We've had a lot of good questions regarding why we hold conferences for low-income pastors. Here are the most popular FAQ's:
  • Why is regional training more effective?
    The primary reason low-income pastors need to be trained in an area close to them is due to the financial limitations most of these pastors face. Most pastors work one or more jobs in addition to pastoring their church therefore they almost never have an opportunity to attend training in larger seminaries or conferences which also typically cost more than most pastors earn in a 2 month period.
    A secondary problem with sending low-income pastors to seminaries or Bible institutes in larger cities is the lure of cosmopolitan life. A pastor who God has called to minister in a small town will frequently give up his or her calling to that town in favor of a "better" life in the cities where larger seminaries or Bible institutes are usually located. By taking practical modular training to them they can remain in their locale, and not be tempted by life in a large city.
  • Is teaching basic hermeneutics effective?
    In many respects, small town pastors in the developing world are more missionaries than they are pastors. Low-income areas are usually low-education areas. Pastors reaching these people have to start from the beginning of a person's world-view ("Where did I come from?") before they talk about spiritual truths. This is very challenging for most pastors who are trained in traditional churches where the Gospel is first and sometimes the only element of Christianity that is taught. Therefore, we have found it extremely effective at each conference to reiterate the respect of denominational doctrine, and focus teaching through large sections of Scripture so that the pastor becomes more competent teaching the whole Bible well.
  • Couldn't you train more pastors if you charged a small fee?
    Yes, but no. The pastors we are targeting usually do not make more than $200-300/month. Even charging them the equivalent of $10 would prohibit the very pastors we are trying to train from coming. We do ask those pastors who can pay for the materials ($30-40US) to pay so that others can come, but these lower-to-middle income pastors represent less than 10% of the pastors at each conference.
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