Churches growing in quantity and quality’
A remarkable story of growth across the Democratic Republic of Congo
by Paul Windsor, Langham Preaching
‘Before learning from Langham, I was preaching from the sermon to the text. My sermons were from myself and not from the Bible. I opened the Bible only at the end to read one or two verses. Now I am preaching from the text to the sermon.’ (Pastor Japhet)
This is the kind of testimony bishop Muhindo Isesomo, the Langham country coordinator, hears frequently in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The preaching movement has reached nine of the eleven provinces and is evident especially in cities like Butembo, Goma, Kinshasa, Bunia, Aru and Lubumbashi. And this week a new initiative is underway, led by Muhindo Isesomo and Langhham Preaching facilitator Mike McGowan, to equip a team of trainers for the North Kivu region.
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Earlier this year, thirty people in Lubumbashi progressed to the Level 3 training, including the Anglican bishop of Lubumbashi, Monseigneur Kasima. Local facilitators, Rev Stéphane and Rev Mwamba, coordinate the nine preaching clubs meeting in the city. They have the vision to spread the training into new Protestant churches, particularly the revivalist and independent groups. There are also plans to take the training into the interior of the Katanga province, a region in the south-east that is larger than California.
Stéphane and Mwamba are working together to see preaching change. Until now it has been ‘almost always typological or allegorical and never an exposition of scripture.’ But now preachers like pastor Japhet are learning how to preach sermons with fidélité, clarté et pertinence (faithfulness, clarity and relevance). As Stéphane observes, ‘Christians in Lubumbashi are thirsty to follow this new preaching and apply what they receive into their communities.’
And the result? Bishop Isesomo writes, ‘Churches are growing in quantity and quality because the true word of God is being preached. We are seeing a big change in preaching and the people in our churches are very glad for the word of God.’