Pastoral Training in Uganda
Since the early years of WGM’s ministry in Uganda, which began in 1992, it has been clear that the need to develop and train pastors to lead Africa Gospel Church Uganda congregations is great. Most Ugandan pastors work during the week to provide for their families so are unable to attend a resident Bible or theological college. The pastoral training program has given thousands of national pastors and church leaders the opportunity to receive training on a part-time basis while continuing to serve their families, churches, and communities.
The multilevel training program used by WGM in partnership with AGC was created to equip national pastors and church leaders with the practical ministry skills and Bible knowledge they need to effectively minister. It also prepares them to train other pastors, thus strengthening AGC Uganda. In 2015, 313 pastors and church leaders participated in the training program.
Currently, the training is a three-year program, and training sessions are held for groups of pastors using a specifically designed curriculum. Each year, participants receive 36 lessons in the areas of basic Bible knowledge, theology, church history, Biblical Storytelling, general pastoral studies, radio and hospital ministries, and practical ministry skills (preaching and evangelism). The students also attend training two days each month in regional locations that are near to their homes. The strengths of the pastoral training program include:
- Enabling pastors to continue ministering in their communities while they study
- Preparing pastors to better serve Christ through knowledge of His Word and the use of practical ministry tools
- Teaching pastors many Bible stories so they can share God’s Word with their congregations, even if those people cannot read the Bible themselves
“Pastoral training continues to be a cutting edge ministry,” explained WGM Uganda’s missionary staff. “In order to stay on the cutting edge, AGC Uganda, with the assistance of WGM, has been consistently changing and adapting this ministry and its curriculum in order to make it as effective as possible. Through Biblical Storytelling, the pastors learn how to share a Bible story. They then lead an oral inductive study of the scripture, joining with the Holy Spirit in enlightening people to truth in God’s Word, which brings transformation in hearts and lives.”
Another addition to the program came on October 9, 2015, when WGM missionaries Nathan and Jade Metz facilitated the opening of the AGC Pastoral Library in the capital city of Kampala, Uganda. The library has a growing inventory of reference materials that gives pastors invaluable resources to continue studying on their own.
Rev. Martin Owori is an AGC pastor in Uganda. He attended school through seventh grade but was forced to drop out because of financial constraints. After he left school, Martin felt the Lord calling him to serve as a pastor. Since Martin could not read very well, he welcomed AGC Uganda’s pastoral training methods that use simple but relevant reading materials.
Through the pastoral training, Martin has grown in his faith and ministry. He is currently the senior pastor of an active and growing church, he oversees more than 20 pastors, and he serves as a national and international trainer of pastors for AGC. On January 15, 2016, Rev. Owori was elected as the assistant bishop of AGC Uganda. His knowledge, skills, and confidence are amazing because of the effectiveness of the pastoral training program.
Future plans for the pastoral training program include:
- Adding levels of training to strengthen the learning environment
- Expanding the availability of resources to support study in a wider variety of academic areas
- Installing computer-based resources to improve study options
- Building structures to improve current training sessions
- Offering continual formal theological education classes to address the growing number of educated church members in AGC Uganda congregations
“It is a goal of the program to continue training, challenging, and discipling those who participate,” WGM Uganda’s staff shared. “We want to continue to intentionally evaluate and develop pastors and church leaders according to the dreams and visions they have for the future church in Uganda. The Lord has done amazing things through this ministry, and we look forward to what He will do in the future.”
PRAY: Pray that Jesus will be lifted up and glorified in all of the ongoing pastoral training program outreaches. Pray for safety for the instructors and pastors as they travel and that God will provide the funds needed for continued pastoral training in Uganda. Please also pray for effective teaching and retention of the materials so the national pastors and church leaders will be more effective in sharing the gospel with their families, churches, and communities.
GO: Do you want to go to Uganda? Those involved in the pastoral training program are always looking for people to come and participate in the training as a teacher or mentor. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
GIVE: In order to see the church in Uganda and beyond continue to grow, the pastoral training program needs help with student scholarships and buying resource materials.
Shape a Shepherd: In the West, pastors can attend Bible colleges, seminaries, and dozens of continuing education events. In Uganda, many pastors get only a few Bible lessons from the person who led them to Christ. For only $525 ($175 per year), you can make it possible for a pastor to attend the three-year pastoral training program in Uganda.
Resource Materials: The AGC Pastoral Library staff’s wish list changes frequently, so contacting Nathan and Jade Metz via the email link on www.wgm.org/metz is the best way to donate books and resources.
SHARE: View a speaker outline for Pastoral Training in Uganda.