Something to Hold on to in Bandung

BY kirakrieger | 2 August 2016 |

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There is growth with depth inside St. Peter’s Church in Bandung, Indonesia, where the pastor, Daniel (not pictured), has been trained by Langham to faithfully and relevantly preach from Scripture.

Even though it was a four-hour walk to and from church in his remote village in Sumatra, Indonesia, Daniel always knew he wanted to grow up to be a pastor (even before he knew Christ). But, he shared with us recently, his high expectations of what life would be like as a pastor came crashing down as his parents divorced and his mom left the family.

“Because my parents divorced, I couldn’t go to school—my education stopped,” he recalls. “I was brokenhearted, I felt hopeless. My life has no meaning.”

He moved with his father to a larger city and, at age 18, he felt Christ’s unmistakable call on his life and a renewed desire to pastor others. He managed to finish his education, become a pastor—and then he says Christ miraculously restored what was lost: his family.

“Since I met Christ my life turned around. I never saw my mother for 19 years because she left us, but after I converted to Christianity and became a pastor I began to look for my mum.  God used me to reconcile the family,” he says.

Today, God is using Daniel to bring Christ’s reconciling hope into to his church family as pastor of St. Peters Church in Bandung.

Growing in numbers and in depth

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Daniel teaching on Sunday

When Daniel started the church almost 5 years ago—it was a congregation of 7, and 6 of those were his family members. But, with a focus on small group discipleship, Daniel says the church grew in numbers as the core members, who were growing in maturity, began to invite new people in.

“We talk to them, accompany them, and lead them,” Daniel says of how they shepherd new believers. “And, we try to have a simple service, so that they can feel that this is their home. . . and the preaching needs to be simple, understandable and biblically-based.”

That’s where Langham Partnership comes in.

Growing in God’s Word

Daniel says attending Langham’s pastor training seminars has helped him to keep his sermons faithful, clear and focused on God’s Word.

“With [Langham’s] simple method, it’s helped me to find the sermon. . . Before joining Langham, my image of expository preaching was too complicated. I never liked to do it. But, after Langham . . . I learn to love it, to love the Bible,” he says “Since Langham, I always preach expository preaching. The way I arrange the sermon is not topical anymore, but it’s based on the Bible.”

In the two years since his training with Langham began, Daniel has preached through several books of the Bible, and his congregation has noticed a change.

“They say it’s easier to understand because I focus on one message, and the whole context,” Daniel says. “[My] congregation grew in their understanding and knowledge of the Bible.

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Members of St. Peters church lifting their voices in worship.

More than that—Daniel says he’s noticed a change in his congregation.

“The problem that my congregation members have is usually economic. Low education, and then poor quality of life,” he says. “They are desperately poor, and are longing for the Word of God to strengthen them, to encourage them, and to give them something to hold on to. . .”

After spending three months preaching through the book of Acts—Daniel saw the Word of God impacting the heart of his church.

“I preach three months only from Acts, and the congregation says that now they know what is the purpose of their lives: to serve God,” Daniel shares. “Through the teaching on Acts, they learn to have the new perspective on live, a new vision in God, and how to be responsible…running your life well by learning how Paul in Acts [does] life and ministry.”

Langham’s pastor training movement is well established in Indonesia, a country with the largest Muslim population in the world. In the past 18 months, there have been 30+ Langham training seminars across the nation, and the majority of them are led by local trainers. We are grateful for how God has grown the movement in Indonesia–and for the prayers and support of partners like you that help make this work possible.

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