Siseho Minyoi - "Langham Preaching in Zambia"
1:55AM Jun 29, 2020
Jonathan J. Armstrong
Today it is our absolute honor to be speaking with Siseho Minyoi, the director of Langham preaching in Zambia. Siseho Minyoi was also a delegate at the recent global proclamation Congress for pastoral trainers in Bangkok in 2016. So you say who we are delighted to be speaking with you today.
pleasures mine, sir.
First of all, would you please be willing to tell us your story of how it is that you became involved in Lang and preaching in Zambia?
Just after graduating from Seminary in back in Zambia and Allah in a city called Nola. I wanted to pursue further studies in the US, but I couldn't sit offending. So I stumbled onto a Lancome partnership website because I was looking for where I could get some funding. I ended up on an Lancome partnership website. And while scrolling a I discovered that Lancome is involved in preaching, and they also do scholarship funding. But then unfortunately, I couldn't either secure that funding so, a former professor at my seminary told me about Langham and he quickly connected me to another friend who was passionate about preaching in Zambia. So we soon got together, and then organized the first Langham preaching training in the city of Nola where I did my seminary training in 2009. I was also privileged to be part of that small team in the planning of lung of Zambia to begin and and we started to work, right? In summer in June of 2009. We had a dozen of people in attendance for our first ever London preaching seminar. And the guest to facilitate that first seminar was coming from UK. He was an Oxford professor. I can't remember quite his name. Now. It's been a while. But he was one of the first ever facilitators for Langham preaching in Zambia.
Very Excellent. Thank you so much. So you know, what is the mission of laying and preaching in Zambia,
Langham London. Preaching Zambia is part of Langham preaching International, which started in the UK by a man called john Stott. And Latin preaching international was established in response to the request of partnership with a global church to support preachers and teachers. So learn how Does this through its three programs, which is literature, scholarship and preaching. Langham preaching international was founded on basically three fold convictions, namely, God wants his church to grow up. Second, God's church growth through God's word. And thirdly, God's word comes mostly through preaching. Therefore, our mission as long as I'm preaching Zambia is simply to strengthen biblical preaching, because we see that as the foundation of growing strong and effective churches. Now, I counted as a privilege that here in Zambia, we thank God for the many new churches which are being planted and for the growth in numbers in the churches, but remember this that growth does not necessarily translate into debt. So, our purpose is to see the church grow through God's word, because God's word comes mostly through preaching. So our mission therefore, is to build a national movement of biblical preachers to raise the standard of preaching from the pulpit. To see God's people fed with the pure as the Apostle Peter says, to be fed with a pure spiritual milk, so that by eat they may grow up into maturity. That is our mission.
Absolutely beautiful. Say whole. I wanted very much to meet john Stott when I was in England in 2007 and eight but never had the opportunity to meet him. He was quite an elderly man then. Did you ever have the opportunity to meet john Stott or to interact with him?
Unfortunately, not because
JOHN Stuart came to Zambia. He came to my Seminary in up north in the northern part of the country. That was in Doha. And he just was visiting. I never had the privilege of meeting that was in the early 80s untold. But I interacted a lot more with his books. And he just so happened to be somebody that I fell in love with his writing, particularly. So I never met him, but I met him through his books.
Say, whoa, what types of pastoral training does Lang and preacher preaching offer in your context?
Less than preaching seminars, you have to bear in mind, Lanham preaching seminars, give practical help and encouragement to those who have a biblical preaching teaching role, where the pastor's were the evangelists, workers or parish churches. This is offered fairly on a basic level. What are we doing In nature, local preaching movements for pastors and lay preachers all around the country. And this is done through one organizing training seminars. We provide resources such as books, written by Langham scholars. And then we encourage preachers groups, or if you like, you can call them preaching clubs. This is where preachers get together on an on maybe on a weekly basis, or once in a month, they gather around and one of the pastors can suggest a passage of scripture, which he or she was preaching on, and then they gather on and get to discuss and go through the process of how you get to the sermon from the preparation to the sermon. And then finally, we do what we call building a local movement, which is committed to Bible exposition. So the practical lectures cover things such as under Standing the Bible passage, the journey from text to sermon or basic interpretation, and then we also get to talk about the integrity of the preacher. I think that's something very, very important, particularly in the time that we are living and then also the, the personal discipline of a preacher, etc. and etc.
