The programme of training pastors in Zimbabwe began in 2008 when Preachers Workshops were held for the first time in Harare and were held annually until 2012. After the initial workshops in Harare, in 2010 Hwange was included as a second venue. These workshops were held over a period of 2 – 4 days when groups of men who were either pastors or younger men training to be pastors gathered together to be given help in understanding the principles of Biblical interpretation and exposition. In addition to the more formal teaching sessions the men were given opportunity to work in small groups preparing sermon outlines on a set passage – this proved very encouraging to see them interacting with one another and helping each other get to grips with the Word of God.
However, a major concern has been to see some of the Zimbabwean Pastors trained up in their understanding of the Scriptures so that they are then able to lead Preachers Workshops themselves. To this end we added a Training of Trainers course into the programme in 2011 when six men were gathered together to receive more in depth training which would equip them to be involved in training other pastors. Since 2013 we have concentrated on these Training of Trainers workshops which are held in Harare over a period of five days and are attended by a group of 10-12 men. Whilst these men come from a variety of church backgrounds it has been really encouraging to see the way they have benefited from these teaching sessions and have grown in their knowledge of the scriptures, their understanding of the principles of Biblical interpretation and exposition and of the Reformed faith.
As a result of this ToT programme, run mainly by Maciek Stolarski and Derek French as trustees of ZPT, the men trained are now involved in running Preachers Workshops in a number of areas throughout the country. These include Chimanimani, Mt Darwin, Harare, Bulawayo, Hwange, Victoria Falls, Gweru, Gwanda, Masvingo, Chitungwiza, Dombashawa and Kadoma.
The running of these Indigenous Preachers Workshops is funded through the work of the Trust, as is the ongoing programme of Training of Trainers. Whilst the Training of Trainers programme is funded through the work of the Trust, the travel costs of the trainers from the UK are covered independently and we are very grateful for this support that enables the training programme to continue.
In addition to the Training of Trainers and Indigenous Preachers Workshops programmes, Roger and Gill Prime make visits to the Bulawayo area where Roger has opportunity to lead day seminars for pastors and church leaders. Gill Prime and Mary Stolarski also have opportunities to lead seminars for the ladies from the churches whilst visiting Zimbabwe with their husbands.