The GProCommunity team knows many pastoral trainers face tremendous challenges every day—even for years—and all of us face seemingly overwhelming obstacles at times in life. We believe one way the Lord Jesus enables us to “remain steadfast” (cf. James 1:12) is by hearing from each other.
We were recently privileged to chat with a pastoral trainer remaining resilient in turbulence. Dr. Jesus Sampedro joyfully trains pastoral leaders amid the chaos and calamity that have overtaken his home country of Venezuela. We think his vision, passion and practical insights will both encourage you and help you press forward in pastoral training no matter what you’re experiencing.
Take a few moments to watch this two part interview and be refreshed! Written interview below.
Part I (4 min. 24 sec.) Dr. Sampedro highlights the unique challenges pastors face in Venezuela
Part II (4 min. 54 sec.) Dr. Sampedro shares how this team of pastoral trainers stays connected and encouraged.
JESUS SAMPEDRO WRITTEN INTERVIEW:
What is your role in pastoral training?
I train leaders in my own church and in the two churches we have planted. In addition, I regularly train pastors, church leaders and ministry leaders in coaching skills, whether as part of a certification program or just leadership development, and I serve as a speaker and trainer at pastors’ events.
I love training pastors! It is what God has called me to do. It is really exciting–when pastors lead well, they reach more people for the Lord.
How many pastors are you committed to training per year?
I am committed to provide training for 200 pastors per year, although last year I was able to train 1,000. We also have developed a network of about 50 pastoral trainers over the last 12 years and provide some ongoing training for them.
How long you have been training pastors?
I have been officially training pastors since 2005, but the Lord opened my eyes to the huge need several years earlier. In my own church and in other places I saw that people were willing to lead, but they were not trained. I had to do something about it.
Can you share one recent praise report/testimony from a pastor you trained?
Pastor D leads a multi-university campus ministry here in Valencia. Our coaching and biblical foundation training has provided him key skills to help lead others in his congregation as they find purpose in Christ, define their vocation/calling, and structure life plans.
Can you share one recent praise report of your own?
Many of my disciples are now serving the Lord overseas, and testimonies are coming our way. When people started leaving Venezuela because of the social/economic/political challenges, it was very difficult for many churches. Now, however, we see it as an opportunity to send out trained disciples/pastors who can spread disciples all over the world.
What has been your greatest challenge in training pastors?
It has been a challenge to find organizations that are able to prepare well for an event, addressing logistics and promotional matters in a quality way.
Another challenge is being flexible and resilient. Wherever we go to train, something will happen, such as the power going out and not coming back on. We need to have a plan to carry on in situations like that.
Also, because of the food shortage and high inflation, pastors aren’t thinking a lot about training. Their main focus is helping their church and their family get enough to eat. We understand that and are doing what we can to help in that area, while still providing the training they need.
What is your biggest concern for the pastoral leaders you train?
Right now in Venezuela, pastors need hope and strength to continue the path. We are encouraging them to trust the Lord in a radical way.
What was your goal in your most recent training?
We wanted to equip participants on how to on how to affirm the Holy Spirit’s enabling of others. Some leaders don’t empower others to lead. We are asking them questions to help them shift their ministry perspective into “20 percent serving in the church in order to deploy the other 80 percent into marketplace daily ministry.”
Do you have a curriculum that you use or have written that we could share with other pastoral trainers?
I have various training materials available on Leadership and Spirituality. My leadership blog is www.recursosparalideres.blogspot.com (Vital Resources), has a feature that translates the more than 250 articles into many languages reasonably well. You may also access through GProLearning here. I also have a devotional for leaders in Spanish here.
About seven years ago we started developing training on inner character. Pastors need to be trained around personally going deeper into the Word of God. It develops their character and builds trust with the people they lead, whether their families or their churches. They get better results when leading. We have developed training around four character traits for pastors.
English Resources Available through Amazon:
Dr. Jesus Sampedro serves as a pastor, pastoral trainer, lecturer and certified coach in his home country of Venezuela and around the world. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in strategic leadership from Regent University in the United States and has lectured and consulted on management and leadership issues in Central America, the Caribbean, North America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Sampedro finds training pastors to be exciting, because when pastors lead well, more people are reached for the Lord. To get in touch with him, you may contact him at:
Global Leadership Consulting