Papua New Guinea Ministry
"... to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ." (Eph. 4:13b)
Training Toward Maturity (TTM) is a program to educate faithful men beyond opportunities available to them in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Church leaders told us, "We are running dry and need more teaching."
TTM is a structured mobile school designed to fit PNG culture and economy. Our three year curriculum includes topical and textual studies for evangelists, church leaders, and women. We use proven adult educational principles known to reach the non-English speaking Melanesian learner. Few of our classes are taught in English; most people understand Melanesian Pidgin.
Four times a year we go to selected centers and teach:
- Five days per site
- Circa four hours per day
- We assign daily homework
- We assign homework between teaching cycles
- Students finance their own transportation, room and board
Eighty-three enrolled in our first session. We teach in Lae, Goroka, and in Kundiawa. Although we lost some students, attendance has been consistently high. In August, 2005 we graduated twenty-three from TTM. We expect enrollment and retention to be higher for round two of TTM beginning in February 2006. Our Students are eager to learn. More than that, our students demonstrate growth and understanding of the advanced lessons.
From a survey of all churches of Christ in PNG we learned the needs among Christians. Three concerns emerged from over one hundred responses:
- Biblical training available in PNG did not equip Christians sufficiently to keep on growing
- Most preachers and church leaders lacked good personal Bible knowledge and study skills
- In recent years outreach had almost come to a stop
TTM was specifically designed to meet these three needs.
We want to see PNG congregations thrive. Preachers and leaders in PNG congregations will equip Christians, in their respective congregations, to do the work of service and build up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). By mature PNG congregations we mean:
- The internal structure of the congregation includes elders, deacons, preachers, teachers, and active members
- In financial matters the congregation relies on the resources God gives them. Foreign funds too often suffocate congregations in third world countries
- The congregations reach out to non-Christians throughout PNG and in other island nations
We recruit "Teaching Partners" from churches of Christ to work with us in PNG for two to three weeks at a time. Those who have come with us developed wonderful relationships with PNG Christians and gained valuable field experience.
Our mobile TTM School is based on much research and experience in the mission field. We can help sponsoring and supporting congregations break the cycle of learned dependence too often seen among third world congregations.
This work is supported by Christians who are eager to fulfill God's wishes to spread the gospel throughout the world and understand the need for us to develop mature congregations. We are sponsored by the Lassen Street Church of Christ in Vallejo, California. Contact us and learn more about the work in Papua New Guinea.