I have recently wrestled with the age-old problem of ecclesial supply and demand: too many churches, not enough pastors.
In the case of the Cameroon Mission, the problem is particularly acute because of poor transportation and communication networks, as well as a lack of adequately trained people.
I was comforted by the fact that John Wesley had the same problem in 18th century
When I served as a pastor in
Ideally, I would love to have a qualified, spiritually mature, and energetic pastor placed in every village, town, and city in the country to work in the ministry full-time, but of course, that’s not practical!
Circuits help meet the basic needs of every core group of Methodists, while allowing flexibility to meet new evangelistic opportunities. It also gives us time to evaluate the progress of new, young, wannabe preachers, and offers them the opportunity to test their call.
So last week, I called together a few of our pastors, plus some of those wannabes … and we created a circuit!
The Lekie Circuit is located just north of
The other six points are cell groups, or struggling churches. Their Sunday services will be led by one of five preachers, all of who have been worshipping as United Methodists over the last several years, and who will rotate around the circuit during the month. We drew up a preaching plan for the first month, deciding who would preach where and when.
I also put the fledgling preachers through a short, one-day course in Methodism, salvation, leading worship, and preaching. We bought the pastors brand-new Bibles, complete with concordances and dictionaries, and gave them cell phones so they can stay in touch.
Now we begin to pray … for Lucien, Joachin, Roland, Roger, and Igance … the new true Circuit Riders of the
It’s still considered an “experiment”; we’ve drawn up a preaching plan for four months. After that, we’ll reevaluate, and see what new trails have been blazed!