TLT Grand Rapids, MI
I just completed my second week of Timothy Leadership Training (TLT). In Africa and many other places around the world, pastors and church leaders have a very difficult time going to a seminary, or even getting any kind of biblical, theological, or practical training at all. TLT tries to fill the gap for these pastors.
It is a simple inductive training, somewhat like a Bible study, in which groups of leaders and pastors can study the Bible together and be trained in basic topics like stewardship, preaching, or caring for God's people. It's simple but powerful material. And most of the learning comes directly from the Bible and from discussion. The real gold of the curriculum, however, is that it forces you to put into action in your church or community what you have learned in the lessons. TLT has proven to be transformational in churches all over the world, by God's grace.
Last week we met in Grand Rapids at the Holiday Inn. I was cold all week after being in Texas heat! This time, I studied two topics (out of 7): Biblical Preaching and Teaching the Christian Faith. Although the real reason I am taking this training is just so that I can teach it to others, I appreciated the lessons learned in these manuals and will integrate what I have learned into my own preaching and teaching.
Just like at my last training, I had the opportunity to fellowship with pastors from all over the world, some of them important leaders in their denominations and churches overseas. Most of them were here for the training so that they can teach it to others in their home countries.
But it might interest you to know that at least half of the people taking TLT in the US are regular church members, and not pastors. Some are getting the training to equip themselves to do ministry here. Others are taking TLT to train leaders in their churches here.
And then some are being used by God to take this training to other countries. I think this is a great thing and a good way to do short term mission trips in ways that help without hurting. If you are interested in short-term overseas mission work, you could consider becoming a TLT master trainer and equipping a group of pastors in another country with this training. They would then eventually pass the training on to others in their country without you. You would not set up this training in other countries by yourself, but would work with TLT staff to do so. If you have questions or are interested, let me know. At each training I go to, we hear testimonies of couples, usually retired couples, who are doing this and God is using them in amazing ways.
This picture shows most of the people of my small group who studied the same topics I did.