As a ministry we have been serving Christian leaders in Africa since 1998. The work has been a huge blessing to many churches and therefore individual lives as well. In preparation for a recent trip over the last week of September, I asked our team in Africa how I could serve them. They mentioned two main areas. First, to be available for meetings with top denominational minis- try leaders to share the vision and strategies that can be implemented. Secondly, to be available to train over 20 local Christian leaders to become certified trainers of the Global Youth Ministry Network materials so that the multiplication of the ministry could continue. I am totally amazed by the doors that were opened and the impact that we would foresee.
We had numerous meetings with top leaders of entire denominations. The smallest group represented 150 churches, while the largest represented some 1400 churches (a total among just 4 groups added up to 2800 churches). At each of these gatherings we heard of the need to have their leaders trained in the principles of ministry from the life of Jesus Christ that we offer.
One of the groups that was most excited about the variety of trainings we offer was the Africa Gospel Church. This group was the first to welcome us to Africa over 17 years ago. Sitting in a meeting with 4 of the top 5 highest ranking church leaders, we realized that the 4 who were present had all been through our trainings over the past 17 years! This shows us of the impact that the trainings have had on leaders as they now lead over 1400 churches filled with people being discipled to evangelize. Not only are we continuing the training of youth ministry leaders, but this team requested that we train their top tier of church leaders across the country. They have seen how the principles we have taught over the years are transferable for all church ministry leadership areas. Therefore, we took action to carryout another version of our trainings targeted toward pastors and church ministry leaders. We have known for some time that there was a need globally for expanding our training beyond youth ministry leaders, but to hear this large group request this new version of the training was a great confirmation that the ministry is expanding in the right direction.
In addition to this meeting, we met with top leadership of another denomination of 700 churches. Not only are they scheduling 4 trainings for youth ministry leaders across the country next year, they have also requested the church leadership version of the trainings as well.
Beyond these top level strategic planning and vision casting meetings with top leaders, I also led a training of over 20 indigenous ministry leaders who were pursuing the calling to be one of our trainers in the region. Leaders at this event were from Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, Zambia and Kenya. The room was filled with energetic leaders craving the opportunity to take what they had learned back to their home country and share it with others. Imagine top quality young leaders, full of passion and the power of the Gospel gathered together, to be further encouraged and unleashed to go impact the biggest mission field in Africa, the youth! This was an amazing time with these leaders. We are so excited to see the impact already happening. Just this week I had a video conference with Workneh Dawit, the key leader from Ethiopia, who oversees youth ministry to over 8,000 churches. For this video conference he had brought in a leader who had already begun to connect top leaders from 10 other large denominations for the country. We have already begun to discuss and plan for events in 2016 to further multiply the impact in Ethiopia!
I would have been very satisfied to call this a hugely successful trip, but in the midst of this time I received an email from a partner ministry that trains youth ministry leaders at a seminary level. They offer Masters Degrees in Youth Ministry around the globe. We have started to work with them on several projects. While in Kenya I received an email that we were being included in plans with the Nigeria Baptist Convention to assist in training 30 hand picked leaders who will commit to offer what they learn to the 13,000 churches that have 4 million members. They will strategically take these trainings first to their 10 seminaries and Bible colleges and also take the trainings of Global Youth Ministry Network to the majority of the youth leaders in the 13,000 potential church locations! These are astounding levels of impact that together we get to have across the different areas of the continent of Africa.