Pastor Cornelius was a high official within South Africa's Department of Education when he felt the call of God on his life. "The Lord spoke to me very strongly in terms of my calling," he explains. "I've always been active in my church. Unfortunately, I lost the joy of my calling. I would close my office door and cry, wondering if it was a sin to be in ministry feeling the way I felt."
Many ministers and church leaders might not be as honest as Pastor Cornelius when it comes to admitting to a crisis of faith. But his church was very understanding. "The senior managers gave me a year to sort out whether or not my ministry was a passing fancy, or a true calling," he says.
"I would close my office door and cry, wondering if it was a sin to be in ministry feeling the way I felt."
After resigning his position, he continued working with local churches when a Bible League trainer encouraged him to join Church Planter Training. He wondered what additional value this training could bring him, since he was already trained in educational methods. But Pastor Cornelius soon saw the value of Church Planter Training. "This training is showing me the value of investing in relationships! I see now how important it is for a group, when it has grown big, to be broken up and giving someone else the opportunity to lead," he says.
In a region where ancestral worship is more common than Christianity, Pastor Cornelius sees how Church Planter Training lessons from Acts 17:16-31 helped people understand the Gospel. One member of the class says, "Today, I learned that you shouldn't worship idols because they are false gods. You should only serve God." The thrill of seeing people excited about learning God's Word has restored Pastor Cornelius' joy."