Pastor Matthews Vilakazi is a man with a vision and a man on a mission:

“I want to be a light to people.

I want to encourage them. I want to be able to share and teach even more.”    

And not even the tough restrictions imposed by South Africa’s strict Covid 19 Lockdown  have deterred him.

Pastor of Mount of Olives Ministries based in Duduza, he also ministers in KwaThema and Tsakane on Johannesburg’s East Rand. He is a busy man, who balances his time between pastoring and teaching his congregation and working in steel work and maintenance. Pastor Vilakazi is one of the pastors who was equipped at Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor Circle events.

Launched in 2019, Pastor’s Circle is a new initiative from Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa which encourages Bible teaching by providing easy-to-use sermons and tools for pastors, as well as a network of support. The aim of Pastor’s Circle is to support the local church – recognizing that pastors face immense challenges that often include time constraints, and sometimes a lack of resources and training.

Prior to Lockdown, Pastor Vilakazi had already been doing live teaching of the Pastor’s Circle sermon series: Choices that Change Your Life Forever (based on Crucible and the life of David) and the sermon series Finding Purpose When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (based on Detour and the life of Joseph). He had already, prior to the Lockdown, reached over 647 people with this material, doing live teaching for at least 10 different groups.

“But I believe God was preparing me to continue teaching this material using technology – even before the government imposed its restrictions.”

 

Previously as I was teaching the various groups, I got into the habit of recording my teaching. That way, the messages could be used at our church plants in other areas like Tembisa and KwaZulu Natal. And I could also send the message to anyone in my home church who had missed the live teaching.

Now since the Lockdown was imposed and we were unable to meet together in person, I have organized with various groups, that I send them recorded teachings and sermons using WhatsApp. So, I have been able to teach the new sermon series Finding Purpose When Life Doesn’t Make Sense to eleven groups, a total of 798 people, since the Lockdown started.”

The groups that he sends the sermons to are carefully compiled. Some of these are Bible Study groups that he had previously established. Others are groups of people that he has specifically targeted within his community and taught before. Still others are made up people who hear about the sermons, and then ask to also receive them.

“Many times, I will meet someone and after interacting with them for a while, and once they hear what I am doing, they want to be included to receive the sermons. I have also received requests from people I didn’t know before, saying they have heard about these teachings and asking me to send them these sermons and teaching.

After listening to the sermons, the group participants also message me in response. Or otherwise, I contact them to follow up. We have also been able to ‘meet’ afterwards on Facebook to discuss with the people what they have been learning.

I have had so many encouraging messages back in response to these sermons. There are so many people who feel that life doesn’t make sense right now. These teachings based on Detour bring hope and are so relevant. People in my community are facing many challenges with job losses and food security. Everything is worse during this Covid 19 Crisis and people are dejected.

Detour reminds us that just like with Joseph, when things don’t always appear to make sense, God has not forgotten us and is still at work. He will use the challenges and difficulties we go through for His Glory. Just three weeks ago, I heard the testimony of a pastor who for the last two years had given up on Jesus and was demotivated. But now, because of these teachings on Detour, he is starting to develop a positiveness again.

These same sermons have also appealed to non-believers. They tell me: “This teaching brings knowledge and light. All along I had been living without purpose.”

 

“My wife, Matilda, is together with me in this ministry and she has also been able to teach the sermons on Finding Purpose When Life Doesn’t Make Sense to her ‘Sisters for Life’ Woman’s groups – which reach out to women in our community.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“These same sermons on Detour have also spoken to me personally…”

“You know, you cannot give what you do not have. Once I have received what is good, I have a passion to pass it on and bring encouragement to others. And these sermons from Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor’s Circle are good!

I grew up in the church and my father was a leader. From a young age, I was always interested and prepared to learn from others. And now I am learning from Pastor’s Circle.

What I really appreciate about Pastor’s Circle is the ready and easy-to-use sermons. This material brings light and is so easy to follow. The sermons have really helped me as a pastor with my preparation and study. The sermons have good order and structure and fill me up with more ideas. Every time I preach these sermons, I myself advance and learn more.

I will continue to bring God’s Word to people. Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor’s Circle is helping with this.”

For more information on Pastor’s Circle please click here