One training session for Central Asian pastors left one pastor, named Stan*, clearly agitated.
He, and he alone, had been chosen time and again to provide encouragement for each of his peers after they presented a five-minute practice sermon.
The look on Stan’s face made it look like he was thinking, “Why do you keep making me do this!?”
Even though he’s the president of a major denomination and a leader of leaders, Stan struggles to provide encouragement partially due to his cultural background. Providing encouragement is not natural or common among his people.
He reluctantly stumbled through giving encouragement as a result. As our study of 2 Timothy continued, his heart began to soften.
Paul’s message in 2 Timothy was basically, “Don’t give up Timothy! Keep going in ministry preaching the God-breathed Word, and God will sustain and reward you!”
After a session that covered 2 Timothy 3:10-12 concluded, Stan stood up (a cultural sign of respect) without being called on and confessed,
“I’m really convicted by God’s Word. I’ve been struggling to give encouragement, but that’s what I’ve seen Paul do to Timothy in God’s Word. And if God’s Word is giving us encouragement, we need to do it for each other as well.”
This was an A-Ha! moment for Stan–a moment we see time and again as God speaks through His Word in the WordPartners training program.
Stan now knows God’s profound desire for pastors to encourage other pastors in the ministry–and wants to be used by God to encourage others just like Paul encouraged Timothy.
This proved to be a watershed moment for both Stan and his group. After hearing a leader like Stan share his struggle and new desire to encourage others, his peers were moved to encourage as well.
*(Stan’s real name has been changed due to security issues.)
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