Changing a church

BY ccrossley | 12 July 2012 |

by Jonathan Lamb, Langham Preaching

Spread across the valley floor as well as high on the mountain-sides of the northern Andes, Medellin is Colombia’s second city, with a population approaching 3 million. Whilst it was once infamous for drug trafficking and urban violence, today it is an impressive example of economic development and social renewal.

Medellin is also the home of several active Langham teams, including teachers at the seminary who are working on the Latin American Bible Commentary, and several Langham Preaching escuelitas (preachers clubs).

Carlos & Luz Cardona, Medellin, Colombia

Carlos and Luz Cardona have been active members of an escuelita that has met every week for four years. It is made up of 6 pastors from different Medellin churches, and they meet each Monday afternoon to work together on Bible passages, which they will then preach in each of the churches the following Sunday. It has been a new experience for their churches to work through Bible books systematically. But that’s not all …

Carlos and Luz have also ensured that the same Bible passages are taught at every level of the church – so that children and young people understand the force of the Bible message, and whole families can discuss what is being taught each Sunday. Carlos and Luz are an impressive husband and wife team. Carlos is teaching 2 Corinthians each Sunday, based on the shared study and application from the preachers club; and Luz is teaching the whole Bible story on Wednesday evenings, using the Spanish translation of ‘Preaching God’s Big Story’, a collection of Bible passages that provide the church with a Bible overview.

They have a clear agenda for change: ‘Our focus on teaching Bible books’ says Carlos, ‘overcomes the danger of preaching what I think the church needs, instead of what the Bible says.’ And what about the congregation? Some members work on the Bible passages the Sunday before they are preached; families discuss the practical teaching; and they are discovering the impact of the living Word. They not only express gratitude that they are learning the truth of the Bible – it is making a difference to their lives and families.