Excellent. So you say how would you please describe the typical day or typical several days of a preaching seminar? What does it look like and feel like to go to one of these preaching seminars?
So Well, the preaching seminars that we conduct will be something like this. We gather it will be it will take like three to four days. Normally it's three days. Four days will be stretching it but typically two to three days. So we go to a secluded place, a place which where we won't be distracted, and when we gather around in that place, We start early morning with some devotion. Then we have a facilitator. It can be anybody from either our team or special guest facilitator who takes us on a biblical passage. It can be anything from the New Testament or from the Old Testament. And then we start the process of how we prepare a sermon, a biblical sermon. So it's moves from the text until you finally get to the sermon. So for three days, we are dealing with one particular genre. It may be anything from the Gospels or the pieces. And so the facilitator will guide us in how you go about in preparing a particular passage of scripture from a particular genre. And then just to be more practical, we break up into different groups so that we are Hands on, we don't just, we don't really want to focus on a theoretical, but we want to be as practical as possible. And so we get into our groups and people start going through the material and the guidelines, they have questions that you have to follow. Then we regroup and give reports each group gives a report a feedback of what they discovered in preparing a sermon. And then finally, at the end of the session or seminar, there will be a model Simmons, one somebody, particularly a facilitator has to demonstrate how someone is finally arrived that and then he gets to preach it. Now interesting is we also get the opportunity as the hearers or as the students, we're going to evaluate the preacher and there's a guideline on how we evaluate a sermon. And then at the end of it all, we disperse, we go out various places.
say Oh, thank you. So much for that description. How is it that a pastoral training in Zambia may need to be tailored in a slightly different way for its cultural context, then pastoral training in some of the other contexts with which you are familiar.
Increasingly, I think educators are speaking about formal and non formal ways of teaching. Now, I believe in both approaches, formal and non formal. When you talk about formal, you're talking about an approach where the teacher is working with new students, maybe every year, there's a new group of students that are coming in, where are in the non formal, the trainer works with the same preacher every year. Now, so there's a difference between the formal and non formal. In this way, the formal and the non former can both complement each other. I don't want to discard one over the other. So I believe that we need both. So that we can encourage withdraw from strength of each other. Now I'm familiar. I have been in a seminary, which means I was exposed to a performer kind of training in, in Zambia, the only two kinds of training that I'm familiar with, there's a form on demand for more, but not so many people. Not so many preachers in my context, have been exposed to the formal kind of training. And this is where I appreciate what Langham is doing because we come in as the non formal kind of training. And so what we do is we take along the preachers, people that are already engaged in preaching, they're really making an impact in the lives of people. So we come along and stand along with them. And we test them for a period maybe of three years, you know, we do levels in our in our seminars, we do level one, where we deal with the foundations of biblical preaching, how to prepare a sermon. level two, we'll deal with how to preach from the Old Testament. Then we follow that in the next year with level three on how to preach from the New Testament. So you see, for three years, we'll be engaging with the same preachers. And then that's where we come along them. They may not have had the privilege of going through seminary, but because we stand along them in the non formal way of preaching or training, and so we are consistent with the same people. And so they get the benefit of even if they haven't gone through formal training, even the non formal becomes more beneficial to them because there's somebody who stands along with them. So talking about bit context or kind of training, pastoral training in the context of Zambia, how it differs from other cultures. We tend to the non formal I think proves to be more helpful, because we have many more who are not even trained in the formal kind of training.
cc what are some of the types of resources that you see currently as director of Laying and preaching that would allow you to expand your work there. Okay,
yeah, sure. That's an interesting question, Jonathan.
