by Tim Beavis
"Most of our pastors around do not have bible college skill, so we request Carey to come and instill knowledge on the Bible to enhance initiative and proper leadership in their churches. Please help and train us to be ready for the bringing more lost souls to the King Jesus Christ."
These words came to me in a recent email from a Church network leader in Africa. They represent countless similar requests that I receive almost weekly. There is a hunger for God’s Word and for solid theological training throughout the global church. Here in North America we often take for granted the easy access that we have to Bibles, quality Christian books, Christian Radio, Bible Conferences and Seminaries. But, while we enjoy such abundance, Pastors and Church leaders all around the world find themselves with little or no access to these kinds of resources.
Dr. David Livermore states that, “Eighty-five percent of churches in the world are led by men and women who have no formal training in theology or ministry.” Some studies report that this percentage is even higher. So if we turn this statistic around what we discover is that only about 1 in 10 of the world’s churches are led by people who ever had the opportunity to receive formal equipping. To use the phrase that has been coined by the Gospel Coalition, most of the world’s church is facing “a theological famine.”
By the grace of God, Carey is engaged in this work of theological famine relief. We work at the invitation of church network leaders, to serve them through establishing Bible Institutes and training centers. We then send academically credentialed, Biblically qualified, seasoned Pastors to teach modular courses to Pastors and Church leaders in each region. These men then go back into their local churches and communities armed with fresh tools to more effectively lead God’s people and reach the lost. Yet, there’s more work to be done. More requests for help come streaming in. There’s a hunger for God’s Word!
Tim Beavis is Vice President of International Operations for Carey International University of Theology, an organization that is committed to training spiritual leaders that shape the church and influence the nations.