I want to thank all those who have been praying for David Pettett, Steve Williams and myself over the last couple of weeks while we have been in the Solomon Islands. From all accounts, it appears God has been very much at work in those who have attended the training seminars, both the men in the first week and the ladies in the second.
One significant highlight has been the chance to see the way the clergy are keen to be Biblical preachers. Sermons in the islands can go for up to an hour and, by all accounts, the content of those sermons can leave a lot to be desired. Clergy have never been trained in how to analyse a passage of the Bible and construct a talk that develops an idea so that hearers understand what the passage means and where it fits in God’s revelation of himself. Many talks simply circle a proof text and can easily degenerate into moralism. It was very exciting to see how, at first, guys struggled with the idea of putting significant effort into sermon preparation in the midst of a busy program, and then by the end of the week saw how the results of their efforts produced a message that made sense and had much more content and flow than otherwise would have happened.
The clergy established a preaching club where they would meet each week and discuss the upcoming sermon. This is much more than we thought could happen but could work well in the islands as every church preaches from the same passage. Last Monday they met for the first time and were very keen to continue.
Other highlights were the chance to speak to the youth at the Cathedral and preaching at a new church plant at a place called White River. Today, after our 10:30 service and sausage sizzle, you are welcome to join me to hear more of what went on and what the future might hold for ministry in the islands.