training people is one thing, but sustainability of both training is another. For me, the greatest resource is human person now, because we are under resourced as trainers. We have been training now for the past, from the time that I became the Lancome leader here in Zambia. We have trained, I'd say over 100 preachers, and so we need to have more people that can follow up because we're talking about sustainability boards that are trained. So the greatest resource that we need is the human personnel. Because people who are trained need to also start training Does so they need to have kind of like coaches that can come along. And just like the Apostle Paul to the post to Timothy, where it says entrust to reliable man. So people that we train need to also start training others. So we need to have human personnel in terms of resources. The second resource that we need is what I'm calling extra biblical material. Besides the Bible itself, which is the number one or the primary resource that is needed, by the way, we have pastors that we go to, particularly those in the rural areas, they don't have a, they also express a need for Bibles. So there's a Bible but besides the Bible, there's also the extra biblical material such as commentaries, such as biblical dictionaries, and etc. Books, religious books that can be helpful as you are preparing your sermons like I talked about earlier on About a commentary written by john Stott. And I think that was something that when I was doing a sermon on first john, it proved to be a very helpful book besides my own work when I was preparing the extra biblical material. Somebody's written by john. So it was very helpful for me to understand passages that I couldn't, in my own little mind couldn't explain or understand it properly. Maybe the Greek was too hard for me. So an extra biblical material written by a scholar can be very helpful. So the second resource will be extra biblical materials. And I've already mentioned that such as commentaries and biblical dictionaries, and probably the third that will be in our training what we have noticed that without the monetary, all the funding, everything we do requires finances. Without that we won't go very far. And so everywhere we go in the country, we'll always need finances and finances will carry us everywhere we go. We need finances for materials we use to teach the people. We need finances, for the facilitators for their food, for their lodging for their transportation, finances to fund the seminars themselves. The pastors that we train, Jonathan, I don't even know. But most of the pastors that we train, they don't. I have been a pastor in a local church. I know the budgets of most of the churches in my country. And I know how much sacrifice is going in by those pastors. And it's very easy to get discouraged because there isn't much coming in in terms of the church coffers.
There's big numbers of unemployment in our countries. And so most of the church members, people come into the church, but unfortunately, they don't have much to give in the church. And so they if you go to have a seminar to train these pastors who are doing such tremendous work, and then you ask them to pay for a seminar, they will be discouraged. And so one of our philosophies is We don't want to deter this pastors from coming to the training. So we need to have some form of, we need to subsidize the seminars. In other words, we don't have to pay them, ask them to pay so much. We need to reduce the costs. But then we need to pay for the venue, we need the food to sustain the people that are going to come. So we need finances for the seminars. And we also need finances to do us to hire vehicle a vehicle. For example, for us to go to the remotest parts of the country. There has to be some form of transportation, and we need to use a beer but we're going to get a beer but we need to hire a vehicle. So bottom line is that the third form of resource that helps is funding or real battle take us anywhere. So one of our needs at the moment in in our training, you know work right now is where we need huge funding, so that we can do the work effectively and then Right now we are limited whenever we we plan like next year 2017, we're looking at only three places that we're going to visit in terms of the country. We one of the things that I proposed to my team is that we need to target or the provincial headquarters, that will be like the, that'll be like, all the equivalent to the states in your country that will be like the state's going to all the state headquarters. So we are targeting to move in all the parts of the country, but starting with the headquarters of the provinces or the headquarters of the states. Now to do that, we are limited we can only do three at a time because of the funding. But if we had extra funding, we'll probably achieve more and go to many places and it will be easier for us to go back and do level two training and then again to go back and do level three chain training.
That way we make an impact
many are talking about about global partnerships in the task of pastoral training worldwide, what are some of the ways that we can practically collaborate with one another in this huge task of training pastors around the world?
That's a good question. Now, also, I don't have the statistics.
