You may wonder what a picture of a bridge is doing here. Let me explain.
Rosi and I are in Romania to train preachers who serve churches in rural Transylvania. These conferences are attended by pastors of churches in the main, along a smattering of people who are just interested in extending their Bible knowledge. They come with a wide variety of preaching experience. Some have been trained in a Bible Seminary while others are completely self-taught.
Enter the bridge method. Using this approach we can help preachers be thorough in their preparation and skilled in their delivery. The world of the Bible and the world of today are so very different it is not always easy to make the Bible understandable and relevant. So we are training people to preach the Bible in such a way that their message crosses the bridge from the Bible’s day to the present day. And that’s the challenge of preaching. The basic principles are not difficult, but doing it well takes time and practice.
Preaching takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master.
Some of the concepts we are teaching provide challenges to our translators, we are confident the main messages are communicated well and the feedback has been consistently encouraging.
Most of the pastors we teach are bi-vocational, juggling the demands of a job with the challenge of leading a church. Take N for example. He pastors four gypsy churches attended by local Roma people who are often despised by the society around them. He had a little training in the distant past and is lapping up the insights we are able to bring.
While it is easy to slip into thinking that, because of their lack of formal education, these men and women are less able than their British counterparts. In my view that is (rather patronising) error. These are intelligent, hardworking and Godly people who have not been exposed to this kind of training. It is a joy to train them and see them look at the Bible through a different lens.
One pastor contributed his views during a feedback session: “After what Ian taught today I think you could give me any verse in the Bible and I could preach on it!” (Obviously that’s a vast exaggeration, but I admit to being a bit chuffed!)
Here are a few pictures for you just click on the picture to make it occupy the whole screen.
BTW These images are served with 1800 pixels on the long edge. This is OK for printing up to 6″ by 4″ at high resolution and A4 on most domestic printers. However, if you need a larger image please let me know by clicking the ‘Contact Us’ button above.