Making Ministers of God

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In the fifth, and final, article looking at the core values of the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi and to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, Ian Farrimond looks at the College’s work in Making Ministers of God, and its commitment to making Christlike ‘servant leaders’ who desire to serve Him in their families, churches and communities.

What is the main aim of a theological college? Surely it is to train godly leaders who can then go out to work and serve in their Churches. But in the case of the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi, celebrating 50 years of existence this year, it is this and more.

From the EBCoM archive: formal teaching session (top) and more informal teaching in the EBCoM grounds (middle)

Students today prepared to be 'minister of God'

In this core value the College states clearly: “The word ‘minister’ means a ‘servant’. We are committed to developing servant-leaders who will serve God’s people and not lord it over them. The whole essence of Jesus’ leadership and, in fact, His life was to serve; He unselfishly gave Himself to this goal, and His life culminated in death on the cross. He humbly and sacrificially served unto death, and we desire to produce ministers like Him.”

Revd Winston Chidzambuyo was a student, a lecturer and then Principal of EBCoM. He sums up the way that EBCoM produces pastors who are ‘servant-leaders’.

“When I was a student at EBCoM when it came to pastoral training, for me, I felt I learned what being a pastor actually involved and this has helped me greatly since I have been ordained in the Zambezi Evangelical Church.”

Carrying this out is difficult, not just because of the differences in churchmanship but also the differences in the ages of students. Some come in straight from secondary school while others have worked before joining the College.

Revd Otherwise Mapute, General Secretary of the Evangelical Church of Malawi, a student at EBCoM until 2006, joined the College straight from school.

“There were a number of differences between life at secondary school and life at EBCoM,” he recalled.

“Some of the biggest differences included how people interacted with you and you with them. This helped me as a young person both at College and after ordination. EBCoM life is salvation- and ministry-oriented. It looks at how to apply the principles of Bible Study into the local Church and it helps us to see how we can put this into practice. The lessons learned at EBCoM have greatly helped me in my work as General Secretary.”

But perhaps the biggest impact of the training at EBCoM is summed up by Revd Louis Ndekha, former student, lecturer and Principal of EBCoM, and now General Secretary of the Africa Evangelical Church. When asked about the impact EBCoM has on the individual he said: “A pastoral heart is something unique that you see in EBCoM graduates. Having a pastoral heart means that EBCoM graduates are ready to go anywhere, even to the most difficult areas, to serve the Lord and the people of that place. This is the way that people are moulded at EBCoM.

“The whole of life is seen at the College from the classroom to discipleship, from chapel services and daily devotions to counselling. It is a complete package and it is what makes EBCoM, EBCoM.”

The Evangelical Bible College of Malawi is supported by SIM Malawi Project MW 96757 Theological Education Support


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