Tim Swan is CEO, the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid
Right now, a terrifying number of pastors and teachers around the world are inadvertently leading their people astray because they lack solid biblical understanding, and are being “blown here and there by every wind of teaching.” (Eph 4:14). At the launch of Anglican Aid’s new Bible College Student Sponsorship program Rev. Samuel Majok said,
“In many cases, in Africa, pastors and teachers in the cities do not have any form of theological training. This has resulted in increasingly shallow theology. Leaving many local churches subject to .... errors. The pulpit has become the place to sell anointed oils, to sell holy water, to sell holy soils!”
We can help. We have the resources to make an impact on the developing church. One resource is those who can teach and train locals. I served in this way with the Anglican Church in Chile for 10 years.
But there are other needs as well. Since coming to Anglican Aid, I have received call after call from bishops in the Global South, telling me of the desperate need to train their clergy in the Bible, and the lack of money to do it. Bishop George Okoth called me from Tanzania, saying,
“During COVID our churches are growing, we are even planting churches where there have been none before. But our great need is to train more clergy—can you help us?”
Bishop James Almasi spoke to me from Masasi, Southern Tanzania,
“Our diocese is High Church, but our huge need is to train our clergy in the Bible. We are planting many churches, but our college has been closed for seven years. Can you help us send people for training?”
From Nepal the Rev’d. Prem Tamang, Director of Nepal’s Anglican Training College, told me,
“We have many candidates for training, all sacrificial in ministry for the Lord. Could you sponsor some to be well trained in Nepal?”
Anglican Aid donors already support more than 400 African students sent to college to prepare either for local church ministry, or for teaching at Bible colleges to train new clergy. Now Anglican Aid is launching our Bible College Student Sponsorships, which allow Australian Christians to connect personally with an individual emerging leader from a developing country, to receive culturally appropriate training at a trusted Bible college. Sponsorship is about growing evangelical leaders for the future of the Anglican Church in Africa and beyond— leaders who will preach the gospel, not ‘holy water and holy soils’. How better to demonstrate our Evangelical Fellowship within the Anglican Communion than to support the training of clergy, by sponsoring studies at trusted local Bible colleges, equipping students for a lifetime of faithful ministry?