What would the church of the future look like if its pastors spent years of intensive training in a healthy local church? What would the church of the future look like if its leaders were trained in the right handling of God's word and pastoral care, all under the watchful care of credible men who know their names, pray for them, and hold them accountable?
“What would the church of the future look like if its pastors spent years of intensive training in a healthy local church?”
In partnership with TLI, the Pastors School of First Baptist Church of Atibaia, Brazil, was founded in 2013 with just such a vision, as a church-based center for intensive pastoral formation. Now, some six years later, we are experiencing the answers to those initial questions, seeing the first fruits of our labors. Currently, graduates and ongoing students are pastoring in 13 different churches and congregations across Brazil. Two graduates are in leadership of a ministry that has trained over 2000 pastors in biblical exposition throughout Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Angola, and Mozambique. Another works with one of the most influential evangelical publishers in the Portuguese-speaking world.
It's not the positions they occupy that encourage us, however, but the character and faithfulness with which they perform their duties. Of course, some men do struggle along the way, but overall, we've seen God's gracious blessing as local churches are supplied with godly men of proven character who possess the skills and experience that pastoral ministry demands. They faithfully preach the word. They hold out their lives as examples. Those under their care flourish.
By God's grace, one small school through one local church in one Brazilian state is fulfilling their mission to train new pastors for faithful ministry. After only a few years, thousands of people are already experiencing the benefit. We can only pray that it will continue to bear lasting fruit for many other churches into the future.