““God will have His church trained up by the pure preaching of His own Word, not by the contrivances of men [which are wood, hay and stubble].” ”John Calvin
Throughout each year, Hudson Taylor Ministries (US) conducts training sessions to instruct lay preachers in China. The lay preachers are taught biblical truth from the Bible, the confessions and catechisms (Heidelberg, Belgic and Westminster), and reformed books. Training sessions take place approximately 4 times per year. Once a lay preacher has attended 8 sessions, they receive a certificate of completion for the course.
Training sessions such as these are necessary for the lay preachers due to a serious lack of training in systematic theology and the doctrines of the church. Due to this deficiency, many errors and heresies have crept into the churches in China. These include charismatic and free-will influences among many other man-centered errors.
In addition, many of the house churches have no ecclesiastical church order or system. Many of the house churches in China are not joined together but often must remain stand-alone churches. They miss the advantages that we enjoy of having our churches unified in agreement around forms of unity.
Many of the lay preachers who come to the training sessions have an exceptional knowledge of the Word of God. It is common for them to completely read through their Bibles 3-4 times each year. However, these men lack proper theological training and education that is needed for their work. It is our prayer to be able to equip these men with the reformed doctrines we hold so dear, so they may in turn share these truths throughout the house churches in China. It has been humbling to witness the growth in these men from the time they start their first session to the end of their last.