Alex Obaale, ECLEA-Uganda regional coordinator
July 29, 2017 (Part 2): Report from Bukedea District 1 Timothy conference
Warmest Christian greetings. As you may know, I have just returned from Bukedea district where I have been with the pastors handling 1 Timothy. It all turned to be one of the amazing group of leaders I met. Praise God.
Bukedea is in the South eastern part of Soroti with distance of 80km from each other and only 27km away from Mbale where we shall be from 2nd to 3rd August 2017 still teaching on 1 Timothy.
Out of the 30 leaders invited, 23 of them were in attendance for those days. They were very participatory in the meetings and discussions. They kept time of arrival of which to me was so encouraging.
Amidst the challenge of famine in this area still pastors could leave their gardens and come to study Gods word. Bukedea like other Teso region districts are still struggling with the lack of rain to help in the production of food crops. Prayers are needed here brothers.
The areas I believe that pastors were challenged were as follows:
1. Issues of self-appointed apostles. In this region, there is a problem of people self-claiming to be the apostles who are having fresh revelations from God to help build His Church. As we delved into what the scripture teaches on this and the commentary given in the manual, We were able to realize the clear distinction between the foundational apostles and the church commissioned apostles. This helped a great deal and leaders present confessed that this material is timely to this problem eating up the body of Christ in this area.
2. The second challenging issues to the leaders was the “hand over to Satan” form of church discipline. I challenged the pastors by asking them how many of them still carry out church discipline? Out of 23 in attendance less than a half said to do. Most of them said they have shied away because of church committees that always make clicks and turn out the church disciplining process political. This was one of the reasons most leaders gave. Also their superiors in ministry dictate on the entire process of church discipline. More to the above, pastors thought that it was difficult for them to really hand over the brother to Satan. But after going through Matt 18:17-19.they were encouraged and willing to execute this vital command.
3. On the issues of women teaching and women authority over men, pastors said they were following their denominational beliefs and would critically study Scriptures and see which position would be appropriate.
4. On qualifications on leadership, when Paul begins with “One must be...” Leaders in attendance were surprised to know that there are 15requirements to have in order to become a leader in church. This was like new to them and this charged them to know that aspiring to leadership is not just a simple issue but should be taken seriously.
On the other issues we learnt, participants were encouraged and confessed to have opened their eyes; like our prayer life styles in talking and not waiting for God to talk back to us, the core scripture of 1Tim 1:5 turned to be a blessing to our study. Participants realized how that scripture centers our life's in ministry and our personal life styles in everything we do.
At the end of the conferences, everybody thanked God for this opportunity to have come for this timely teachings and materials. We send great appreciation to ECLEAfor this enlightening document and ECLEA’s relentless work here in Eastern African. More to that was appreciation for the funds given to facilitate the conference.
They look forward to TOT in early September.
Pastor Alex, Greater Eastern Uganda coordinator
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