Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
The Life of a Third-World Pastor
For pastors in a country like Haiti, conferences like the recent Churches Helping Churches gathering are extremely rare. I had the privilege of sitting in on this event, and it was clear that these men enjoyed the opportunity to worship and connect with others dealing with similar challenges. Here is a glimpse at some of the unique trials and temptations that confront pastors on a regular basis in Haiti—and no doubt many other countries suffering from poverty and natural disaster:
Every pastor in Haiti is dealing with major physical and emotional needs. One pastor lost 27 people in his congregation. Others are trying to take care of children orphaned by the quake.
In most cases, these pastors represent the only leadership for their church, and they now face the long-term challenge of training additional leaders amidst multiple crises demanding immediate attention.
Power and Control
Pastors in Haiti face numerous social demands. For the most part, the role of pastor is a well-respected position within the community. The temptation to abuse this status increases when disaster strikes; in Haiti, aid resources are often distributed through the church structure. What can be a great opportunity to show the love of Jesus can also be a temptation to personally benefit at the expense of those who need help.
Most of the pastors in Haiti are bi-vocational. The churches are filled with impoverished members who can give very little, so the pastor must work multiple jobs to feed his family and care for the church. To make matters worse, in a cash and commodity-driven economy, bribes are everywhere. The pastor needs much wisdom and discernment to lead well amidst socially acceptable corruption. In Proverbs 20:5 fashion, the teaching team at the Haiti Conference did a wonderful job of drawing the pastors out and calling them to respond to Jesus, to find their hope in his finished work on the cross. Jesus is our common Head, and the church in Haiti shares our same need for his redemptive work done on our behalf. Sin and temptation may vary from pastor to pastor and culture to culture, but the answer is always the same: Jesus. In this way we are more alike than different, but now that you perhaps know something more of their specific struggles, please pray for our brothers stewarding the gospel under particularly difficult physical circumstances. You can see more photos from the CHC pastor's retreat on Flickr. Find Pastor Jamie on Facebook and Twitter.