Understanding the Need
In spite of these incredible realities, we still receive questions regarding the need for an organization like ours. The truth is there needs to be thousands of pastor training organizations the world over. The questions we receive are generally twofold. First, is this not the role of the IMB (International Mission Board), or other mission agencies? Second, are there not sufficient training mechanisms such as seminaries or Bible institutes in these places? These and other questions are easily answered once we understand the various contexts in which we serve.
• IMB and other agencies are not equipped to meet this need
• Current Training Options are often not adequate
• Current Training Options are often not accessible
• Training Leaders is Essential in build God’s Kingdom
IMB and other agencies are not equipped to meet this need
IMB is often spread very thin in the areas we serve. Nearly all of the pastors we train have never met an IMB missionary. Some of the areas in which we work are remote and have never had direct contact with any Western missionaries. This is why we have partnered with key IMB leaders and missionaries to coordinate pastor training in strategic locations.
Current training options are often not adequate
Seminaries and Bible institutes do exist in cities and highly populated areas. Unfortunately, these institutions are simply not enough to train all of the pastors who need training. Furthermore, rarely do training options exist in remote or outlying areas. Yet, there are far more churches outside the cities than inside. The vast majority of churches exist where there are no training options available. The existing training options are simply inadequate in both numbers and quality to meet the overwhelming need.
Current training options are often not accessible
The reality is that most pastors in the developing world do not have access to the training options in their countries. This involves much more than geographic access. Many pastors within travel distance of seminaries and Bible institutes still cannot attend. These pastors are typically poor and do not have the finances to attend. They are bi-vocational and do not have the time to attend. They are from a different denomination and are not allowed to attend. Many of the seminaries are liberal and pastors do not want to attend. Many of the Bible institutes have poor reputations and pastors do not perceive value in attending. All of this accentuates the need for a biblical, affordable and accessible training strategy for pastors.
Training leaders is essential in building God’s Kingdom
Other than initial Gospel penetration, there is no more strategic effort in building God’s kingdom than training and discipling leaders. The great commission emphasizes both evangelism and discipleship. Both are absolutely essential. Is it better for outsiders engage in evangelism, ministry, and church planting or is it better to train nationals to do it? It is better to train nationals to take responsibility for the kingdom in their country. This is not to say there is no place for outsiders to serve, but we should do so as partners with nationals and in a way that encourages and equips them to carry on the ministry.