Most churches in America never multiply or plant a daughter church.  Some say the number is over 95% of churches that fail to multiply.  The reasons vary: for some it’s not in their plan at all, for some the only multiplication is a missionary far away, for some the plan  keeps getting pushed backward in time because of expense, and for some the plan to multiply is simply too hard to accomplish.  If you have 100 in attendance and your plan is to multiply at 400, there’s a large statistical chance that your church will never have 400 since only about 3% of churches are that large.

The primary reason that churches don’t multiply is the failure to multiply leaders.  The Lord Jesus had 3 close friends, then the twelve, the 70, and the 500.  He picked 12 to be his apostles and poured his life into them so that they might be his face to the world.  This is what leaders are meant to do – replicate.

In India, when we hold a three-day Leadership Conference teaching through 1Timothy, on the second day we ask this question, “how many of you are training elders?” And the universal answer is that they are not.  In a room of 100 pastors there might be two who are actually training others to lead.  Most of them are struggling to lead churches of 25-30 people and these leaders are barely surviving.  It is the breath of life when we show them from the Bible that God’s plan is for a plurality of leaders in the church – we’re not wired or expected to lead alone.  You can visibly see stress leave and joy come at the thought of sharing the emotional and spiritual load of shepherding God’s people.

Our calling at ELI is to train leaders who multiply.  Like Nehemiah, we seek to train leaders who will train leaders who are responsible for the fruit and success of their portion of the work.  Like Paul expressed to Timothy, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

In order to be successful, a leader needs three things: Knowledge, Skill, and Motivation.  Like the three sides of a triangle, these aspects of leadership are connected together.  Pastors and Elders need Knowledge of the gospel, the scriptures, theology, and church history; they need Skill in shepherding, organization management, training others (discipleship), teaching, preaching, prayer, evangelism, counseling, and marriage; they need Motivation to overcome the many obstacles within and outside the church to move forward in exalting the name of Jesus and leading His church.  Those three work together – Motivation is necessary to gain Knowledge or Skill, and of course, Skill and Knowledge improve Motivation.  All of this tied together by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, in places like India and Africa, many have significant Motivation as a result of being delivered from deep spiritual oppression by the power of the Gospel.  As a result of their Gospel Motivation, many preach Christ to others and small churches are born before the leader gains much needed Knowledge and Skill.

At ELI our purpose is to resource and train international leaders who will in turn train others so that the fame of the name of Jesus would grow.

 

If you would like to contribute, you can do so online  http://www.equippingleadersinternational.org/get-involved-2/

 

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Back from the meeting.  These guys (Joseph and Noah) are SO excited about this MINTS program!  They were spontaneously telling us about some of the results that have come.

One of the new guys is a Methodist minister (Joseph taught him the two courses that Don and I taught in February to catch him up – that in itself is exciting!) who, after taking these courses said “I have learned so much! I’m going to make sure that this material makes it into the training of the ministers and lay leaders in my area.  There were areas of the Bible that I thought I knew, but I see now that there is so much more!”  Impact!

And Joseph went on to say, “Everyone who has taken these courses is now preaching expository sermons!”

And Noah chimed in:  “Not just a verse, but the whole passage.”  Joseph’s church is going through Ephesians in Sunday School verse by verse in an expository fashion.  He meets with his teachers on Saturday to train them for the next day.  “It has changed us!” he said, “and we are growing in our understanding of the Bible.”

[I’m relating this from memory, so the words may not be exact, but the sentiment is.  And it was seconded by the excitement in their voices and on their faces.  Something is happening here.]

PRAISE GOD!!!  They are getting it and putting it into practice!  This is such an encouragement to my heart.  I dearly love these guys and they are leading the next generation of the church here.  I’m looking forward to teaching them Church History and seeing what affect that has on their actions and thinking.

Dan Steere

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