Ministry In India Part III
By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
During the past two weeks I have written brief articles about my involvement in teaching and training pastors in India as a part of the initiative to start 5 million churches and win 1 billion people to Christ by 2020. This was the vision of Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade. He invited a group people to help carry out this vision. I have been privileged to participate in the planning and execution of the plan to bring about this God-size vision.
Several people have asked questions after reading about India. India was part of the responsibility for which I volunteered. The general plan is to go into an area and train pastors over a two year period. They will meet twice a year for two and a half days and take ten core courses each session.
At the end of the four sessions they will have taken forty courses and will receive a certificate. In preparation for this plan many leaders around the world were invited to write lessons on specific topics. It was determined that there were five areas where training was necessary. These five areas are:
Leadership Development, Global Missions, Church Multiplication, Evangelism & Discipleship, and Visionary Networking. There are core courses in each of these areas, plus electives. Each course is 90 minutes long and broken into 6-minute segments. These courses are now being translated into all of the languages where pastors will participate. This is a tremendous expense, but will pay eternal dividends.
The two hubs in northern and southern India were launched in September. I was there to participate. The last couple of weeks I have written about the 800 pastors who came to New Delhi. We also had 1,150 pastors come to Chennai. I will be going back to India each six months for three more sessions together. The plan is to have the same teachers teach the same students over the two year period.
The courses are excellent. They have been taught by people like Howard Hendrix, Leonard Sweet, Adrian Rogers, David Mohan, etc. You can go to the website http://www.globalchurchlearningcenter.com and see the courses offered and the people who wrote them. The subscription to all of the courses is a one- time $500 commitment. The pastors who take the courses will be offered them free.
Since I wrote one of the courses, you can access all of the courses by using my initials “JEM” as the promo code and you can receive all of the courses for $95. These could provide excellent materials for Sunday School teachers, small groups, pastors, etc. Being a part of this Billion Soul Initiative is exciting. We have six years until the year 2020 to make the vision a reality. I am going to be committing a portion of my time to that.
It would be easy just to let someone else do it. It takes about 33 hours to get from Montgomery to Chennai. It is a large expense that our ministry never anticipated, but I and my Board feel that this is one of the best expenditures of finances that will reap eternal dividends.
There is no paid staff for this Billion Soul Initiative. Everyone is a volunteer. Each volunteer pays his own expenses and expenses associated with the teaching event. I am so appreciative to people who pray and support this financially. I don’t know of a better expenditure of your time to pray for this Initiative and I don’t know of any place that money could be used more effectively than in this endeavor.
After spending 10 days in India and witnessing the rapid, passionate growth of pastors there, I am more convinced than ever that starting 5 million churches and winning 1 billion people to Christ by 2020 is a reachable goal. I know Dr. Bill Bright is in heaven smiling, but more importantly I know that God is happy to see this large contingent of people who are serious about carrying out His Great Commission.
God loves and blesses God-sized visions!
John Ed’s blog posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org