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that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Many of the Apostles had disciples whom they trained to take their places as leaders of the churches. The Bible mentions Timothy and Titus who were disciples of Paul, and Mark who was a disciple of Peter. The apostles themselves were trained by the Lord during His earthly ministry. During the coming years there should be a decreased emphasis on sending church planters into Latin America and an increased emphasis on sending biblical scholars to train local, qualified young men for the ministry. Even though foreign church planters are essential for introducing the Gospel into a region with few churches, a local pastor can be many times more effective at building and even starting churches because of the many ties that he has to the region. These ties include language, family, friends, culture and race. Think of it this way, would you prefer to go to a church pastored by a Puertorican who spoke English with a strong accent or to a church pastored by someone like you with ties to your region who grew up only a few counties away? People on the mission field are no different. However, because of the lack of proper training of local leaders it is common for a missionary to retire and hand over his work to a younger missionary. It should not work this way. The main obstacle in successfully accomplishing the transition between missionary leadership of local churches and local leadership of those churches is the fact that usually the missionaries are better trained than the leaders they leave behind. Missionaries often have a minimum of Bible college training, but most local leaders have the equivalent of Sunday school training in Bible (even though they might have professional training in their secular careers). If a pastor cannot feed his people with biblical knowledge, people will leave unless the pastor substitutes this food with spiritual candy in the form of superficial, emotional preaching. There is a strong tendency for missionary churches in Latin America to absorb Pentecostalism and Charismatic tendencies after the founding missionary leaves. This is true even among independent, fundamental Bible- believing Baptist churches. I believe that this is due primarily to the lack of training of the local leaders. Paul said, Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2). Without that renewing of the mind among church leaders and members, the church will become conformed to the surrounding pagan culture. Emotions do not transform the man, Bible knowledge does. Hosea said, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6). This is an interesting verse because it puts the blame for the destruction of a culture upon untrained spiritual leaders (in that day, priests). It is interesting that the verse places a curse on the children of ignorant spiritual leaders. One could go so far as to say that when a missionary leaves an untrained leader in charge of a church, Islander – No 1, 2013 7