Picture the scene. You pastor a church in a poor part of Africa or Asia. God is working. You are over-worked and under-resourced. Your church is growing fast. But the lives of these new Christians remain largely unchanged. Many remain gripped by a residual fear of curses, spells and spirits.
This is not because you – the pastor – are lazy, unfaithful to the Gospel, slapdash in prayer, or immoral. You love the Bible, and long for your people to be transformed more and more.
It is because you have never been taught the basic, core Christian doctrines, or how to preach the Bible correctly and root effective pastoral ministry in it. And, far from any theological college, the support of mature Christians, or a simple and trusted supply of good Christian books, your opportunities to do so are slim.
In time your unintended ignorance may lead you to falling pray to the dangerous spiritual influences surrounding you. These might include the prosperity gospel; aggressive Islam; or incorporating traditional local beliefs leading to a syncretistic variant of Christianity.
The keen, vibrant Christian church that you love, with it’s great potential, could be snuffed out, almost before it gets going.
And that pastor is not an isolated case. Across the majority world, where Christianity has made rapid progress in recent years, the rots of many new churches may not be strong enough to resist these challenges.
PTI exists to help those pastors.