Pictures: Pastoral work is a calling that needs to be sharpened- said Rev. Mugisha

Rev. Dr Charles Mugisha, Chancellor of Africa College of Theology and the Pastor of New Life Bible Church, has said that to be a pastor is calling, but that calling needs training or to be sharpened.

Mugisha delivered the message on Saturday during a graduation ceremony of 344 pastors and evangelists. The ceremony took place at New Life Bible Church in Kicukiro District.

Graduates have completed religious-related courses and leadership at Africa College of Theology in conformity with the government law regarding proper operation of Faith Based Organisations.

The government recently enacted a law which set education requirements in Theology or any related field as requirement for preachers, something that has pushed churches to work hard to upgrade their pastors who do not meet such requirements.

The graduates hold Bachelor of Arts in theology and Christian leadership, diploma in Bible and Theology, certificate in Christian ministry, certificate in Christian ministry, and certificate in discipleship.

According to Mugisha, the church needs pastors who are really competent in teaching the word of God, in good leadership and governance to be able to lead the church in 21st century.

He said that educating pastors helps the government to efficiently serve the community in harmony and productively, adding that churches should participate and respect government policies and also empower the partnership because they all serve one community.

“The church has been behind but we are excited that we are on forefront of lifting up the church by providing theological and leadership education among pastors. God calls a person and gives a calling. To teach theology does not make anyone a pastor. Pastoral work is a calling but that calling needs to be sharpened. Everybody has a knife but not every knife sharpened,” he noted.

He added: “It is a great achievement to have pastors, preachers graduated in religious and leadership-related courses. Now we are able to participate in the government plan to educate church leaders. Churches should have well equipped and competent leaders.”

Mugisha advised other church leaders to come and enroll to the school of Theology.

“My message to other church leaders is that we have the opportunity. God has provided Africa College of Theology. I want to invite them to come and study theology (Study of God),”

Brandon Barnard, Teaching Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in the United States of America said: “Rwanda is strong and growing quickly. Having well equipped church leaders and preachers will make the country stronger. Also, the development will strengthen the church in the country in the way of serving the people as they support poor and live in peace”.

Pastor Vianney Mutsinzi, One of the graduates, said that after four years serving the church, he decided to enroll in the theological school.