From an interview with Stanley Fox, Discipleship Center teacher for four years
The Haiti Biblical Discipleship Center trains Haitian pastors and potential pastors to become solid spiritual church leaders. During the three-week sessions, leaders from all over Haiti receive Bible-based teaching on the family, spiritual warfare, morality, and church leadership.
Why is the Biblical Discipleship Center needed in Haiti?
The Bible translation most Haitians have access to is a rather poor, paraphrased version in which Bible doctrines and the teachings of Jesus are not as clear as they should be. Nonresistance is a new term to many Haitian pastors. Even basic doctrines such as sanctity of marriage, holy living, and baptism are not very clear to them. Although divorce and remarriage is not common in Haiti, many men leave their wives after having several children.
Lots of pastors can’t read well. Consequently, their comprehension is low, which results in teaching and preaching that can hinder the growth of the church.
We have a waiting list of pastors wanting to attend the seminars. What does this mean?
These pastors are very open for truth! Even though they lack knowledge, they are hungry, unlike pastors in many churches in America. When they hear truth, it’s attractive to them because it’s pure and clean. We say, “This is the word of God. Take it or leave it, but never change it!”
At first we didn’t know if anyone was going to come to the seminars. But now the waiting list shows more than a hundred, and we’ve stopped giving out applications. They hear about us by word of mouth.
How long does it take to go through the seminar series?
It takes them several years to go through the whole series (which includes 5 three-week sessions). We see a lot of growth when attendees come back the second, third, and fourth times. The pastors greatly desire to come back to the next seminar to keep learning about Bible doctrines. Coming back also re-establishes the teaching they’ve already heard.
Do pastors implement this teaching when they return home?
Many pastors use ideas from books they get at the seminars to preach their messages. At the seminars, they get a ring binder with the seminar lessons and a notebook to outline the lessons. They use these books to study and preach from. I visited several churches where the pastors were preaching from their CAM books.
Some men take extra books home and have mini-seminars with other pastors in their area. Ascilio from the northwest returns to his community and does a mini-seminar with maybe 15-20 pastors in his area. He might put us out of work!
If you can train church leaders who go back home and teach others, you’ve got something effective.
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