Nurturing leaders who lead by example
“God does not entertain ignorance”, were the words that Vincent Arnold hang on to, and which ultimately became his motto. They were the five words that his pastor told him long before Vincent followed the man’s footsteps. Today, Vincent is a pastor at one of the branches of Malawi Assemblies of God Church in Dowa and he also works as a Librarian for our Bible school. Until now, Vincent still lives by those words and they are what encouraged him to join a Bible school.
Vincent’s journey to become “a youngest pastor” at the church he currently ministers in, began about 5 years ago when he received a calling to the word of God. Some people hold the belief that if one is ordained as a pastor, the person should simply dive in and start preaching the gospel. Vincent has a contrary opinion. Even before he was fully ordained, he realized that he needed to attend a Bible school to receive training and knowledge in church ministry.
“I deemed it important to join a Bible school because I wanted to have sound knowledge of how I can minister the word of God in a mature and well guided way.” He explained, further stating that he believes that ministering the gospel is not a matter of trial and error where one simply attempts this and that in search for what works best. Vincent added that according to his vision, he knew that in order to administer his work professionally, obtaining training in Biblical studies was a stage he could not skip. Part of the inspiration to join a Bible school was the words that his pastor told him that God does not tolerate ignorance.
Vincent’s desire to pursue Biblical studies saw him enrolling at one of an extension Bible schools run by his church. However, just a few weeks into his studies Vincent realized that he could not afford to continue with the studies because the school was expensive. What he needed was an affordable solution – a Bible school that was cheaper yet provided quality training. Having no choice, Vincent left the school in search for another option, which eventually led him to There is Hope’s Bible school. He was among the first cohort that graduated last year.
When he looks back at the training he attained at our Bible school, Vincent admits that it was the best decision he ever made.
“The school provided me with comprehensive training in all areas that a pastor needs to have knowledge in. I will be frank with you, I am the pastor that I am today because of the school.” He commented. Even before he finished his course, the church administration at Vincent’s church were already impressed with him that when they planted a new church branch within his village, Vincent was appointed as the resident pastor. Vincent attributes the appointment to the experience he got from our Bible school. Leading a new church and being, somewhat, an inexperienced pastor, one would expect Vincent to have encountered problems adjusting to the new role but that never happened.
“Actually, the church I was leading became a model to other church branches. During monthly meetings, my church was always top of the class.” He boasted. Not only that, Vincent also revealed that under his leadership, the congregation increased and more people joined the church. Church’s growth is not determined by numbers only.
“There are three main areas that governs a church’s growth – financial, spiritual and numerical.” Vincent said. “My church excelled in all those areas and up to now we are still considered the best example to others.” When it came to managing the finances of the church, Vincent’s training gave him the right tools to handle that area. He disclosed that he has managed to lead a team that has handled the finances of the church so well that they saved enough to buy land to construct their own church.
“For the past 26 years, the church has been meeting in a small school block but that will change soon.” He said. Vincent’s church has also recently ventured into pig business where they plan to save money to help with the construction project once it kicks off.
Vincent completed his studies in 2017. What he obtained from our Bible school is not just knowledge on how to deliver sermons in church – he has also gained valuable skills in managing finances of his church, choosing trustworthy leaders and resolving conflicts.
We understand the importance of training church leaders in all areas that can help them become mature exemplary leaders. God’s Economy and Hilfe für Brüder International are significantly assisting us to achieve this aim through their financial and material support to our Bible school.