From Bangor to Ngoma, Training Clergy in Uganda
In the Spring 2015 edition of inMission magazine, Paul Baker and Pastor Jonathan McClaughlin (Hamilton Road Baptist, Bangor) shared an update on a clergy training initiative in Luwero Diocese, Uganda.
When we realised that a visit by our pastor from Bangor would coincide with the Ngoma Leadership Conference, we thought we’d put him to work there.
Ngoma is a small town two hours north of Kiwoko, in an arid cattle-farming region. Every January, the town plays host to a Leadership Conference for pastors of local churches.
In rural Uganda, if you’re able to read and you own a Bible, you are very likely to be chosen to lead a church. There’s no requirement for theological training – which is just as well, as none is available. This is why the conference happens.
Here’s what Pastor Johnny had to say about his time at the conference:
“We, in the West, have much to learn from the simplicity of life, contentment and joy that is evident in the lives of many Ugandan believers. However, we can also be a support and encouragement to them in the Great Commission, which God has called every Christian to be part of. Jesus is not looking for converts, but disciples, and I was delighted to help in the disciple-making process, both in the hospital community and at the Ngoma conference envisioned by the hospital.
“God brought together over 350 pastors in Ngoma. We spent time in community together, eating, singing and studying God’s Word. We studied the book of Colossians and teased out the themes that Christ must have supremacy in our homes, our workplaces, and be in his rightful place as Head of his body – the Church.
“In Ireland, we have ready access to many books that can help us in our spiritual lives. However, the only book that will ever ‘read us’ is the Bible. It is my prayer that we in Ireland and the Ugandan believers will continue to grow and deepen in our knowledge of our God through His Word. May the Bible continue to be our guide for life and godliness.
“What a privilege it was for me to receive in Uganda a foretaste of our eternal position, when we will be a people gathered from every tribe, tongue and nation, standing around the throne of God, worshipping the Lamb, who has been slain for us!”
(Jonathan McClaughlin is the pastor of Hamilton Road Baptist Church in Bangor, the home church of CMSI Mission Partners Paul and Tania Baker.)
Throughout 2015/2016, CMSI is highlighting the importance of leadership training for our Global Partners – we want to support them as they build firm foundations for the future. To support this initiative financially, click the donate button below: