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.
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.
1. Pray for effective training despite language and cultural differences.
As a Bible professor in Guatemala, TEAM missionary Kathi Small teaches future church leaders from around the world. In order to train them well, Kathi needs to understand how her students learn and relate to others. But the cultural challenges go deeper than that, too.
Each student is going back to a different culture, where ministry will also look different. It isn’t enough for Kathi to give her students a template for ministry. She has to teach them how to think contextually so they can work through the unique issues their cultures will bring.
“Pray that we strive to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and character to impact their contexts for Christ,” Kathi asks. Pray for clarity and understanding and teachers and students communicate in foreign languages.
2. Pray for leaders-in-training to know how to effectively disciple and train others.
The Church Planting Institute (CPI) started in 1996 as a church-based way to train Filipino church planters. Students went through a three-year program and received on-the-job training. The program grew through word of mouth. As people went through CPI, they wanted others to join them. Today, CPI is connected to a growing network of church plants, led by Filipinos.
For God’s work in a nation to continue, it’s not enough to train the first generation of believers. Every generation needs to be able to disciple the generation after them.
“Our challenge always is to pray for the transfer of discipling ability, a heart for multiplication and doctrinal maturity through our disciples to theirs,” says David Weaver, a teacher at CPI. “We feel we have not succeeded in our work until those we teach can teach others also.”
Pray for courage and insight as future church leaders begin making disciples. Pray that they will absorb everything they’ve been taught so they can teach it to others!
3. Ask God to encourage future church leaders as they prepare for ministry.
Choosing to lead a local church, at whatever level, will demand sacrifice. Some will leave their countries to get adequate training. Others will be actively pastoring a church when they seek out mentoring. Some will face the criticisms of their families. Many will give up secure incomes.
In post-Christian cultures, leading will mean reviving practices that are seen as outdated and offensive. In unreached people groups, it will mean figuring out what church should look like for the first time. The preparation and the work to follow may feel exhausting.
Yet, seeing God glorified around the world is worth it.
Pray for perseverance as future church leaders prepare for ministry. Ask God to show them His grace, providence and faithfulness while they train and in all the years to follow.
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