I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at the Church of Ireland Theological College (as it was called then) from 2004-2006, but I’d be lying if I said that those of us studying there didn’t occasionally grumble about the experience. There was a degree of financial challenge – especially for those with mortgages to pay and families to support.
Frankly, after a couple of weeks in St John’s Seminary in Kitwe, I realise just how much I need to repent of that grumbling! Our training in the Church of Ireland is fully funded, and although that funding is rightly subject to scrutiny, there is no doubt that the Church of Ireland will find and spend the money to properly train its leadership. The Province of Central Africa, and the Church in Zambia, does not have that luxury. St John’s runs on a shoe string, and yet many dioceses simply cannot afford to send students to train there. However, without good training, strategic leadership development in the Church just doesn’t happen.
CMSI has 19 global partners. In the past few years, every single one of them has highlighted with us the importance of resourcing leadership development. I am glad to have had a chance to see that need, and to see it being met, first hand in Zambia.
I will be praying for Keith and Lyn, for Archbishop Albert and for the students and staff I met in the college. I’ll also be praying for Amy and Doug, who run the charities we connected with at the guest house.
I’ll be praying that God will resource his work in Zambia, and that he will raise up new link parishes for Keith and Lyn, so they have new avenues of financial and (more importantly) relational support. And I’ll be praying more fervently for all CMSI’s global partners as they develop leaders in the weeks and months to come. Perhaps you’ll join me?
The Collect for Mission
who called your Church to witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
Help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.