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Discipleship is training in Christianity just as mediation is in Hinduism as described by the Wikipedia[1] in the area of training. Training occurs to meet a specific need in a particular field of work. When LTPNG was being established as a new ministry within CRMF, one of our major emphases was to confirm the need for the Church in PNG. As a new ministry, we wanted to avoid duplicating and stepping on toes of established ministries, in other words we wanted to be scratching where it itched.

But you know what we found out, one need led to another and so we quickly changed to prioritizing areas that needed immediate attention – Bible distribution and Basic Computing Training (BCT) course have now become our main activities for the last four years.

We desired to be a ministry that will network with others to assist the remote Church. Our “itching tool” was technologies with the bottom line of going an extra mile for the remote pastors and their congregations. We praise God that he has been faithful to the ministry and has opened up vast opportunities to reach the remote locations. This is evident with the MAF PNG LT pilots with the “Bible Box”

Brad Venter (Wewak based) surrounded by people wanting to buy bibles

Brad Venter (Wewak based) surrounded by people wanting to buy bibles

Basic computing course has become priority training to equip pastors for today’s Church. As a result, LTPNG has offered basic computing skills to about 100 pastors from 13 denominations. These denominations include; Assemblies of Local Churches (ALC), Association of Baptist World Evangelism (ABWE), Anglican, Christian Apostolic Fellowship (CAF), Christian Life Center (CLC), Christian Outreach Center (COC), Christian Revival Center (CRC), Destiny Fellowship Church (DFC), Evangelical Brotherhood Church (EBC), Four Square, Salvation Army and South Sea Evangelical Church (SSEC).

We are currently engaged with those 13 different denominations to complete the Basic Computing courses by the end of this year. Now the interesting bit is that nine of these denominations have indicated training assistance in theological training. Most of their pastors or ministry leaders have not being trained systemically to be qualified to adequately minister to the different areas within the Church program. There are other areas besides preaching that the pastors and ministry leaders need help in.

Participants at the first Basic Computer (introductory) course with SSEC. 3 participants to a computer.

Participants at the first Basic Computer (introductory) course with SSEC. 3 participants to a computer.

Our confirmation that LTPNG was scratching where it itches in computer training was a donation of 12 desktop computers in 2013 that helped to train the 100 pastors.

Last week (Friday 6th March) 24 laptop computers were dedicated for computer training for the pastors. These computers were purchased by LTPNG with emphasis on portability so that the team can be in a position to reach into the bush places.

Now each participant can have a computer each in order for the maximum participation and learning to take place.

As a team we feel that there is so much urgency by the pastors to have basic computer training for two main reasons. The first obvious one is the localization of most churches in the area of administration in this post missionary era. Most of the participants we are training are key personnel who hold leadership positions at their respective local churches. The second reason is that since administrative technical equipping of pastors is long overdue, some leaders want to complete the BCT as soon as possible so that theological training can happen!

As a team we are saying AHAAA!, we are indeed scratching where it itches, because BCT and other technical training or assistance are like signposts to point the churches in the right direction – the preaching or the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that everyone who hears will have eternal life.

Our prayer is that LTPNG can be a help in providing packaged training so that a denomination has a good manager in the office and a trained theologian equip to minister in the remote villagers of our country. The impact of BCT with the 13 denominations was beautifully captured in this statement by CRMF Manager, Michael Wakefield, during the dedication of the 24 laptop computers “Multiply 100 pastors by 100 members and you get 10,000” – the ripple effect of BCT as a ministry to equip the Church for today’s generation.

3 of the 24 Laptop computers for BCT.

3 of the 24 Laptop computers for BCT.

[1] Religion and spirituality
In religious and spiritual use, training may refer to the purification of the mind, heart, understanding and actions to obtain a variety of spiritual goals such as (for example) closeness to God or freedom from suffering. Note for example the institutionalized spiritual training of Threefold Training in Buddhism, Meditation in Hinduism or discipleship in Christianity. These aspects of training can be short term or last a lifetime, depending on the context of the training and which religious group it is a part of.