- There is only 1 trained pastor in China for every 60,000 believers.
- One pastor in Peru grieved that his large denomination lacks pastors for 90% of their churches.
- A denomination in Uganda has 1000 congregations but only 8 trained pastors.
- There are 24,000 Protestant churches in Haiti but more than 60% of their pastors have no Bible or theology training at all.
- In the Philippines, all the seminaries and Bible colleges in the entire country could not train 5% of the pastors needed.
- Today there are 2,000,000 pastors of churches who have absolutely no training in the Bible or theology and yet they struggle to feed their flock. And then there are the Christian leaders or leaders of house churches or Bible study groups who also have no training in God’s Word or the Christian faith.
Word of Life Camps
Eleanor and I spent last week with a bunch of friends at the Word of Life Pines Family Campground in Schroon Lake New York. http://camps.wol.org/family-camps/
Our speakers were Stephen Bramer from Dallas Theological Seminary and Woodrow Kroll formerly with Back to the Bible. Both men gave us great insight and encouragement from the minor prophets and the gospel of John.
A couple of months ago I was describing one of the volunteer ministries we are involved in, Galcom International. At Galcom, we assemble solar powered radios that are mostly used by missionaries who have broadcast facilities and the solar powered radios are supplied to people in remote areas who have no other access to the gospel.
Training National Pastors
Today I’d like to tell you about Woodrow Kroll’s new ministry, http://theheliosprojects.org/ which is a different take on using solar powered electronic devices in ministry. While Galcom provides devices for use by established missionaries to provide the Gospel in the listener’s native language, Kroll’s focus is in training the millions of pastors who have no Bible training.
HELIOS with Woodrow Kroll is made available without charge to pastors and leaders in economically-challenged countries. In order to fund this great undertaking, The Psalm 119 Association, doing ministry as Woodrow Kroll Ministries, is seeking the partnership of hundreds of God’s people who share the burden to train these untrained pastors and church leaders.
The cost for one HELIOS with Woodrow Kroll audio player or flash drive is just $120 and includes the manufacture of the audio player by MegaVoice in Tiberias, Israel, inclusion of the entire audio Bible plus hundreds of hours of Woodrow Kroll’s teaching, and delivery to church leaders within the target country.
Dr. Kroll’s Personal Ministry Philosophy
Early in life my parents motivated me to love God and His Word. At age 15 I knew God had called me to teach His Word and for more than 50 years I have been privileged to consider that both my avocation and occupation.
During my early years of ministry I adopted a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) that was larger than life. “I want to teach the Bible to the world so that people’s lives are spiritually and eternally changed, and to inspire and facilitate a corps of skilled and dedicated Bible teachers to do the same throughout the world.” That is a gargantuan goal, but I have learned that the audacity of our goals, if properly motivated, never exceeds the ability of God to achieve them. As a result, in 1990 when I began teaching the Word daily to millions through the ministry of Back to the Bible, I prayed this prayer, printed it, and it has remained on my desk ever since:
“LORD, give me a task larger than myself, wisdom greater than my years, friends to share my vision, sufficient funds to realize it, and length of days to accomplish it. Amen.”
Experience has taught me that what God wants me to do I can’t do, and that makes me a perfect candidate for His service. For what I can’t do, He can. My personal ministry philosophy is to live a blameless life (not sinless, but blameless) as God told Abram in Genesis 17:1, to keep my hands clean and my heart pure as described by David in Psalm 24:3-4 and to wait for God to do with me whatever pleases Him. So far, it’s been a pretty amazing ride! – Woodrow Kroll
The Bible Engagement Center
Woodrow Kroll has been burdened about creeping Bible illiteracy in America, and especially in the American church, since his days as the department chair of religion at Liberty University in the 1970s. “When I administered a Bible comprehensive exam to 1100 incoming freshmen and only 45 of them passed, I knew something was wrong. Since these were incoming freshman, I knew the problem germinated in the church and in the home.” From that day, Dr. Kroll has been battling Bible illiteracy through his preaching, writing and conference ministries.
In November 2003, the Board of Back to the Bible gave their president permission to establish a research center to answer the question, “Why do so many people own a Bible and so few read it?” As a result, Woodrow Kroll founded the Center for Bible Engagement, a multifaceted research and development facility that gathers and analyzes hard data using telephone interviews, personal interviews, surveys, focus groups and other proven means to determine what is causing the lack of engagement with the Bible.
Some thoughts on maturity
“When you are young you choose your cereal for the toy. When you are middle age you choose your cereal for the fiber. When you are old, someone chooses your cereal for you.”
“The scariest thing about old age is to realize that our children are running the country and their children are intent on voting them out of office.”