Lessons from Pastoring 30 Years in Zambia

Conrad Mbewe | October 9, 2017

Goats eating grass on hillsides are a familiar sight here in Africa. Concentrating on one blade of grass at a time, they are never conscious of how far they’ve wandered when the sun sets.

That has been my experience as pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia. I’ve never been conscious of the years ahead of me or behind me; I’ve simply concentrated on the work at hand. So, when I looked up recently and saw people cheering me on for the 30-year marathon, it dawned on me how far I’d traveled.

Like all other areas of life, it’s been a journey of ups and downs. Looking back, I see periods when tears were my daily experience, and other periods when I couldn’t find words to express my thrill and ecstasy.

But what stands out as I reflect on these three decades are primarily the positives, for which I thank God. Here are five.

1. Seeing gradual quantitative growth.

I’m grateful for our church’s steady quantitative growth. When I came to Kabwata Baptist, it had been constituted a year and a half earlier with a membership of about 35. The only properties the church owned were a few hymnals and a church stamp. Of those…

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