Trained, ready, and rearing to go!
Tackling a centuries-old famine of the word
The flourishing of a national Langham Preaching movement requires many ingredients. The LP Global Leadership Team is only a catalyst in this ‘mustard seed’ ministry. It is up to the leaders in the region whether the hours of ‘conversation seeds’ at training events will grow into robust limbs and branches. And it depends on God for ‘sunshine’ and ‘rain’.
In February 2016, 40 delegates met together near Barcelona for the fourth Spanish Langham Preaching event. It was a time to celebrate.
Four years ago, in January 2012, a small group of church leaders had met and dreamed of a national preaching movement in Spain. They soon realized that for a truly national movement to be born they would have to partner with other evangelicals (particularly with the large Pentecostal Assemblies of God denomination). This would inevitably raise awkward theological disagreements and test their primary commitment to the essentials of the Christian faith.
A national team was formed under leadership of Francisco Mira (GBU/IFES Spain General Secretary) and it represented all the key regions of Spain and all the key Protestant church networks.
Because the word ‘Langham’ means little in Spain, they called their movement Taller de Predicación (TdP).
The plan from the beginning was to invite 50 established preachers to experience all three levels of Langham Preaching Seminars. They would then be sent out to train others across the regions.
February 2016 was the culmination of that plan. A time to celebrate.
- Of the original 50 delegates, just over 40 have kept at it.
- It was clear that one of TdP’s eight ‘regions’ was unrealistically large. So it was subdivided. And on the final morning of the event, the delegates were commissioned to go to nine Preaching regions in Spain!
- The next strategy is to train 50 preachers in each of these regions over the coming three years.
- The goal is a national gathering, somewhere in Spain, in December 2020, for all who have attended a Langham Preaching Training Seminar. They hope for 500 delegates! And estimate that by that time around 200-250 churches around Spain and its islands will have at least one member and/or leader committed to an expository preaching ministry.
But why is this such a big deal?
Mark Meynell explains:
Take a long term perspective. Spain never had a Reformation. Indeed, anything that remotely smacked of Reformist theology was brutally suppressed.
But how did most of the rest of sixteenth-century Europe have a Reformation?
Faithful preachers in churches small and big, right across the continent, opened up God’s word and made “it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read” (Neh 8:8). Despite huge political and social turmoil.
And Spain is facing some of its worst challenges today. For example, youth unemployment is the second highest in the EU: 48% (compared to 49% in Greece, and 14.6% in the UK). That’s a devastating statistic for school- or university-leavers in Spain. It smacks of the economic conditions of the 1930s…
But imagine! Could this just possibly be God’s time for Spain’s centuries-old famine of the word to come to an end?
You can follow the story (in Spanish) at http://www.tallerdepredicacion.es/
Mark Meynell is the Associate Director of Langham Preaching, Europe and the CaribbeanTags: Langham Preaching