By Mike Saum
My wife and I knew for years that we wanted to be missionaries in Kenya. After visiting Africa and meeting with representatives from various organizations, we even had an early attraction to Africa Inland Mission.
The more compelling question for us: “How can we use our skills, spiritual gifts, and interests most effectively for the edification of the African church?”
While greatly respecting missionary ministries of service (medicine, general education, community development, etc.), I felt inexorably drawn toward ministries of the Word: discipleship and church planting, media, and theological education.
Why theological education and leadership development? The heart of the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 18-20 is disciple-making. An instructor at a Bible school has the special privilege of teaching the teachers, training the trainers, and discipling the disciple-makers.
There is a truism bandied about by national church leaders and missionaries that Christianity in Sub-Sahara Africa is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” The prolific growth of the African church in the last century has been nothing short of miraculous. But with this great increase comes a profound need for pastors, teachers and missionaries who have the knowledge, skills, and character necessary for leading the church in the deep and abiding faith and service that God requires. As a theological educator, this is my work, and I sincerely believe it is time well spent.