Preacher Training in Shimleu, Romania


We have been giving our translators a few challenges! Preaching, and especially preaching methods, often use words and ideas that are uncommon in every day speech. This leaves our interpreters trying to find the best fit for a concept we are explaining. They do this valiantly and will sometimes pause for a brief chat if they need more insight. And if the interpreter is wide of the mark there’s usually someone else in the audience to put them right. So we do get the odd moment when we completely lose the thread and have to rely on our Romanian friends to sort out the wood from the trees.

This has had an interesting spin-off for my own teaching. One begins to realise how much analogy, metaphor and just plain padding one uses when speaking to a British audience. I’m becoming convinced that British preachers also need to be more focused in their use of language. We can dilute (or even misuse) God’s word if we are sloppy with the way we deploy our words. I have to admit that words like pot, kettle and black do come to mind!

It is a healthy discipline to adapt ones vocabulary to make it clearer without losing meaning.


This picture above of the church in Shimleu. We completed three days of training there yesterday, dividing the conference into two groups. Rosi and Ian Crossley took the ‘normal’ group and I took the advanced one. Rosi and Ian C are continuing to expound the bridge method using Philemon as their base text.

Meanwhile I taught the other group about three different styles of sermon: exegetical, expository and narrative. They had asked me to preach in the church last Sunday morning and I deliberately chose two contrasting styles. It was quite gratifying to see that they spotted this without being prompted and it provoked a lively discussion about how to preach using stories.


You can see from the picture that the worship team includes some very young people. It was thrilling to see the way this church integrates people from different generations. What you don’t see is the orchestra! With people from right across the church they have a band with some strings, guitars and mandolins. The sound was very traditionally Romanian and very moving

Here are a few pictures for you just click on the picture to make it occupy the whole screen.

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