I think Somewhere I read, is that also a maybe 2.5 million pastoral leaders in the world, only about 5% are trained for pastoral ministry.
Meaning leaders need immediate strengthening for their pastoral ministry.
Collaborative pastoral training of large numbers of pastoral leaders can effectively and efficiently address the opportunities of the realities of the efficiency of trained administrators. If we collaborate rate. It can help to leverage the strength of each sector to prepare maturing shepherds, those that want to get into ministry. When we get together in a collaborative pastoral training, we're going to help those that are maturing those that are getting into pastoral ministry. They will learn from those that have got experience, collaborative, Pastore training can also facilitate, to build community to explore opportunities and discover resources amongst ourselves when you get together. For example, when you've got when we went to Thailand in Bangkok, it's because of getting together, it helps to see what others have the resources that others have and others don't have. You see, so we can exchange ideas and in both kind of collaborative training, we encourage each other. You know, those kinds of meetings collaborative pastoral training, I seriously commend them
because it protects The church when we get together, we share ideas. It protects the church from spiritual
health disasters that are happening currently, it can help to correct the credo and cultural Miss conceptions of Christianity. And probably Lastly, corrupt, collaborative pastoral training can multiply and sustain the future leaders of the faith. So building a global pastoral training will help to accomplish the final mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is to go out into the world and to preach and to eventually reach the world. And to finally the Lord Himself comes back. So we need that I seriously commend Collaborative for story training. It's a necessary element in in the health and the growth of the church. I think we need to make it as a priority to implement it in every ministry. initiative globally and also locally, shouldn't just be on a global but also on the local. We need to come together as a church. One of the beauties about my Langham team is that it's composed of people that are not from the same denominations. You know, one of the things that has the setbacks about the church is that the denominational lines that we have drawn, I'm a Baptist, I'm a Pentecostal and I am a Presbyterian, or I am from a different church. Those lines have forced us to live in our own cocoons, but you can imagine if we broke down those barriers and got together that the one does and and and the bigger impact that we can make. So collaborative pastoral training will help foster this kind of communities and will make a bigger impact we can address the credo or misconception about Christians when we get together. Can you imagine the Baptist coming and agreeing together with the Pentecostals?
That's a beautiful vision thing. You say whoa, if I ask you, would you be willing to share a story or two about your work at length them and share with us specifically some of the fruit that you've seen produced from your work?
Hmm, that's a good question.
I think the most rewarding parts of my work in lamb is knowing that I am indirectly changing lives of many people. Through this one particular pastor, or teacher or preacher, that I have personally trains. I know that invariably, when I train this person, I am invariably sharing in this spiritual growth in the person that they are preaching to. I know that the church that they're preaching in, they're feeding their flock on good solid inferior, solid food rather, and thus resulting in unhealthy fellowship of believers. So just the thought that this one person that I trained, he's doing the correct thing, the right thing on the pulpit. He's I am indirectly in making an impact in his church members, because I spent time to train him. There's a testimony that I thoroughly enjoyed about a fairly middle aged man in southern parts of Zambia, when we went for training early June of this year. I won't mention his name because I didn't get his permission. But we went down to a place called Livingstone, a very beautiful town. It's famously known for its seventh word wonder, which is the Victoria Falls. That's where we have the Victoria Falls, something similar to what you have called the Niagara Falls in the US. We went down there in June, we met this person who came for the training you heard about the seminar that was advertised.
he came and he said, Send an outstanding story of conversion and call upon his life. This man, this gentleman, I'll refer to him as a gentleman. He came literally from the streets to the pulpit.
He immediately planted a church, and under three years the church grew to over 1000 members.
The gentlemen soon realized that he has got a huge responsibility or feeling his congregation with the Word of God on a weekly basis. Now, you got to keep in mind, he literally came from the streets to the pulpit, so he had no formal training.
