John Piper’s Desiring God Ministries is concerned about what they call the “theological famine” in the global church. This post from the DG blog notes that some estimate that 85% of pastors have never had any theological education. One of the new groups to address this situation is Training Leaders International, which DG is partnering with. Here is the DG Blog’s description:
This ministry was born out of a desire to provide careful theological education to places where training is hard to come by. This ministry has brought together an outstanding board of well-known godly men to help the mission.
Training Leaders International equips young evangelical scholars to train church leaders where theological training is lacking or not available. Seasoned missionaries and cross-cultural teachers mentor young competent evangelical scholars who have the desire to teach but do not understand how to do so in a different culture.
The next sentence is important and exciting:
Every trip is done at the request of, in cooperation with, and in submission to local national leaders, theological institutions and churches.
This is an important trend: the idea that people who are privileged to have more resources, education, or other blessings don’t automatically know what’s best for the people that they serve. It’s a true partnership that treats the people being served with dignity and not simply as victimized or underserved. I discussed this trend a bit more here. Also, I posted some quotes from an article that discussed the disconnects that Americans can have when doing short-term missions here.