Christianity is exploding in Africa!
The lack of opportunities for higher education has left the church with many untrained leaders. It is believed that more than 70% of ministry leaders in Africa do not have any formal ministry training. Most of the immigrant pastors from Africa come from this pool of untrained leaders.
Without knowledge of God’s Word and a biblically trained leader to guide them, it is difficult for African Christians to live faithfully in the midst of political instability, poverty, and generations of unredeemed tribal customs. This leaves many churches in Africa vulnerable to corruption, false teaching, and ungodly worship practices.
The troubling factors mentioned above combine to create problematic ethics in ministry. All too often the corruption and abuse in the church place barriers in front of God’s lost and faithful, making it more difficult for them to live into the hope, promises, and truth that God has for His people. The cumulative result is that even while the African church is growing in numbers, it has not been able to realize anything close to its potential for sending missionaries to the world. Even in the US, the immigrant pastors struggle with a lack of informed knowledge of how to lead and share God's word in the North American context.
The LEMA Institute has been established to address these needs by providing ministry training opportunities and accountability systems so that these leaders can improve their knowledge of the Word and flourish in their ministries.
LEMA Institute exists to equip Christian leaders in Africa as well as immigrant pastors for healthy, biblical, financially independent ministry.
Statement of Faith
The LEMA Institute teaches the truth of Scripture and fully agrees with the Statement of Faith as adopted by the National Association of Evangelicals: http://nae.net/statement-of-faith/.
Below is a statement of what we believe at LEMA. It is by no means exhaustive. It is however a guide to the things we teach, learn, and share at LEMA. Please, contact our office if you need additional information.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is reliable, the only authoritative and infallible source of truth for Christian doctrines and living. The Bible alone is the highest authority (Sola Scriptura). (2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalms 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20; John 10:35)
There is one God, existing eternally in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Trinity). The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are co-equal and are one God. God the Father is the Creator, sustainer, and sovereign Ruler of the Universe. He is limitless in holiness, love, power, knowledge and wisdom. He is the eternal Father of all the redeemed. (Genesis 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 6:4, Psalms 90:2, 97; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God; fully human and fully God. He is co-equal and one with the Father. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life by obeying God and keeping the law perfectly. He offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind by dying on the cross. He rose victorious over death after three days and later ascended into Heaven where He sits at the right hand of God, the Father. He will return again to earth to reign forever as King of kings, and Lord of lords. ( Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Matthew 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:14, 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; Titus 2:13, 1 Timothy 6:14-15).
The Holy Spirit gives new birth to every believer in Jesus Christ, points us to our need for Jesus and unites the believer to Him. The Holy Spirit equips us with His gifts and empowers us to live as Jesus’ ambassadors in the world. Every believer receives at least one spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit at salvation. As Christians, we seek to be led by the Holy Spirit and to learn from Him daily. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 3:3-8, 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16, 12; Ephesians 1:13, 3:16 -21; Galatians 5:25)
Man was created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him and steward the earth. Man disobeyed God (sinned) and became alienated from God. Because of this corruption of sin leading to spiritual death, man is totally incapable of seeking God by his own effort or coming to a right relationship with God without God’s enablement. Genesis 1:27, 3; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a, 59:1-2; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:8.
Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone (Sola Fide). No one can save himself or herself or contribute anything to Salvation. Salvation is by grace alone (Sola gracias). It is a free gift from God, through faith in Jesus Christ, and cannot be earned. Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. From beginning to end, Salvation is the work of God. Hence, Salvation is secure in the unchanging commitment of God. Being saved to do good works, Salvation should produce love for the Lord and a lifestyle of Christ-centered service. (Acts 4:12; Romans 5:1, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12, 3:16-17, 10:29, 14:6; Titus 3:5-7; Galatians 3:26; Hebrews 7:25 -27, 10:10, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
The church is the Body of Christ, one family of God made up of Christians of all generations and all nations. The Church is the Ekklesia - called out assembly, a people called out by God to be salt on earth; to be holy, separate from sin; to embrace fellowship with other believers and to be a light unto the world. Matthew 5:14; Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12; 2 Cor 6:17; Ephesians 2:19, 4:11-13; Romans 12:5; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 1:22-23; 1 Peter 1:16; Revelation 7:9)
God-honoring “marriage” as scripture indicates is a union of one man and one woman in an exclusive intimate relationship, with the man as husband and woman as a wife. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and his wife. Any form of sexual activity outside two married persons – a man and a woman -(including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and a violation of God’s law. No one should be denied Christian compassion, love, respect, and dignity on the basis of disagreement with our position on marriage. All forms of hatred or harassment of an individual on the basis of their self-professed sexual orientation are discountenanced as contrary to the scriptural call to love our neighbor, even those who disagree with us and must be repudiated. (Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31)
Christ’s Return and Eternity
Christ will physically return to the earth, ushering in a new Heaven and Earth. All the dead will be raised, Christians to eternal life, and God’s enemies who rejected Christ to eternal damnation. Those raised unto eternal life will be with Christ forever and those unto eternal damnation will be in Hell. Christ will reign as Lord of lords and King of kings (Matthew 24:30; 1Cor. 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 21:1-5; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 22:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1:9)