In August, Jack will be going to South Africa for a two week trip to help launch an exciting new program at East Mountain. What's exciting about it? Read on.
One of the biggest needs for the church in the Global South (aka, the non-Western World where the majority of unreached & unchurched peoples are) is local leaders who are Biblically trained and spiritually formed. Here are some crazy stats that give you a snapshot of the situation:
- 85% of churches in the world are led by men and women who have no formal training in theology or ministry.
- If every Christian training institute in the world operated at 120 percent capacity, less than 10 percent of the unequipped leaders would be trained.
- 8 out of 10 nationals who come to the west to receive training never return home.
- Leaders from every non-Western region say their number one need is leadership training.
Major hurdles for addressing these needs for training include:
- a lack of equipped leaders and teachers to assist in the training
- a lack of access to quality training resources, both digitally and in print
- a lack of learning communities for fostering transformation learning experiences
To address these needs, East Mountain has partnered with Oxford Centre for Religion & Public Life (OCRPL) and Stellenbosch University (SU) to provide a unique program tailored to the needs of the Global South. The Oxford Centre is bringing experienced church leaders to train and mentor. Stellenbosch is providing academic processes and resources. East Mountain is providing the community context where transformational learning can take hold as well as the on-the-ground logistical support. The Barnabas Fund (BF) is also lending its support to the effort. Here are some of the details. In our first cohort, we have church leaders participating from 10 different countries across Africa & Asia.
We see God using this program to shape and equip church leaders around the globe to more effectively teach, train and disciple people in their churches among their peoples. Our hope is this program will strengthen the foundation of the church in the Global South by equipping and empowering local church leaders for global service.
East Mountain is providing a home away from home experience by welcoming the participants into the life of our community. In addition to this, we are responsible for coordinating the logistics: transportation, meals, housing, etc. I am leading the EM operational team planning all this. I will be traveling to SA to assist with getting the program off the ground for the first week before handing off the program to other team members. I will return to the US in early September for the birth of baby #2 a boy (expected in late September/early October).
Please join us in praying for this program. You can pray for:
- transformational learning experiences for the participants
- logistical hurdles on the ground
- financial provision for the participants
- fruitful partnership among OCRPL, SU, BF & EM.
- Loren, Micah & Baby boy - health & safety while I am gone
- Loren's pregnancy - that Baby boy would not come while I am gone.
We see tremendous long term potential for this program, and we are really excited about strengthening the global church. If you would like to assist in scholarshiping a participant's expenses, please email me (details below). My costs for the trip are estimated at $3,000. If you would like to contribute to these expenses, you can click here.
Thank you for partnering with us in the spread of the gospel
and the equipping of the saints.