‘Transforming leaders for transformed preaching’ – exciting Great Lakes workshop

19 September 2017

Watch this interview with our Coordinator for Trainer Development.

Langham Preaching’s vision is to train indigenous believers to deliver training in their own contexts. Earlier this year, an exciting workshop for facilitators (leaders) of preaching seminars in the Great Lakes, Africa region took place in Zambia and two indigenous men delivered part of the training!

Siseho (Zambia) and the DR Congo delegation.

Read more about this inspiring week from Jennifer Cuthbertson, Langham Preaching’s Coordinator for Trainer Development, who led the workshop.

“It was eagerly attended by delegates from Zambia, DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Emeka, the regional coordinator in Nigeria also attended, alongside Mike McGowan from France who provided translation and two interns from Burkina Faso and Togo.

Fraught with challenges

“The lead-up to our workshop was fraught with challenges concerning passports, visas and flight arrangements. In the end, everyone was given a visa and we cheered loudly 
as each arrived safely
 at our venue.

Armand (lt. Togo) and Roland (rt. Burkina Faso) are taking more responsibility for delivering training.

“Armand (lt. Togo) and Roland (rt. Burkina Faso) have now attended three workshops and have taken on more and more responsibility during the last two. They were invaluable as they worked particularly with our Francophone attendees but also as they ably assisted Mike with translation (along with Oscar from Burundi). They are anxious to develop and facilitate the workshop for their own countries in the near future and I know they will succeed within the West Africa programs training others and developing their own Level 1 seminars using this teaching model.

“We had an interesting mix of French, bilingual, and English participants in this workshop. With translation going on from the front and around the tables, there was a constant hummmmm in the room and no small discussion as to the best translation of certain terms. We found that working in two languages did not hamper us at all — we were able to move at a reasonable pace and found we had enough time to complete everything.

Interactive learning

“The workshop is designed using trans-cultural dialogical education traditions and adult learning theory made practical. There are no lectures; information is disseminated as questions are asked and through their own reading and group discussions. We sit so that everyone can see everyone else and do warm- up exercises to aid in getting to know one another. Each task is designed to teach content and achieve stated learning outcomes by involving each participant in a group 
or class activity.

A lot of the information is disseminated using group activities.

“The last day and a half is dedicated to each group planning a lesson and then teaching it to the rest of us. The topics are established by the class on the first day as they analyse their own Level 1 learning and teaching experiences and what was most difficult. This time we were taught how to find the big idea of the passage, the structure of the passage, how to make the connection between the world of the Bible and their world today, and the structure of the sermon. We use Paul’s letter to Philemon as the basis of our workshop teaching and then these group teachings. Each group taught creatively and well.

“The participants commented on the fact that it is difficult to learn new things and put them into practice and now they understand a bit more why people who come to Langham seminars don’t always change the way they preach!

Inclusion of women

Georgine (lt. DR Congo) and Jennifer Cuthbertson (rt.)

“Georgine was the only woman participant. She is from Aru in the DR Congo. She boldly approached the subject of the lack of women in attendance and wanted to know why. I asked the men to respond. The responses included language issues, education, women not allowed to preach in the churches, etc. Finally, Oscar, the country coordinator from Burundi, said he thought that all the men just needed to change the way they viewed the inclusion of women and begin to make it happen. He shared a bit of his own story and what he has observed with his own children and how easily behaviours are shaped. Perhaps a seed has been sown in those programs that have been hesitant to invite the women to participate.”

“Mike translated an encouraging email sent to me from Georgine a few days after the workshop, which outlined their preaching club system in DR Congo and asked for practical advice so they can ‘better succeed’.”

In Jennifer’s initial report after the workshop, she wrote that Jean-Crispin, one of the participants from DR Congo, had not been reunited with his family. They had fled into the bush because of the soldiers pillaging and raping and overtaking their homes. He still had many kilometres to travel to reach them.

‘Humbled by their faith’

Jennifer reflected: “I am humbled by their faith, perseverance and ability to learn in the midst of such hardship and insecurity.

“I receive so much life from these workshops. I am most certainly grateful for the privilege of working with our Langham facilitators around the world. They are gifted, dedicated, and absolutely lovely people of God. They are the crème de la crème.”

One of the slogans the participants wrote to describe the workshop.

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