Our city and region need more heralds who proclaim the gospel so that people can hear and believe. Actually, everywhere around the world needs this.
What we have noticed about our region is that we do need more preachers, and we as a church are being asked for preachers to serve where there are so many needy places. We’re a small church, and only four years old as a church-plant, but we have a handful of men who are able to teach and who do preach on a regular basis. The preachers of Reforming are happy to serve other churches in our region, but we see this as only a short-term solution to a long-term need.
So our plans and prayers are that we could use the gifts of people that God has given us to train more preachers to serve our region. We call the whole thing, “Expounders”.
An expounder is a person who explains the meaning of a text of Scripture. Simple enough. Yet in our society we see many people wanting to preach and sadly not being equipped to do just that, explain to proclaim the meaning of the word of God. Since it’s so important that we don’t preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as servants for Jesus sake (2 Corinthians 4:5) – it’s critical that we train and coach preachers who teach the Bible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus.
Our preaching training has two parts to it:
Firstly, our Expounders Course, where a trainee preacher learns to expound God’s word, the Bible, in a group of trainees under the guidance of trained preachers. We have found that preaching is not learned best from a guru or a centre of preaching somewhere else or a book on preaching, or even a theological college. Those are all good things, but not the best for training preachers. Preaching is best learned with Bibles open and training alongside experienced preachers, through discussion-based study of God’s word, and by going through the practice of preaching yourself in your local setting. We learn best in community and Churches train Christians best.
Secondly, our Expounders Group, where trained preachers are added to a group of people who can be called upon to preach somewhere. Churches or ministries that ask for an Expounder know that they are getting someone who has been trained in a church context, and is tested first before they go out “into the field”. Our Expounders Group of preachers are also continually coached in their preaching of Christ, in the way they handle the word. Our training and coaching is flexible, fun and formative so that our preachers don’t conform to a particular style but learn to use their voice and the personality that God has given them.
Whilst it is our conviction that all Christians are involved in gospel ministry through the prayerful speaking of the word to one another and others – we also see that due to the distribution of God’s gifts preaching itself is not for everyone. Having said that, everyone is welcome to come to the Expounders Course, it’s just that only qualified Expounders will join the Expounders Group.
In all of this our overall aim is given to us in God’s word, that we would all do our best to present ourselves to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).