The Christian Church in Africa is currently growing at an incredible rate of about 25 000 new believers per DAY. However, the Church on this continent is struggling with a critical need for trained and equipped leaders. Leadership training is one of Philadelphia Project’s two main focus points (the other being evangelism).

Training Strategy

We at the Philadelphia Project believe without doubt that the Church in Africa has the potential to become a powerful instrument through which God can impact the entire world in the near future. At current rates of growth, Christians in Africa will constitute 26% of the world’s Christian population by 2025 (compared to 1,7% in 1900 and 18% in 2000). Although this is reason to rejoice, it also poses the Body of Christ with the tremendous challenge to not only fill the existing backlog in trained leaders, but also to train and equip more leaders who will be able to facilitate further church growth.

Philadelphia and its partners have been addressing this challenge on several need-orientated levels since 1995.

Mobile Training Program

Our Mobile Training Program is aimed at training and equipping current and future Christian leaders for the Church and community in several African countries.
Training spots

LEFT: Norman Kalilombe, Project Manager and lecturer in Zimbabwe, conducting classes at a training spot in the Hurungwe District.

 

 

 

 

The basic strategy is to place a full-time lecturer in an area where training needs to be done. The lecturer then enrolls several groups of students (ranging from 10-30) in different locations within traveling distance (up to a maximum of about 100km, depending on local conditions) from his home base.

There are a pre-set number of hours that the lecturer has to spend in teaching with each group of students, but flexibility is given as to how these hours are “parceled”. For instance, they may prefer to spend one week a month in uninterrupted training (following which the students have to complete assignments due by the next session). Or, if the training spot is closer to the lecturer’s home base, he may visit the students several nights per week, etc.
Combination of three elements

LEFT: Students praying with new converts during a crusade with the Jesus-film near Rengwe in Zimbabwe.

 

 

 

 

 


The leadership training we offer consists of a combination of THREE elements which we regard as critical in any Christian program, namely academics, practical work and discipleship.
The academical component consist mainly of classes where a wide variety of subjects, ranging from Old Testament Survey to Homiletics, Church Management and Missiology. This is supplemented with theoretic and practical assignments which students have to complete on their own.

In order to help students to begin applying that which they have learnt in the classes, they are exposed to practical ministry opportunities on a regular base. The lecturer and his class would, for instance, launch evangelical crusades or present a training seminar in an area with such needs. In this way the students gain experience, while an impact is made in people’s lives. Often, new contacts are made for networking or even for future training spots!

The third and perhaps most important element of Philadelphia’s leadership training program is the spiritual mentor / disciple-relationship between the lecturer and his students. Lecturers are encouraged to take co-responsibility for the spiritual, emotional and ministry-development of their students. Over the years, this has led to many strong relationships which is still bearing fruit in the lives and ministries of numerous ex-students.

3-Year Licentiate in Theology

LEFT: Thys Loubser, Executive Director of Action 1:8 and Philadelphia Project Board member, congratulating students that have successfully completed their 3-year Licentiate in Theology.

 

 

 


Although a variation of training material is used depending on the need and conditions in a particular area, Philadelphia have been using the Timothy Training Institute's 3-year Licentiate in Theology course as our basic syllabus with great success.

This course, which is divided into six 5-month modules, had been developed by Africa for Africa. It offers an excellent combination of solid Bible-based theology and practical applicability. It is also far more cost-effective than anything else we have come across so far.

After successful completion of the 3-year course, students have the option to continue their training by ways of correspondence up to Doctorate-level.
Although Philadelphia’s main focus is on training leaders for the Church, some students choose to only enroll for one of to phases for their personal benefit. This empowers then with basic knowledge and skills that some have applied in lay ministries or everyday life with excellent results.

Additional Courses and Material

Apart from the Timothy course, a wide variety of additional training material and specialized courses are used to enhance the depth, quality and effectiveness of training.

Examples are material or courses on child evangelism, financial management, project management, gift-orientated ministry, etc. A particular useful course has been the Evangelism Explosion III training program that is used to equip believers to share the Gospel more effectively on a one-on-one base.

Seminars and Workshops

Several seminars and workshops are presented or facilitated by the Philadelphia Project each year. Such seminars are presented on a regular base throughout the year, but also forms part of the program during outreaches from abroad (see articles “Evangelism Strategy” and “Short-term Outreaches”).

Some seminars are presented by Philadelphia’s own team and our co-workers, while experts from other specialized fields are also regularly invited to contribute. With these, the focus is not only on our own students, but also on other church leaders who may benefit from it.
As seminars go, themes have covered a very wide spectrum over the years, although different aspects of evangelism and leadership development are often the focus. Over the last couple of years we have also felt led by God to challenge and assist church leaders in establishing lay gift-orientated ministries in their congregations.

An area where the need is certainly growing faster than the assistance supplied, is HIV/AIDS related ministry. Not only are many members of the Church in general afflicted by this terrible disease and its consequences, but the Church also has to face the challenge ministering to and reaching out to Aids-victims. Workshops to equip believers for this area of ministry had been held in Zimbabwe and Malawi with excellent results. However, this is definitely an area where more will urgently have to be done in order to address the need.

Seminars and workshops on a particular theme is often the result of a request from local churches.

 
 
  Getting as exited as we are? See, Philadelphia has full-time teams in several African countries, but we also rely strongly on volunteers to become involved by contributing their prayers, time, energy and finances. So why don’t you do something about it right now? Alternatively, you can first read about our projects in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar, get some more facts on Africa, read about the history of the Cross in Africa or just share your thoughts with us?
 
  Want to become part of this exciting venture? Why don’t you do something about it right now?
  “Mission Impossible” – that would be the much talked-about secular African Renaissance
without Jesus Christ!
   
   
  PRETORIA HEAD OFFICE CONTACT DETAILS:
  TEL: + 27 (12) 567-6512
CELL: + 27 82 925 4125
EMAIL: enquiries@philadelphiaproject.co.za
  P.O. Box 14137, Sinoville (South Africa) 0129