The men gathered again yesterday for the “Target” Uganda Pastor’s Conference. We were assembled in a little mud-walled church in the little village of Bubuti, very near the Kenyan border. There weren’t as many who gathered this year–the third of our three-year training plan. But those who gathered seemed fresh and ready to pursue the work.
I’ve waited two years to again be in that little church building. And as we made our ways through the dusty but very adequate dirt roads, things looked quite familiar. The huts, mud houses with thatched roofs, interspersed with a few areas of block buildings are a staple here in Uganda. People are everywhere. Some were cutting down large trees…looks like they are making preparations to bring electricity to the villages that dot this road. And then we came to that church where the children were gathered to see the muzungu’s (white people). And there were the men…the men with whom I feel such unity. We are pastor’s. Much like I imagine that sheep shepherd’s enjoy fellowship with one another, we people shepherd’s enjoy camaraderie.
The greetings were enthusiastic. The singing was loud and vibrant. And then we began to teach. When it came my turn, I chose to lead the men through Colossians 1:1-2.
The goal of this gathering was to begin to learn expository preaching. The brothers would be challenged to preach through Paul’s letter to the Colossians in the coming months (years?). And so we began to unpack the truth of the first two verses. We worked on selecting a text, understanding the Main Theme of a text, investigating a text, outlining a text, and clearly preaching the text to the people. When we finally finished, we had learned quite a bit about those verses. But I think we learned more about the most important part of ministry…preaching.
Okay, now that might sound a bit “too much”. Is preaching really the most important part of ministry?
the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention (2 Peter 1:17-19).
What could possibly be “more sure” than the very voice of God from heaven? The prophetic word…the Bible! And so, as we wrapped up yesterday I told those precious brothers that it is through the Bible that the voice of God thunders to His people. What then could possibly be more important than clearly exposing that voice to God’s people?
May it be here in Uganda and all over the world!