Q & R from Cambodia: Pastoral Training

Here’s the Q:

Greetings from Cambodia. I am a Filipino missionary serving in Cambodia … I teach at our Bible Institute, training young people to be pastors. On October 6, you spoke at the ICF center, and I am one of those that attended. In fact, two Cambodians and myself chatted with you after your lecture. I wish, the lecture was longer 🙂 I would like to hear more about the new paradigm. I have not read any of your books because they are not available in Cambodia, so I am not sure whether or not the question I am about to ask has been addressed in your previous writing. My question would be, what type of pastoral training is needed for postmodern culture. Do you have thoughts about non-traditional way of pastoral training?
PS: Occasionally, guests from the US visit Cambodia, in fact one is coming in December. Is it possible to order some of your books from you? I would really like to read some of your books, if possible all your books. Thanks for your radical yet biblical ideas for the church.

Here’s the R:

First, on acquiring the books, I don’t sell them, but if your guests from the US go to amazon.com or any other online bookseller (or most brick-and-mortar bookstores), they can easily get some books and bring them over. I also understand that readers in the Philippines can get some of my books. The two books where I talk about leadership training (just a bit – this subject deserves a lot more attention from me and others) would be
A New Kind of Christian, and
Find Our Way Again.
On pastoral training, here are a few general thoughts:

1. Training must be integrated – not just intellectual (Bible knowledge, doctrinal apologetics, etc.), but also practical skills of spiritual direction, community building, organizational leadership, mission.
2. It must be ongoing – not just a few years at the beginning.
3. It must be communal – because having “knowledgeable” but antisocial leaders isn’t a good thing! What would happen if students got grades, not only from their teachers, but from their fellow students too – grades on how they interact with one another?
4. It must be missional – Christian leaders need to experience life among the poorest people, because (as you well know both in Philippines and Cambodia), poverty is the reality for most people in the world.
5. It must be apprentice oriented – we need to learn from people who have “done it” and are “doing it” – whether it’s scholarship, church planting, pastoral care, etc.

It was great being with you in Cambodia … and I hope I’ll be able to visit again.