Escuelitas – The Backbone of Latin America Preaching

Preachers are the backbone of the global church. They are biblical leaders who are at the centre of their communities and essential in the growth of new Christians.

One of the core ministries of Langham Partnership is training church leaders throughout the Majority World. We focus on training those who are shepherding God’s flock in places characterised by poverty, pressure, and persecution.

Our process involves a proven pipeline to take those with a calling for leadership and train them with the knowledge and resources they need to become pastors in their communities. It’s designed to give leaders what they need to minister and ensure they can go back to their churches and continue to further the kingdom, while still being grown and supported.

The Langham Partnership process involves three key components:

Regional Pastor Training
Pastors travel to annual one-week Langham Preaching training seminars to meet and learn how to study God’s Word.

Local Preaching Circle
After the seminar, each pastor returns to their community and forms a Preaching Circle with nearby pastors and lay people for ongoing training and support.

Growing Churches
This is the real work of pastors – teaching the Bible, biblically shepherding local believers to grow in their faith, and sharing the gospel with the lost in their community.

In Latin America, local preaching circles called ‘escuelitas’ (‘little schools’ in Spanish), are playing a huge role in equipping and encouraging local pastors across the continent!

Faithful Preachers Training as a Family

Member of an escuelita, Esteban Alvarez from Chile, explains about the groups: “A circle of Bible expositors (escuelita) is a small community of people who meet regularly to seek to be increasingly faithful, more relevant and clear in order to better serve the church.”

Members describe their circle as not just a group to learn preaching, but a family who walk alongside each other. Member D’Angelo Valdez from Peru shares, “In the escuelitas what we do is, as a family, we learn, we preach, we communicate, and we love each other as a family. In this way, we grow month after month in preaching.”

When hearing from any member of an escuelita you can see the joy being part of the community brings them!

Willean Maid from Bolivia shares, “The beauty of this small group is that we share the table around the Word with a coffee or a meal, this community is really growing over time and relationships are getting stronger too. So much that we now know personal things about the other person and we can rejoice with each other. Also to be able to share what we are weak in.”

As well as being personally encouraged and supported, members are being continually shaped to be better preachers, this, in turn, impacts their congregations. Pastor Nelly Perez shares:

“It’s incredible the change that happens in the churches that have been trained. How people learn to preach in a faithful, relevant, and clear way and the congregation enjoys those sermons. Also the possibility of training people who before did not have access to seminars and women who were not used to preaching either. It’s really beautiful to see how the ministry is growing in all Latin American countries.”

The support of Langham Partnership in forming and facilitating the escuelitas hasn’t gone unnoticed by participants. D’Angelo says, “For me Langham is a family that cares for each one of the coordinators and for each one of the members of the ‘escuelitas’.”

Learn more about Langham Preaching in Latin America here.

This article was written by Ngaire Buckley, Langham Partnership Australia.