Before the training, the Langham training,
he told me that you jump on the pulpit on a Sunday. He never took time to prepare this A month. Most of his sermons were done maybe on a Saturday evening because it was so busy with his growing church attending to some of the needs of the church members, or you prepare your sermon on an early Sunday morning. And then you get onto the stage give a very unstructured and incoherent message. And once it's done quickly, he gets off the stage, and he would feel a sense of not having done a good job. Now, after the training, the Langham training, in his own words in his testimony that he shared with me that he was so unconscious about the the every time we prepare someone, but after the lack of training, he came to me and says, You know what, Langham training is done to me. I become over such and so conscious. Every time I sit down to prepare my sermon, I'm so cautious. I'm so careful in my approach to preparing a sermon. And I'm so mindful that I'm going to preach a message to the people and so even the sermons One of the themes immediately after the training one Sunday that he went to his pulpit after the sermon that he preached, the church members came to him some of the church members came to him and said the same. There's something different about your sermon today. And he was surprised as Ah, I know why my someone is different. It's because what I learned from Lancome, ever since that time, the gentleman has changed his approach. And he says, I want to learn more from Lancome and is always on us asking, when are we going back to Livingston to go and do a level two training? And I've got a word for him that we are going back next year in April.
Praise God. What What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing that with us say who you can
She say, oh, if I may close with a question that I've been asking everyone on our only test feed a program and that is this. What would the church what would it look like for the church to be united today how Would we recognize this unity and what is it that we can do as individual Christians to pursue the unity of the church? Hmm,
good question. Ah, I think we would achieve greater things together than when we work alone in our corners.
There's an African proverb, Jonathan that says, a tree alone cannot withstand a storm. Imagine if we, the church spoke with one voice. Imagine if we the church spoke with one mind having the same love being one in spirit and in purpose. What would that mean? What would it mean? I think it would mean a lot for the church. I think it would mean a lot in the word, I think it would mean a lot in making an impact in the global community together as the body of Christ, we can achieve more because we have one thing in common, which is the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can share resources together as a global church, speaking with one voice in one mind. There's another problem Jonathan in Africa that says, the youth can walk faster, but the elder knows the road. Let me repeat that. The youth can walk faster, but the elder knows the road. There is one Biscay what the probably thing is that there's one with energy and there's another with experience.
You need both.
The global church is endowed with different gifts and talents. For example, the West may have their strength in certain areas, which the African church may not have. But if we unite by putting our strength and our energy together, we achieve much more and we can do exploits together and much more. in unity, this strength but in Division is weakness. The global church needs to be more united. May I end with this last prophet from Africa? I mean, after all, you are talking to an African. We speak in parables. Yes, please. The last parable from Africa sees a united family. It's from the same place.
I'll leave it to your students to interpret that problem for me.
I'm not sure I can wait that long. So
say oh, I've got To know the answer, do you mean in terms of communion? When we're united at the communion table? Are you thinking of something else?
I'm thinking, boy, I'm thinking of a united family. You see in the traditional African setting, in a household, we eat from the same place. It says, as the culture is evolving, we now it's separately we eat, you have your own plates. When you're eating from your own plate, it shows individualistic. It shows solitude, it shows that you are different from the other person, but in to show unity. We always eat from the same place, we scoop from the same place. So hence the proverb, United family, it's from the same thing. We share the same values. We share the same vision. It's almost like the Apostle Paul talks about we have been baptized from the one spirit from the one Lord. Everything is from the one source we need not to be separated or the Divided simply because I am a Baptist or I am a Pentecostal, but because we are united we eat from the same family we have one cause one common goal which is united by the same Lord Jesus Christ you if you'd like you may put it that the Lord is the foundation the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation by which every church is built up. So united family, it's from the same place.
It's been our absolute delight today to be speaking with say, Whoa, Nino he, Director of Lang and preaching in Zambia, and also was a delegate at the recent global proclamation Congress for pastoral training trainers in Bangkok in 2016. She said, Oh, thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you
so much, Jonathan, for having me. It's been a pleasure and I look forward to more time