Chakwera impressed with bible school’s integrated curriculum

Malawi Assemblies of God pastor, Nickie Chakwera, has hailed International New Creation (INC) Bible School for including vocational skills on its curriculum saying, while it is a biblical right for men and women of the pulpit to “eat from the church”, it doesn’t stop them from having a side occupation.

Chakwera made the remarks on Saturday in Lilongwe when he presided over the graduation of at least 16 pastors who have undergone a three-year training in theological studies and vocational skills at the Lilongwe based bible school, which was founded by a U.S missionary, Lucas House.

Chakwera said by including vocational skills on its curriculum, the bible school has positioned itself way ahead of the rest of the theological colleges in Malawi that are yet to consider taking vocational skills on board.

He said it is a commendable practice for a minister of the Word of God to be economically independent through the works of their hands, quoting the book of Acts 20:34.

Chakwera said: “Theologically, it is important: when you look at the men of God in the bible, they were productive. For instance, Apostle Paul was a tent maker and he said ‘with my own hands I have worked and I have produced for my own needs and the needs of my team’ – that sets a good example.

“Practically, it is also important: even though pastors have a biblical right to be supported materially by those that they feed spiritually, it gives the pastor much more freedom when they can produce and make their own money as well and support themselves, and the work of God.”

He noted that, already, there are a number of pastors in the country who use their own money to run the church because they are able to produce for themselves.

NIC Bible School Director, Pastor Lucas House, concurred with Chakwera, saying the theological institution’s teachings are modeled after Apostle Paul’s life.

House said he founded INC Bible School to fulfill God’s call to train pastors who are ministering in rural areas where congregants may not be able to give full support.

“We want to train those pastors so that they can support themselves, and also to teach them that it’s okay for pastors to do something else for a living, other than relying on the church,” said House.

One of the diploma graduates, Madalitso Zakaria, of Malawi Assemblies of God in Mkanda, Mchinji, could not hide his excitement, saying “it has always been God”.

“I’m very happy that I have finally graduated after COVID-19 posed as a big threat to the future of our studies, let alone our lives,” said Zakaria.

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