Imagine You Are the Only Pastor of the Only Church in a Town of 10,000
A Wesleyan theology class was taught at the Nailakh Wesleyan Church this past April in Mongolia. This was the first time many of the 15-25 leaders who attended had been exposed to Wesleyan theology, and for many of them the first time they’d been exposed to systematic theology. They came each day eager to study the Bible to learn more and work towards ordination even though there’s not, technically, an ordination process in place in Mongolia yet. Read more details about how these leaders are being equipped below! Since 2016, Jennifer and Cory Ellison have been working with the leaders of the Mongolian Wesleyan Church to create a ministerial development process to more effectively train pastors.
Imagine you are the only pastor of the only church in a town of 10,000 people and the nearest town of any size is almost 4 hours away. Coming to Bible School 4 times a year is more than a time of training. It’s a time of fellowship, of encouragement, of hope and renewal. It’s a time to be teased about your new haircut and time to resurrect old inside jokes with people who have known you for years. It’s a time to pray, and sing, and learn, and dance. It’s a time to let others bear your burden and you stretch out your arms to help carry theirs.
When you are at Bible School you are reminded that you are not alone. You are renewed for the work God has called you to.
Imagine you are 1 of 2 pastors in a small town 12 hours outside the capital city. You moved there 3 years ago as a missionary to establish a new church when God called you to. You knew no one when you moved and fought hard to build meaningful relationships in this small town. You had to learn to function in a village quite different than the one you’re from.
This town is on a beautiful lake with a lot of fishing, rather than the middle of nowhere next to a mine. This one is filled with people following shamans, rather than people entrenched in atheism. This one has about 2,000 people rather than 10,000.
You’ve already seen lives made new. In fact, one of the people that came to your first public service is being discipled and becoming a leader in the church. You bring her to Bible School with you this time. Rather than the burden of discipleship resting squarely on your shoulders you share it with the teacher and with the other women in the room who love her and in will invest in her. She’s introduced to systematic theology from the teaching, new worship songs from others who also play guitar, and becomes part of a fellowship of ministers that spans the country, a sisterhood.
Imagine you are a Bible Teacher from North America. You love the Bible and you love the church. You join 20 Christian leaders in a small town in Mongolia. You sleep on a thin pad on the floor in a room with nearly a dozen other people. You use an outhouse in below freezing weather and eat food that you don’t cook (in bowls that were rinsed in hot water but definitely not washed with soap). You don’t speak the language of the students and you know how much subtle shifts in language matter with theology. You plan well but realize how much is out of your control. You’re thankful that your translator knows the audience, likes you, and has a good grasp on theology so you (mostly) don’t worry when she goes off on a tangent.
Through this week, you see with new eyes the significance that God came before the hills and mountains; that he owns them and everything on them, and that it’s foolish to worship the mountain, a created thing. You remember the shrines on the tops of hills and mountains that you passed on the way to class. You’re thankful for the opportunity to see Scripture through a different lens. You hear singing in a language you don’t understand (except the word ‘hallelujah’ and ‘i-a-sus’ which sounds different but is the recognizable name of the God you all worship.
Missionaries like Jennifer play an integral role in amplifying leaders around the world. As our global Kingdom force grows, our capacity increases for more disciples to make disciples and more churches to multiply. Here, near, far—and no matter how hard.
99 pastors have the opportunity this year to attend a Bible School like the one in Mongolia. Click here to learn how you can be a part of their stories.