Preach the Word


How should we help equip the church leaders of Africa today? This book suggests a framework for evaluating existing approaches and suggests broad principles for theologically sound, Bible-centric training.

Also available as an ebook: here.


How should we help equip the church leaders of Africa today?

There remains a well-documented lack of theologically sound, Bible-centric preaching in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of sermons are preached by untrained (or undertrained) church leaders. Following a practical theology praxis, this book develops a conceptual framework for the evaluation of existing “alternative” approaches to “grassroots” preacher training. It also proposes broad principles for effective preacher training, and offers a practical solution.

Also available as an ebook: here.


The 20th century had seen the Christian church in Africa grow 36 fold to 360 million. This amazing growth is arguably “the largest religious change in human history in such a short period.” It has shifted the focus of Christianity from North to South. This rapid growth is – debatably – considered by some missiologists and theologians to have resulted in an African church “a mile wide and an inch deep.” That is, a church of great size but lacking in spiritual depth.

The rapid growth has led to insufficient numbers of trained leaders being available to oversee their congregations. Most leaders are unpaid. Untrained or undertrained leaders have an inadequate knowledge of scripture, and lack understanding of its interpretation. They also lack the skills they need to communicate its truths. Even so, they preach up to 90% of the sermons in rural Africa. Despite a tremendous hunger for training among many of those preachers, “traditional” college based theological education cannot keep up with the demand for trained pastors and preachers in an affordable or culturally appropriate manner.


About the Author

Myles MacBean spent over 30 years preaching in England before (in 2014) moving with his wife to Malawi as “Church Development Partners” with Zambesi Mission. There Myles has deployed his mix of theological, pastoral and strategic leadership experience for the benefit of the African Church.

For the author’s own blog: click here.

Additional information

Weight .3 kg
Dimensions 15.2 × .3 × 22.9 cm








Publication Date

14th January 2018


Myles MacBean

2 reviews for Preach the Word

  1. Mathew Bartlett

    Myles MacBean has done a great service for all who are developing ministry training. Preach the Word is a remarkably compact book that covers a surprising amount of ground, due to its economy of words. Preach the Word will stimulate thinking: grounded in his own research of consciously and conscientiously developing a preaching programme for a very specific context in Malawi, it is brimming with insights and information as MacBean explores the viability of “contextual, scalable and sustainable” training. For example, insights such as “franchise management” in business development provide fresh perspectives on problems. The book will also integrate thinking: pulling together insights from a range of domains that include homiletics, leadership development, practical theology, business studies, adult learning and church planting. In addition, Preach the Word will multiply impact: in many contexts where scarce resources seem to be squandered on traditional forms of theological training little thought as to how the privileged few will reach the less fortunate many, this is a book that every institute and organisation involved in training in Sub-Saharan Africa should make essential reading for those taking courses in practical theology, homiletics and Christian education, and for their faculties. Finally, MacBean’s work will provide a model: the study is a fine example of local research, with a keen awareness and respect for culture and the dignity of individuals, and with the empirical data providing fascinating granular data on specific issues and fascinating and sometime surprising insights. For practitioners, like MacBean, who are open to learning from others Preach the Word is an invaluable resource.
    (Rev.Dr. Jem Hovil, Executive Trustee of BUILD Partners)

  2. Mathew Bartlett

    This is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to train church leaders in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on thorough and extensive research in Malawi, the author’s careful and penetrating analysis leads to a set of proposals which should be effective in helping church leaders without formal theological or biblical training to develop the understanding and skills required to communicate Scripture with due attention to context, meaning and relevant application. Some readers may find the statistical analysis a little technical, but it is well worth persevering.
    With the increasing challenges of biblical illiteracy in other parts of the world the book should also have a wider application. – written by Amazon Customer

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.