Here in Lusaka, Zambia, we have five United Methodist Pastors. Of the five, two are appointed local pastors and do not have formal United Methodist training. One is in the Pastors’ School at Kafakumba Training Center. One is a foreign missionary. And the fifth, our District Superintendent, Rev. Stephen Kaluba, has just finished his Bachelors of Theology Degree at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Lusaka. He celebrated his graduation last week!
It has been difficult for Rev. Kaluba to finish his degree. He is a true bi-vocational pastor — he is our (virtually unpaid) District Superintendent. In this role, he leads the pastors and directs all of our churches. Most noteworthy is the fact that he has been a faithful seminary student, taking his studies seriously, learning while ministering. And he has a full-time teaching job as well.
For most United Methodist Pastors in Zambia, getting adequate training is extremely difficult.
People from various compounds or towns frequently come to us, asking us to plant a church. However, we are limited and the limiting factor is trained pastors. While the Kafakumba Pastors’ School is our primary source (and has also provided pastors for D.R.Congo, Tanzania, and even Senegal!), our pastors still need support. We must train them and at the same time, build up in our churches the willingness and ability to provide for them. We now have a fantastic (and badly needed) program to help pay pensions to retired pastors (thanks to Kafakumba). Now our retired pastors are earning more than our active pastors! Therefore we plan to help our churches begin to support their pastors.
In the meantime, we celebrate the graduation of our District Superintendent, Rev. Stephen Kaluba, and we look forward to seeing growth of our pastors’ training and support!