zm’s Mission Director Mike Beresford was recently preaching at his home church York Baptist Church. On the fourth Sunday of every month they have an informal evening service. This has been conducted by Zoom since March 2020. They have been working their way through 2 Timothy in a series entitled “Guard the Gospel”. On Sunday 25th April they were looking at 2 Timothy 4:1-8. This includes Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “Preach the Word”.
Mike instantly thought of getting in touch zm’s former overseas worker Myles MacBean and asking him to contribute during in the service. Myles spent over three years working in Malawi with his wife Ruth. Amongst other things, Myles collaborated with Malawian workers from a German mission called Disciple the Nations to develop a training programme for rural preachers.
Myles wrote in his blog back in 2017:
Ever since we first visited Malawi, I have been captivated by the challenge of how to develop a truly contextual, scalable and sustainable way to equip and release ZEC’s grass-roots preachers to better expose the original meaning of Scripture, and better communicate that meaning to today’s Malawians within their rural oral culture
You can read his blog to find out more about together they developed the Preach the Word training programme.
One of Myles’s concerns was the ongoing sustainability of Preach the Word. He was concerned that it might be seen as his personal ministry, and that it might peter out when he and Ruth left Malawi. Hence the emphasis on working alongside the Malawian training facilitators, allowing them to lead the programme. Despite Myles returning to the UK and now no longer working with zm, the Preach the Word training programme is still going strong today. It is led by Malawian workers Pastors Aaron Sekeya and Samuel Phiri.
Myles prepared a ten minute video that Mike used in the church service at York Baptist Church. In it he talks about his preaching experience and how the Preach the Word training programme came to be developed. Myles concludes by reflecting about how, in the postmodern culture prevalent in countries like the UK, preachers can learn much from Malawi’s oral storytelling approach. You can watch Myles’s video below.
If you wanted to hear Mike Beresford preach from 2 Timothy 4:1-8, you can listen to his message here.