Community libraries


In many of the developing nations small towns have many modest congregations, typically between twenty and forty people. They meet in school classrooms or small buildings, often under construction. The pastors get up early to work on their plot of land to feed their families and during the second part of the day they attend to church affairs.

Books

The need

  • Individual pastors can feel isolated, even though there are other churches in the vicinity
  • Competition for new church members can lead to dispute
  • Pastors receive little training or support
  • Any meagre income is used to feed and clothe their families, leaving no funds for buying books to develop their Biblical learning and preaching

Community sharing

Our response

  • We send a range of Biblical teaching books and inspirational titles to be kept in a central community library for shared use
  • We tailor the titles to each of the local pastors' particular needs
  • By sending resources suitable for the pastors' development and training, we hope to inspire them to come together to share ideas and concerns
Sharing books

Impact

  • Community libraries promote unity and cooperation between church leaders locally
  • This often leads to training together, easing the feeling of isolation many pastors feel
  • Sharing books provides a forum for dealing with issues generated by church membership and competition 

“Our Library has become a research centre for all the Christian leaders in our area who want to know more of the undiluted word of God.” 
Nigeria

Salima - Malawi

In the small town of Salima, an hour or so away from Lilongwe the capital of Malawi, SWT has worked with Starfish Malawi to set up a lending and reference library / resource centre that serves the churches in that area. In a few years its membership grew to around 160.

Several of these pastors were either walking or cycling from their homes with a visit taking the best part of a day in some cases. So a number of smaller satellite libraries were planted to enable them to access books nearer to their homes.

A catalyst for unity

One of the benefits of this arrangement is that pastors of different churches got to know each other and through these relationships they have come to cooperate with and support each other. This reminds us of the Psalm, “How good it is when brethren dwell together in unity… for there the Lord has commanded a blessing.”

 

Sovereign World Trust



Sovereign World Trust
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