church to grow up. We believe that the church grows through God’s Word, and that this Word comes to people, primarily, through preaching.”
Langham Preaching is about preachers in the majority world. Other parts of the world are significant, but we are committed to those countries where the need is greatest, where the resources are fewest, and the growth in the church is fastest. But it is often “growth without depth”. Under God’s gracious hand, we are committed to seeing depth develop.
Langham Preaching is about biblical preachers in the majority world. Other types of preaching exist, but we are committed to that brand of preaching which opens a biblical passage and frees that passage to provide the shape and purpose for the sermon because the preacher remains in that passage for the duration of the sermon.
Langham Preaching is about training biblical preachers in the majority world. Other approaches to equipping preachers play their role. There is the teaching of homiletics in the theological college. It starts instinctively with theory and tends to be more academic, more dependent on books and notes and lecturers, and more examinable. But we are committed to an approach which complements homiletics – and often supplements it as well. We aim to be more practical, working with fewer and simpler skills practiced and modelled repeatedly, so that we build a training that is more transferable without the need for an abundance of resources.
Langham Preaching is about training in a way which builds and sustains a movement of biblical preachers in the majority world. Other methods make their contribution. There are the larger conferences where preachers are motivated to fulfil their calling. But we are committed to smaller seminars designed to spark a movement as people gather regularly between the seminars in local fellowships for encouragement and accountability. And to nurture this regionalised movement the emphasis gradually slides across to the training of local facilitators. So the event which is the seminar becomes that brief moment in time when the infection is introduced, after which we pray that a ‘benevolent virus’ might spread. So while participants often gather looking for an event that contains something useful for themselves, we are even more interested in how they will scatter into a movement with something useful for others.
Langham Preaching is about training in a way which builds and sustains an indigenous movement of biblical preachers in the majority world. Other initiatives in these under-resourced areas readily depend on continuing support and direction from overseas. But we are committed to an outcome that is sustainable within the country and with limited resources. While in the early days of our partnerships foreign personnel and funding is prominent, as a given movement develops it becomes increasingly regionalised as local facilitators working at the grassroots become the focus. Then when a movement reaches maturity, it will be identified by regular gatherings of these facilitators that will be directed locally.
Langham Preaching is about training in a way which builds and sustains an indigenous movement of biblical preachers which changes the culture of preaching in the majority world. Under God’s gracious hand we are working towards changing the culture of preaching. And as that transformation in preaching takes place we believe it can lead on to the transformation of the church … and then as the church transforms there is the expectation that there will be a transformation of the often troubled countries in which these churches are embedded. This is because biblical preaching helps the church grow up into maturity and a mature church, living as salt and light and full of grace and truth, is the God-ordained agency for the transformation of societies.