It is happening…

16th February 2017 | victorlonu

The Life of a Pastor is a series for grassroots pastors’ seminars. This series is the result of research done in Kenya, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While the pilot test is underway, we already see positive signs of transformation. Let me remind the topics of the seminars. Seminar I: Pastor and his/her family; Seminar II: Pastor and his/her congregation; Seminar III: Pastor and his/her calling; Seminar IV: Pastor and his or her skills/ability to equip others.

Some stories of transformation:


The two seminars we have had so far are fruitful. Many time pastors do not notice that they have to balance ministry and family. This was my case. Before the seminars, I was not able to differentiate between my ministry and my family. I gave almost all of my time for ministry and ignored my family. After the seminars, I am now able to balance between ministry and family and have resolved (1) To spend time with my family as husband and father; to provide for my family needs as the bread winner. To meet the needs of my family I have established a small business of selling vegetables and raising chicken. Now my children can get eggs every day and I have already sold some chicken to meet other needs of the family; (2) Total rest with my family on Mondays. On Mondays, I no longer do anything relating to ministry; it’s time for my family. When appropriate, I take my family out for lunch or drink. It is my time to joke with my wife. I have learned to create time for my children, praying for them in the morning before they go to school. These seminars have responded to timely issue, addressing what I was going through. I do not know how my situation could be if the seminars did not come to us.


Before the seminars, I was actually totally dependent on my children. They used to do everything for me: House rent, water, etc. After we went through the first seminar, I shared with my children what we have learned and we started putting things together. My children said that that seminar was “an eye opener.” We started putting resources together. I am now running a food ward; I am a food vendor offering food to one of our schools in Bridge School Kangundo. Because of what I am doing, I am somehow now financially stable. Another thing is that I have a breakthrough with my children. We can sit down and talk together. Initially, they used to say that they should put a limit in what they talk to a pastor. Now we are free and talk as a family, implementing things together.

I thank God for the seminars. What I would say is that in the near future, if we will have more seminars like these, I want to believe that the stories of the pastor will change. Many are times where pastors are related with poverty, believing that their needs are to be met through offerings and what we need to get from the church is all that we need to have as resource. But now, we can put ideas together and start something to generate incomes. Now in Kangundo, I can say like Paul, I am a good tent maker and tomorrow, I know, I will be better. I am no longer relying on believers. I thank God for the seminars.


Before the two seminars there are many things I did not know to balance my calling and myself as a pastor. The workshops have transformed me how I go about my calling, personal life, and ministry. In the first place, we were able to understand our calling and in the second seminar we learned how we can effectively run the ministry. I have discovered a lot of things, especially in the second workshop where we discussed how we can begin to earn some income as well as we do ministry, because if the family is not comfortable and is not at peace as long as running it is concerned, ministry cannot be effective. Therefore, we were taught how we can do small businesses while running the ministry. I went home and talked about this with my wife. We started before a small business and were thinking about how to grow it and have saving some money because our children are growing up and very soon they will join high school. That small business that was inspired by this workshop is doing very good and we are doing some savings and we are looking forward to take our first born in high school after 3 years. We are expecting to have another workshop that will about the pastor and his marriage. We are expecting that out of this workshop to know how best we can live together each one with her or his spouse. As these workshops continue, we plan to do as many workshops as we can. Apart from us attending the workshops, we are also planning to take these seminars to the church because what we are learning should translate to what is happening in the church. Therefore, my expectation is that we will able to run these workshops to the local churches. For example, from the last seminar, we had to answer some questions that were about how we are relating to the community. I directly took these questions to the church to find out what the community is expecting from the church so that the church becomes effective to the community. I know and expect that these workshops will continue to help us.

The ARA process is a tool, not just a complex concept, that leads to transformation. If presented in a simple way to the grassroots pastors, it helps them to experience change, not only in their ministry, but in their daily life: ARA becomes part of the life. From what they have experienced, Seminar IV will help them to build ARA skills to train others.

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