Today was a lighter day. We spent most of the afternoon catching up on sleep, e-mails and sun! But in the morning we went along to the Johannesburg Bible College (www.johannesburgbiblecollege.org).

‘JBC’, as it is affectionately known, was started 3 years ago and is run by Nat Schluter, who’s a fellow Brit, Rendani Tchililo and Sihle Mooi. It is similar to the various training courses you can find around England and also Cornhill training in London.

It runs from Monday to Thursday from 8-12 in the morning (this is a usual thing in SA). They start with a devotional time led by a student, some singing and then have two other sessions looking at various things from a Bible p1010197.jpgOverview, to Bible handling skills and engaging with culture. The aim is to equip people to understand and teach the Bible. We had a great time seeing what they do there and also learning ourselves as we joined in with the sessions. It is really encouraging to see this kind of thing happening here and we thank God for the foresight and passion of those involved. What is particularly exciting is that next year a Soweto Campus of JBC will be set up. This is really encouraging as one of the things that has been very clear from conversations with Sihle is the desperate need for training for leaders in this context as there are a lot of leaders, leading a lot of churches but with little or no Bible training.

On this note we raised with Nat one of the things we’re interesting in talking with people about – the possibility of something like the Northern Training Institute happening over here. NTI is a graduate level training course, enabling people to be trained to the level of a Bible College without having to leave their context for 3 years to do so.

What was encouraging was to hear from Nat how two men here are doing something similar through North West University. They spend 4 hours reading and 2 hours a week with Nat in a tutorial type set up. What was also clear from our conversation is the importance of doing the ground level training that JBC provides with these leaders in Soweto before moving on to the next stage.

Later in the evening we had a great chat with Nat and his wife, Helen. We talked about all sorts of things from training to engaging with culture. As readers of my blog will know I’m particularly interested in pursuing some thinking on engaging with culture, especially from a Biblical theological perspective. It was great to hear how the college have recently been engaging with the same topic. In fact they’re going out to one of the local cafes tomorrow to do some practical engagement!

Please pray for JBC. They’re looking into buying some land for a physical site for the college as at the moment they are ‘on the move’. Please pray for the smooth running of that as there have been a few complications. But also please praise God that he has been so faithful and surprising through the process.

Tomorrow we meet two people from two different churches involved in planting…

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