“Just like plants, pastors need to be ‘watered’ in order to be more effective,” expresses Denis Cienfuegos, pastor of Belén Church in the city of León. Denis, along with 14 other pastors, has been participating in the workshops of the Timothy Institute, organized by the Church Strengthening program of the Nehemiah Center.
“If a plant isn’t watered, it can’t extract nutrients from the soil. The Timothy Institute has been that water to me, helping me to extract many things that were already there but that I couldn’t reach on my own,” explains Pastor Denis, who has been in pastoral
ministry for 23 years.
The Timothy Institute is dedicated to strengthening pastoral ministries through 6 training modules with themes like Biblical Preaching, Pastoral Care, Stewardship, Combating Domestic Violence, and more.
For Pastor Denis, the module on Pastoral Care has helped him to identify how he needs to improve and incorporate pastoral attention into his work. “Right now in my church there are four pastoral areas – pastoring youth, pastoring the elderly, marriage counseling, crisis counseling – areas that I am now much clearer on than before,” he says.
“Among the errors that one commits in preaching is to not prepare well beforehand. We have had the habit of reading the selected Bible passage, and then just standing in front of the congregation and saying some things here and there about it. The Timothy Institute helped us see these as errors, even though we thought they weren’t that big of a deal. But they are big errors. We are responsible for the ‘flock’ that God has given us and we have to give them the good food of the Word of God. So it is in that way that the Timothy Institute is teaching pastors how to use tools that help them to teach, form, and transform others.”
The Nehemiah Center is preparing to open three new training modules with the pastors in the cities of Managua and Granada. “The vision is to carry the Timothy Institute throughout all of Nicaragua,” concludes Pastor Henry Cruz, coordinator of the Church Strengthening program.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2
English version: Bethany Beachum