Steve Nichols:
Welcome back to another episode of 5 Minutes in Church History. Once again, we have Dr. Conrad Mbewe with us. Dr. Mbewe, it’s nice to see you again.

Dr. Conrad Mbewe:
Thanks, Steve. Glad to be here.

SN:
We were talking last week about Spurgeon’s influence and how you see the relevance of what Spurgeon was trying to do in his day for your own work and the work there in Zambia. We’re well aware that not only has church history been made, but it is being made. I’d love for you to take a few moments and share with us. What is God doing in Zambia and the church history that is being made there?

CM:
Yeah, there’s no doubt about it, that anyone who’s involved in missiology will let this cat out of the bag, but the Christian church is growing by leaps and bounds on the African continent. It’s obviously a work of God’s Spirit. People are getting converted, beginning to get together in churches, literally under every shrub and tree. That’s something we’re grateful to God for, because elsewhere, especially in the Western world, there’s a real struggle as far as growth and conversions are concerned.

If anything, the next generation will definitely write about Africa, that there was an exponential growth in terms of numbers. That ought to be good news, but we do have with the wheat a lot of tears that are now part of everything there, and that’s where it becomes a matter of great concern. Part of the difficulty is simply the fact that we don’t have the availability of leadership training, pastoral training, that is currently available in the Western world.

A lot of people are becoming church leaders and even pastors, who are completely ignorant of real, solid doctrinal truth. Some of them don’t even have a complete Bible in their hands. Inevitably, you don’t expect to get five kilograms, or five pounds, of truth out of a one-pound container. We are having a lot of syncretism, for instance, being one of them, a lot of false teachings taking root within the context of the churches, and so forth. That’s an area of real concern and difficulty.

One continues hoping and praying that the Christian church will, to some extent, at least catch up with the demand of this growth, the way in which, for instance, Barnabas quickly went and got Paul, Saul of Tarsus then, into Antioch and for about three years they were involved in teaching in Jerusalem. That became the launching padof further outreach by the church. I think it’s something like that that is currently happening.

We are really grateful, especially for, I would use the phrase “the American church,” because a lot of short-termers are coming through doing work, some of them as long-term missionaries, simply coming in to do regular workshops and seminars for pastors and church leaders and so on. We’re still very much behind in terms of what’s happening, but we’re definitely grateful for the way history is being made in that sense. We hope it’ll result in a better day in years to come.

SN:
Certainly, we would pray for the institution that you’re heavily involved in, African Christian University and the potential impact of training that generation in the things of God, and in theology, and the impact that could potentially have on the church.

CM:
Yes, yes. We’re grateful for what God has done in enabling us to begin this institution. We’re pouring in our all to see how it will really stretch church leaders to become the Augustine’s and the Chrysostom’s of the years to come.

SN:
We are reminded that Augustine was on the continent of Africa.

CM:
Amen.

SN:
That is Dr. Conrad Mbewe and I’m Steve Nichols. Thanks for joining us for 5 Minutes in Church History.