In Matthew 18, Jesus tells a parable about a shepherd who leaves his flock of 99 sheep in search of one sheep that has gone missing. That’s what Pastor Robert Echeru and Job Epiru did when members stopped showing up to worship at Deliverance Church Soroti in Uganda.
Pastor Robert and Job are currently working through Timothy Leadership Training (TLT) facilitated by your Resonate Global Mission missionary Anthony Sytsma alongside Rev. Engolu and Rev. Eliabu. A curriculum of Raise Up Global Ministries, TLT equips pastors and lay leaders for ministry in countries throughout the world where training can be difficult to come by. You help make this training possible.
The class on Caring for God’s People encouraged them to care for members of their congregation, but they also couldn’t stop thinking outside of the church: some members had stopped showing up for worship, and nobody knew why. Job was concerned, and Pastor Robert said he started to feel “burdened” by the members’ absence.
The Holy Spirit was convicting Pastor Robert and Job to go after these lost sheep.
Searching for the Lost Sheep
“One of the most important principles that TLT teaches is how to make a plan and how to be intentional about putting into practice what we learn in God's Word,” said Anthony.
Right away, Pastor Robert and Job started visiting the members and listening to their stories. While some members had simply been too busy for worship, one member said he had stopped coming because he felt unseen by the church. Two other members said they had felt ashamed over some lifestyle choices, and they felt unworthy to worship God.
Pastor Robert and Job were able to care for each of these believers’ individual needs. They were able to speak truth and encouragement into each person’s life, and two of the members decided to commit to the church community again!
Keeping the Faith
Each member who has returned to worship continues to grow in faith. One believer joined the church choir, and the other is taking steps to align her lifestyle with God’s Word.
From now on, Pastor Robert and Job said that their church will be more intentional about caring for members, both within and outside the walls of the church building.
“The training has helped me and the entire church to start pastoral care roles, especially to reach out in homes,” said Job.
“The way I now handle and care for people is different,” added Pastor Robert. “It was a wake-up call to my God-given responsibility, and I felt such a joy of recovering the lost sheep.”
Thank you for helping to make this training possible! You’re strengthening passionate leaders who strengthen believers.