The Cirkev Bratská in Slovakia (the denomination we work most closely with) has made church planting its number one priority. The denomination estimates that over the next ten years we will need more than twenty new pastors if we want to reach our church planting goals. But where will those pastors come from? Many of them will be young, bi-vocational pastors with no formal theological education. How will they find time for theological education while juggling ministry, job and family?
One good example of this type of up and coming church planting pastor is Bohuš. Bohuš teaches high school math and he and his wife have a new baby. He’s also serving as an assistant pastor in Nitra while working on his ordination credentials in the Cirkev Bratská. Between family, work and ministry there’s not much time left for Bohuš to pursue formal theological education. And yet Bohuš and church leadership agree that theological training is important for the health of the church.
So what to do? As part of his ordination credentialing, Bohuš decided to meet with me and one other theological mentor to sharpen his Scripture handling skills. He and I met in person or over Skype about every three or four weeks throughout the school year. We started out in the book of Genesis looking at how the plot of Scripture is set in motion and how the book of Genesis also sets up a kind of structure for Biblical Theology. After that we went quickly through Exodus and then the book of Isaiah.
A Pilot Program
The whole thing was a bit of an experiment and not very well organized (from my part, at least) but it seems like it helped Bohuš gain a foothold on the plot of the Bible and also see how it plays out in a prophetic book and even on in to the New Testament.
This is the kind of thing I love to do. Bohuš is going to use this new skill as he preaches and leads his congregation or church plant and God’s people as a whole will gain more skill in handling God’s word.
This summer I’m thinking through how much I should be involved in this kind of ministry going forward. I’m excited about the church planting efforts in Slovakia and I see a lot of potential in these young pastors who are committed to rightly handling the word of truth.