The Pastors’ Conference was held in a church in a nearby village and we arrived at 11:30 to the sound of worship which would blast your eardrums to shreds.
About 260 pastors and their wives were gathered and my mandate was to teach one session before lunch and another afterwards…. when they all fall asleep 🙂 As we prayed this morning it seemed the Lord gave a picture of wanting to go deeper with the leaders like the well we sponsored earlier in the week… from which fresh drinking water flowed.
I decided to teach four sections over the two days relating to hallmarks of a pastor. Filled with love for Jesus, Bearers of Hope and Good News, Relational and Kind, Empowered by the Spirit.
I can’t convey how much of this is flying by faith. We start with very loud worship followed by a number of passionate prayers – none of which I understand. Then I’m called up to speak and it’s sink or swim. I wanted to engage the pastors with more interaction and encouraged them to talk to each other when I posed a few questions along the way. They seemed more receptive this year so hopefully we broke some more ground…. I tried to interview two of them but they find it hard to answer without merely using Christian cliche language.
All in all it’s a time to encourage men and women who seldom gather together and trust that God will speak despite our fumblings. Prayer for healing is a challenge as many have obviously become used to asking for prayer rather like a traditional formula with little expectation of any change. Not being able to converse means it’s all we can do in this context and hope that over time some paradigms and practices will change.