Seasoned frontline leaders - a humble pastor and his wife - have faithfully served on the front lines for over 40 years training and launching church planters, now overseeing a network of thousands of churches.
Their work is sacrificial and far from easy. They reside in a region in North India where it’s not uncommon for Christians to be beaten and denied access to the village well water when they decide to follow Jesus. Many pastors and church leaders don’t have access to daily food provision, and for some, their home is a tarp stretched between trees, or they live in a shack with multiple families. In their updates from the field it’s not unusual for us to hear the words, “Kindly pray for us. More threats and challenges are rising up in North India. Please pray for wisdom to carry on the work effectively and faithfully ‘til the end.”
But there’s no stopping these faithful servants. In fact, they’re multiplying what they’ve been given at an unbelievable rate.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “spread like wildfire.” That’s what is going on as a result of one combined Global Advance Church Planting and Esther Initiative training conference in North India in March 2017.
During this inaugural conference in Chhattisgarh State 341 pastors and church leaders gathered, strategically representing 13 North India states, 25,000 house churches, and over 4,000 people groups. Most leaders traveled for days to receive the training, tools, and encouragement that is so scarce in their nation. With great hunger and anticipation, they listened attentively, responded eagerly, and prayed fervently. As a direct result of this three-day training with our Global Advance Church Planting and Esther Initiative materials, 150 master trainers committed to training 13,252 church planters over the next nine months.
But that was only the beginning.
Post-event reports exclaimed, “We can now take this group of leaders forward like never before.” And move forward, they have. These dynamic leaders know full well the gift of the vision and tools they’ve been given, and now they’re joyfully giving it away.
- Regional leaders returned to their home bases and immediately began training the pastors in their network using the Church Planting Curriculum.
- Women leaders formed small groups based on local communities. Using the Esther Initiative training manual, they began meeting once a week for mentoring and prayer.
- Small groups were challenged to identify assets in their communities and began working together as the Church towards the first steps of community transformation.
- Three months post-conference, training was multiplying at such an accelerated rate that hundreds more resources were requested. In June, Global Advance responded by launching the Church Planting Curriculum in the new Oriya translation so that additional training could be conducted in the neighboring state of Odisha.
In the months that followed, two more Esther Initiative conferences were conducted by local leaders, now crossing borders into Rajasthan State and Delhi. Nearly 200 women leaders returned to over 50 villages inspired, equipped, and activated in their unique leadership roles. Frontline pastors continue to train co-laborers to build healthy ministry teams, strengthen the local church, and reach the unreached with more fervency than ever. With their original goal in sight, new church planters are rising up, firmly planted on a foundation of solid leadership and truth.
In some regions of North India where only a fraction of one percent of the population follows Christ, intentional partnerships with impactful leaders like these are critical to fulfilling the Great Commission. Global Advance is committed to going to the most unreached places and locking arms with these hidden heroes on the front lines who will continue to multiply this training where the gospel’s advance is needed the most.
When you partner with Global Advance to conduct a training conference around the world, you’re not just investing in one event. You're investing in a gift that keeps on giving!
Find out more about how YOU can be a partner in a 2018 Global Advance Training Initiative.