By Bobby Graham
From January 13-27 I was in Corozal Town, Belize, Central America, working with the congregation resulting from the work of Jesse Hightower and Dana Whisler. Both of these men have sacrificed much in family associations, conveniences, and security in order that they might do the work of the gospel in an area needing it.
The principal purpose of this second trip was to work with the men of the congregation desiring to grow in preaching the Word. For ten sessions, the men came at some sacrifice of time and energy, because most of them faced an early wake-up the following day for work in the sugar cane fields or on the trucks. We hope that the next class can be set up during November, when the cane work is idle. Attendance was quite good, ranging from nine to twelve. Interest on the part of most was high, with discussions nightly manifesting such interest and concern.
The study this time centered on Paul’s Letters to Preachers — 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Materials used included outlines of the letters, translated into Spanish, along with other motivational material related to the letters. The final session made use of a sheet compiling material studied, providing the basis for self-evaluation through a series of questions raised concerning matters that will be mentioned later.
The method employed was a textual study of Paul’s three letters. Special emphasis was placed on the preacher’s work, attitude, manner of carrying out his responsibilities, example, handling of the Scriptures, dealing with error and errorists, and facing temptations. The material studied was made more practical by a nightly discussion by the men of their own concerns relating to that night’s study and issues raised regarding it.
The final sessions’ consideration of a inductive compilation of material from the three letters was for the purpose of each man’s evaluating himself in significant areas:
- N.T. designations for preachers were used to show the general kind of work done by a preacher. The focus of this emphasis was upon one’s willingness to do what the Lord desires.
- Other points from the letters were used to demonstrate the importance of preaching. In this area the focus was on why one is preaching. Does he preach for the reasons suggested by the importance of the task.
- Divine qualifications for preachers, contrasted with human expectations, were then noted from the letters to stress who should preach and how he should proceed. The questions then asked were whether each man should preach and whether he was doing his work as God expects.
- The preacher’s duties to the gospel were finally examined, in order to scrutinize each man’s view of the message and his valuing of it in the work done.
Planning for a future class in November has already begun, based on the expressed desire of the men for another one. It will probably focus on Bible history and geography, as it relates to understanding the historical development of God’s plan to save the world in Jesus Christ. Of course, this study will involve the entire Bible story. It is hoped that this material also can be provided in the Spanish language, making it more useful for some of the men, though English is the official language of this former British colony (British Honduras).
This brief review is provided in the hope that it might provide some insight and motivation for similar work on the part of others. There is much that so many can do to assist in the work of evangelism.
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