From Seeker to Church Leader [July Prayer Focus]

A group of men in Honduras consult their Bibles.
Every church needs to train leaders for the future. Join us this month in praying for missionaries who train local church leaders and missionaries.

For Jose, it was just another normal run around the park. He didn’t know that he would end up having a conversation that would change his life and his family.

But that day at the park, Jose met members of TEAM missionaries Ralph and Ellen’s church plant in Mexico. They invited Jose and his wife, Amilia, to be a part of one of their house churches.

Soon, Jose put his faith in Christ and was baptized. Since then, he has been actively sharing his faith with everyone he meets!

The change in Jose was so apparent that his wife and two of his children decided to be baptized themselves.

Now Jose and Amilia have become leaders in the local church. They were both part of the initial start up team for a local church plant, and Jose’s passion for Christ led him to start a men’s Bible study in his own home. The impact of his leadership is evident through the way the men in this group respect and look up to Jose. Jose went from not knowing Christ, to only a short time later, being a leader in his church.

This month we are focusing our prayers on ministries that train local church leaders and missionaries. Join us in praying for ministries like Ralph and Ellen’s that equip people like Jose to share the Gospel around the world.

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1. Ask God to provide strong, local believers to lead local churches.

Leadership in any capacity takes character, integrity and humility and cannot be done well without guidance from God. That’s why it’s vital that the Church is able to discern who is living out their faith well, and who only looks good on the surface.

One TEAM missionary who leads a Bible college in South Africa says, “We believe developing servant-leaders is one of the greatest needs in Africa today. At all levels — family, school, business, church, community, government — good leaders are desperately needed.”

This month, pray that God will bring these future leaders into contact with mentors who can guide them on the right path. Pray that mentors will be able to see and encourage these future leaders’ full potential.

2. Pray that local believers will learn to lead without missionary guidance.

One of the big goals of church planters is training leaders to be self-sufficient and able to train more leaders in the future. Churches thrive when they are led by their own people  — people who know the culture and the language better than any missionary ever could.

Church leaders in Africa wave goodbye

Church planters start with the hope that one day they will be able to leave the church in the hands of strong local leaders.

“Our long-term hope and goal is to raise up leaders who can lead their own lives and families well, and contribute to beginning and leading house churches that will change the spiritual climate and landscape of this great city and region,” Ralph says.

Ralph hopes that Jose and Amilia will be these types of leaders in the church. Local leaders change their communities’ spiritual climates and ultimately help take the Gospel around the world.

This month, pray that local leaders will become self-sufficient in ministry. Pray that they will be able to identify and train the next generation of leaders.

3. Ask God to reveal and strengthen leaders’ unique giftings.

A missionary in Germany walks along the street with a local woman

We all have spiritual gifts from the Lord — but we may not know what they are or how to use them. Pray that God will reveal these things to new and future leaders.

Every believer is called by God to spread the Gospel to people around the world. But the unique way He created each person gives everyone a different way of fulfilling this calling.

As Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 12:15-27, the body has many parts and all are useful and necessary for the work of the Kingdom. Often, it can be discouraging to see others doing work that we think we should be able to do. But we must remember that we have our own set of gifts and skills that are just as important as the ones we see in others.

This month, pray that people will be able to recognize and use the way that God uniquely created them to further His kingdom. Pray that they will be encouraged in their own giftings, and able to encourage the giftings they see in others.

Your prayers are making a difference in training future church leaders all around the world! Sibo, a student at Swaziland Evangelical Bible College, wants you to know just how much you have impacted students like her. She says:

” I would say to [supporters] thank you. … They’ve really done a great job. See, if they didn’t pray, maybe I was not going to overcome all that I overcame to come here (to Bible college). If they didn’t pray, especially pray… maybe nobody was going to think of it that – see, because we have this passion of going to Bible college. If maybe they didn’t pray, maybe that was not going to happen. So, in everyone who has prayed and everyone who has done something for the school, I just want to say thank you so much and a big God bless you.”

Thank you for partnering with us in prayer! Click here to get a print-out of this month’s prayer requests and praise reports.

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TEAM - The Evangelical Alliance Mission

TEAM partners with the Global Church in sending disciples who make disciples and establish missional reproducing churches to the glory of God.

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