Pastor Calson’s life changed dramatically after he attended Leadership International’s Biblical Foundation courses in 2000. Now he labors full-time giving others the same blessing he received.
“Pastors hunger to learn more about God’s Word,” Pastor Calson says. As Leadership International – Zimbabwe’s national director, he travels through Zimbabwe and surrounding countries teaching pastoral leaders how to interpret the Bible according to what God intends.
He has a heart for pastors in rural areas, where congregations might be meeting in a classroom or under a tree and training is especially scarce. Just holding the study Bible they receive with the training thrills them. Time after time he hears testimonies how pastors have changed, churches have grown, and preaching and teaching have changed as a result of this biblically-driven training.
Pastor Calson has also developed an orphan care initiative in conjunction with his training ministry. “I realize we cannot just attend to these pastors and leave orphans unattended, so this is my vision, to help kids and at the same time train pastors, because these kids will be founding the churches,” he says.
Even though Zimbabwe suffers economically and socially, God is meeting needs through His servants Pastor Calson and Leadership International – Zimbabwe.
As a family of ministries, Leadership International implements Biblical leadership training programs through local ministries in a number of African and Asian countries. Their purpose: more people knowing and following the Lord Jesus Christ. Learn more about their work at leadershipintl.org.
Watch Pastor Calson’s video greeting below, be encouraged, and refreshed. Both a video interview and written interview are further below for even more strengthening.
Video interview courtesy of Leadership International.
Written interview as follows:
What is your role within Leadership Impact International?
My role is to direct Leadership Impact International in Zimbabwe and to organize and hold trainings.
What aspect of pastoral training does Leadership Impact Intl. focus on?
Our pastoral training focuses on the equipping of pastors and church leaders, especially those who did not have the opportunity to undergo theological training but are leading churches. We hold leadership conferences and organize and hold leadership trainings/seminars.
Tell us more about how you approach pastoral training?
We invite pastors to come together at a specific venue, explain who we are, and give reports of what we are currently doing. That way people are being enthused. Then they come forth for trainings and also invite others.
We do a discipleship style of training, starting from basic pastoral training, biblical foundations and leadership foundations.
What regions of the world does Leadership International operate in?
Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Eswatini
How did God call you to the ministry of pastoral training?
I felt the call of God when I was 22 years old. I got training and was ordained while working in the church. Working with Evangelism Explosion as a field worker, I grew through the stages to being a Director. I trained as a teacher trainer. I enjoyed very much going all over the country doing trainings which brought forth more teachers. It was here that I felt I was in the right field. Now I am training pastors and church leaders in all ten provinces around Zimbabwe and have helped to train over 3000 pastors so far.
How many are you able to train in your region of the world?
We have been able to train 700-800 pastors. Now, 348 are in ongoing training and 352 are in seminars/conferences.
I would like to see even the rural pastors be as equipped as the city or town pastors, and that every pastor teaches and preaches the Word of God without diluting or deviation from God’s intended message.
I would also like to see that the leaders get resources that will help them develop themselves.
How long you have been training pastors?
I have been training pastors for the past 21 years.
Can you share one recent praise report/testimony from a pastor that came through a training held by Leadership Resources?
“I have obtained so many certificates and degrees with different institutions, but the education I have obtained during your studies is so meaningful and practical. I am grateful to you and Leadership International for opening my eyes in such a manner. I have learnt a lot, which, even as I lead the church now, gives me clear understanding as to what the church is all about and who I am as the leader. My personal spiritual life has changed so much that even the church I lead brings wonderful comments about my spiritual life and leadership as well. Belonging to a big denomination as I am, I will try to convince my bishops to let our leaders get into this training.” Pastor N
Can you share one recent praise report of your own?
Just in July we graduated pastors and church leaders in Botswana, our neighboring country. The Councilor of that area and the Minister of Parliament were in attendance and they said, “Thumbs up for Leadership International for raising leaders not only for the church, but for the country at large.”
Do you have a team that helps you? If so, how is it organized?
Yes, everywhere we do our trainings, we keep an eye on and maintain close conversation with our trainees. Out of our communications we easily pick people who have work at heart. We organize them at the beginning of every year and orient them for the work. We take them where we hold our trainings and give them some teaching slots, and as they hear me teach every now and again, they also rise up to that height.
What is a challenge unique to pastors in your region of the world and how do you address it?
The unique challenge to our pastors is the economic situation. Having no money to move from point A to point B makes the work move at a very slow pace, which is not our intention. Hence, people are zealous to hold our trainings. It is very hard for me to address, since I also have no resources for such.
I also see a lack of commentaries, study Bibles and dictionaries and laptops.
What is your greatest overall challenge in training pastors?
Many pastors can’t afford to pay for books because of the harsh economic situation. We also need translation of books into vernacular languages.
What is your biggest concern for the pastors you train?
My greatest concern is that they put into practice that which they have learned, and,
if possible, they in turn recruit more leaders in their local churches for training so that the Church of Jesus Christ could be vibrant.
How would you describe your approach to discipleship?
I would call it the Jesus kind of approach, with time to lecture and talking to them one on one, as well as time for practicals, giving them assignments and getting reports back. We also assess their work at the end of the day.
Our Personal and Spiritual Life Manual is a very good discipleship tool because we have witnessed lives transformed after people complete it and hear great testimonies shared by pastors and church Leaders.
What do you feel is exciting to see happening in your region of the world as it relates to pastoral training?
What is exciting to see happening in Zimbabwe right now is the love for training, that hunger. And the excitement of graduation–it’s so amazing, and when the pastor holds a study Bible of his own, it’s great.
How would you describe your approach in training pastors?
I would describe our approach as very relevant, equipping and effective. It is also exciting as we see pastors positively responding to our invitation wherever we step our feet.
Do you have a curriculum that you use in your trainings/discipleship sessions?
We have a series of manuals under Biblical Foundations and series of manuals under Leadership Foundations. Our Personal and Spiritual Life Manual serves as a discipleship book.
How can we learn more about Leadership Resources Intl?
You can learn more about Leadership Resources International by signing up to receive our quarterly reports about what the Lord is doing on the field.
Do you have more pastoral training trips planned? We would love to help spread the word!
Yes, we are spreading our wings to Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and their outskirts, breaking new ground in other parts of our country.