Paul admonished his disciple Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). But the problem for most is that you cannot teach what you do not know. What we traditionally think of as seminary curriculum, i.e. the biblical languages, systematic and biblical theology, in-depth exegesis of Old and New Testament books, church history, and hermeneutics, are all crucial and highly valuable areas of study for a church planter or pastor called to the ministry.
A pastor or church leader will be faced with hard questions, such as how do I overcome a hopeless addiction to pornography? I have been unemployed for over six months, how do I tell my wife? My marriage is falling apart and my husband says he is leaving me, what do I do? I am losing my teenager, nothing I say can get through to him, what do I do? I love God with all my heart, but I’m also attracted to the same sex, what does that mean? Why am I so angry? I know what the Bible says, but I just can’t believe that God loves me. When faced with these tough situations and questions, a firm grounding and rooting in the truth of God’s Word is absolutely necessary for setting parameters and guidelines to work through these difficulties. Though not a silver bullet, a seminary level education can provide the necessary tools for a pastor to dig into Scripture, historical theology, and critically process these situations with those under their care.
But should we expect these leaders to pack up their families and belongings to journey to the US, where they must study in a new language, culture, and racial context? Many areas in South America do have small seminaries and bible institutes. However, they are unable to keep up with the growing demand to reach the tens of thousands of new leaders necessary to continue growing the church so that they are producing their own scholars and academics. Partnering with existing ministries, one core facet of our team is to help provide these resources and be boots on the ground to champion their materials. All of this will be done with the long-term vision of having the church in Argentina as an active theological voice in the greater Latin American context of God’s Kingdom.