Bible Institute - Train a Pastor
Pastoral training is not a luxury. It is essential for shepherding God's people. The Bible Institute was established to help pastors/leaders receive the training they need. The Bible Institute provides this training in remote or underserved areas. Those with theological training give their time and provide their own funding to deliver the Bible Institute curriculum to others in need.
There is significant disparity in the distribution of training among the world’s pastors. In the United States, there are approximately 600,000 pastors. Two-thirds of them hold a master’s or doctoral degree. This equates to one (1) theologically trained pastor for every 812 Christians in the US. Outside of the US where almost 75% of the world’s Christian population lives, about 85% of these non-US pastors have never had theological training. In the last ten years, the number of pastors without theological training has skyrocketed. Today, there are over 4,000,000 pastors who have never had theological training. Estimates indicate that there are 700,000 trained pastors outside the US. to shepherd nearly 1.95 billion Christians. This equates to one (1) trained pastor for every 2,785 Christians; a disturbing trend that threatens to weaken these Christian communities and minimize the effectiveness of the gospel.
The effects of having a predominately untrained pastorate in the global church are numerous. Pastors who lack training struggle to lead healthy churches. Even more tragic, untrained pastors often gravitate to false teaching. When God-called pastors adopt false teaching, they become nearly indistinguishable from those who intentionally misuse biblical teaching to profit themselves. This problem has escalated to a crisis point in many nations, leading governments to seek solutions to the problem. Untrained pastors teach falsely because they have never been taught the truth. This is not often their choice. The obstacles for them to be trained are nearly insurmountable. Many pastors are hindered by a lack of time, funds, proximity, and academic qualification. If traditional, institutional training were available, it would be nearly impossible for most pastors to leave families and the jobs that support them to get the training they desperately need. Even if they had the time and could afford the cost, there is rarely an acceptable option close to their field of ministry. Many are not academically qualified to enter traditional academic education.
Besides the traditional/academic approach, other efforts are more common. Ad hoc training and intermittent pastors’ conferences are widely used. These are not broad or deep enough in their scope to meet the need, being neither systematic nor comprehensive. Other approaches use the distribution of literature as the primary means of training pastors. However, of the 7 billion people in the world, 4.35 billion are oral learners (61.7%). This makes learning purely from printed material virtually impossible for many.
The current situation is a crisis. It is damaging to the evangelism work that has already been done and stalling the expansion of Christ’s Kingdom to those who have yet to hear the gospel.
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