Redeem India's On-field Theological Training program is designed for the ambitious learners from the rural ecclesiastical leadership who have no basic theological education or have no access to theological education. By providing on-field regular training, we equip/educate them with most necessary and relevant topics on Bible, theology and society so that they can communicate Gospel more effectively in the face of fast-changing times, and stand for truth in the contexts of heresies, hostility, opposition and persecution.
The general fact is that 68% of India is still rural where developments are slow in almost every aspect. More than 2/3rds of the Indian church is rural and the majority of this church represents independent Church. India Today, a leading newspaper, reports that, "Independent churches mushroom across India...These freelancers of God are growing while mainstream Churches are facing a decline in their missionary activities" (India Today, April 30, 2011). But the sad part is that majority of these "freelancers of God" in India do not have basic biblical or theological training; neither they have the in-depth knowledge of the Word of God as most of them are picked up from the masses without much formal training. "These preachers are not trained in theology. They often play with the sentiments of people......and create communal tension. We are forced to take the blame for their wayward preaching methods," says Sister Annie, the principal of All Saint's Convent School in Ajnala, who has been working in Punjab since 1984. (India Today, April 30, 2011)
In the age of education, technology and opposition to Christian mission, there are cultural and contextual logistics that the independent pastors need to be aware of in addition to their call for the ministry. Due to lack of Theological Training, many of them are unable to comply with social issues and make the gospel relevant or effective. One of the reasons Christians are opposed to the work of God in India is not due to Western form of Christianity alone, but lack of evangelists' or church planters' ability to make Gospel relevant to various demands and contexts of the day. No doubt that most of the non-Christians in India love Christ and accept His divinity. But the message of Christ is not articulated well enough to bring glory to God. Therefore, Redeem India takes these aspects and challenges into consideration, and provides those independent Church Planters/Evangelists meaningful, culturally relevant and practical on-field training wherever they are so that they may serve the Lord with dignity, rationale and full of joy in their call for the ministry.