PTI’s values revolve around three core areas. They are an unashamedly evangelical theology, a total focus on expository preaching and a heart for pastoral ministry.
PTI is unashamedly evangelical in its theology. Based on the Bible as God’s word our theology is centred on the grace of God in the gospel in Jesus Christ. Historically this gospel was rediscovered at the time of the Reformation and was expressed in the great confessions of that period (among others the Westminster Confession, the Savoy Declaration and the First and Second Baptist Confessions). On many non-essential doctrines Bible-believing Christians will disagree, but on the central doctrines of the faith there is unity. However PTI’s concern is for more than doctrinal orthodoxy. It is also concerned that doctrine be experienced and lived out in the life of the Christian and the church.
If God’s people are to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ they must be taught God’s word. It is the conviction of PTI that the best way to do this is by exposition of a passage of Scripture in the regular meetings of the local church. While there is a place for topical preaching, expository preaching should be at the heart of the life of the church. In its conferences and book ministry PTI seeks to equip pastors to faithfully expound the Bible.
The Lord Jesus gives many gifts and ministries to his church, but PTI is specifically dedicated to encouraging and strengthening pastoral ministry in local churches that is true to the priorities of the Bible. Pastors may do many things that are good, but their primary responsibility is to evangelise the lost and edify those who are Christians through prayerful ministry of the word. This happens both in the main meetings of the church as well as in other meetings and in personal visitation and counselling. The danger is that pastors are distracted by other things and neglect to care for the sheep for whom Christ shed his blood.
PTI’s Values inform and motivate PTI’s Vision:
The Gospel has very shallow roots in many of the places where PTI is now at work. Typically, whilst many thousands are coming to faith and churches are growing exponentially fast, their leaders are finding it hard, if not impossible, to cope. Pastors are under-taught, overworked and under-resourced. As a result they are able to give their congregations little more than the milk of basic evangelistic messages. But what they, as committed, young Christians really require is the solid doctrinal food that underpins strong, growing faith and active discipleship.
This is a serious weakness that could, if not overcome urgently, prove fatal to these nascent churches as they struggle with a number of severe pressures. Externally these include theological error, worldliness, and persecution. Internally they encompass personal holiness, integrity and disunity.
With the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, PTI’s vision is to tackle this weakness, head on, knowing that Christ’s Gospel is sufficient in and of itself to do this. In practical terms, the key task we face is to ‘Teach to Preach’, or to ensure that pastors are properly equipped to preach that Gospel to their churches.
Our operational strategy is therefore to equip them to do so by providing Biblically-faithful and accurate teaching to as many pastors as we possibly can, as quickly as we possibly can. We need to bear in mind, moreover, that the vast majority of those we seek to serve live in remote rural areas, have never had formal theological training and have no other realistic means of getting it.
Our tried and tested threefold solution to this problem involves, firstly, offering in-country training conferences. These are backed up by distance mentoring to reinforce this teaching over the longer term. Finally we provide a small library of key theological and pastoral texts to ensure pastors’ continued spiritual growth.
If, by God’s grace, our vision is fulfilled and we are able to overcome this major weakness, we will see churches across the Developing World transformed. Solidly and faithfully taught by well-equipped and well-resourced leaders, their members will grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus, in turn making them fruitful disciples of and evangelists for his consuming fire. It is, moreover, a recipe for fruitful, growing churches everywhere.
And our vision is urgent. Our warehouses are already groaning, full of books. Our trainers and distance mentors are ready, willing and able to start work – now – in this huge harvest field. But we lack many of the resources we need, especially money to pay for air fares and many other incidental expenses. So if you embrace PTI’s vision, could you join us in making a real difference as, together, we equip the church in the Developing World to catch fire?
Because there are at least 2m pastors not getting any teaching now, Our vision, under God, is to expand considerably the current work of PTI so more of these pastors have the opportunity to receive this vital training.
We work only where we are invited and also seek to train the trainers of the future. We are committed to evangelical truth and the Reformed confessions but have no denominational affiliations and are happy to work with all our brothers and sisters who need our help.
The other huge need is to develop the other key aspect of PTI’s ministry, which is personal tuition and mentoring work.
For more information about how to get involved with PTI, including giving to the work, click here.