Transformative training in Central America

Latin America Scholar Consultation

In the 10 years that Dionisio Orjuela has worked to train pastors across Latin America, he’s seen enormous challenges — and God’s incredible faithfulness through those challenges.

Dionisio is a pastor from Colombia and serves as Langham Preaching’s coordinator for Central America. 

Langham Preaching equips pastors with expository preaching skills, practiced and modeled repeatedly so that they’re easily transferable. 80% of pastors around the world don’t have formal training — and seminary education is still out of reach for many. Langham Preaching steps into this gap.

In a recent conversation, Dionisio shared about Langham’s impact in Central America and the challenges that the church faces.

What challenges does the church in Central America face?

The church is growing in quantity but not in quality. It’s growing in numbers but not in depth in many churches. For example, pastors are preaching a fashionable theology such as prosperity, gospel, apostolic and prophetic movement, just the preacher’s opinions, simply motivational messages. And in the worst cases, heresies born from lack of a healthy biblical interpretation.

Read more: Pushing back against the prosperity gospel in Fiji

How does Langham Preaching address that challenge?

I remember one pastor in one of the Central American countries sharing with sincere humility after one of our workshops, “I have had to kneel and ask God for forgiveness for many of the things I have preached until today. And now I have realized that they have no biblical foundation.”  

Langham Preaching is reaching out precisely to those nations to help bring about revival that begins in the pulpits, teaching pastors and preachers to preach faithfully to the scriptures with the relevance to their social context and with clarity in the message communication. 

How does poverty impact pastors in Central America?

32% of the total population live in poverty, and 13% are in extreme poverty. And this statistic is reflected in people’s faces, especially in countries like Honduras, Nicaragua, in Cuba, there are families who survive on a dollar a day, for example. 

Many pastors and leaders who participate in our preaching movements are ministering in those contexts, most of them would never have the opportunity to go to a theological seminary or a Bible institute to receive training as pastors or preachers.

How have you seen the Lord use Langham Preaching?

Nelson Morales, our national coordinator in Guatemala, who is also a Langham Scholar, shared with me, “I can see the pastors and leaders have a greater conviction and clarity in their sermons.” 

The beauty of the program is that it starts where they are in their preaching and takes them through three years in a process of remarkable growth. And that’s invaluable.