How can church leaders be prepared for ministry when they can’t get to seminary?
Introducing... a "church-based" solution to global leadership training.
LeadersFor provides an opportunity for Canadian pastors and their churches to participate in the training of pastors internationally. Presently we are assisting movements of churches in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nigeria and the Philippines.
If we reshape the ministry and restructure leadership training along biblical lines in the Third World, I believe that we will see the release of a spiritual dynamic in the churches that could produce a great awakening for world evangelism.
How it all got started
A busy pastor’s life doesn’t allow much time, if any, to improve his pastoral skills, increase his knowledge, or sharpen his “iron” against the “iron” of other spiritual leaders. While a pastor should never become indispensable, his prolonged absence from his church for training can result in hardship for the congregation. Few pastors in developing countries can afford to pay for theological training even if the opportunity presents itself.
Such was the case in Honduras. Through an incredible series of providential circumstances, the congregation of Huron Park Baptist Church in Woodstock, ON was asked to oversee the pastoral training of the Honduran Baptist Convention, an association of 350 members. After a year of meetings, a strategy was developed to reinvent the way the convention trained its pastors. The “new” church-based model was actually the old one used by Christ and the Apostles. Huron Park’s congregation committed itself to assist the Hondurans over a five year period and formed a team, accountable directly to the church board, to lead the new ministry. Initially called Leaders For Latin America, it was envisioned that this initiative would spill over into other Latin American countries. As the team grasped the magnitude of such a ministry, they realized the wisdom of looking for other resources to help them with their mission. That brought them to a partnership with Fellowship International, combining the passion and vision of the team with the expertise and networking of the mission. As global opportunities have emerged, the name of the ministry has changed from LeadersFor Latin America, to simply LeadersFor.
The initial project with the Honduran Baptist Convention enjoyed the blessing of God beyond expectations. At the end of the five years 40 trainers were certified to lead churches in church-based pastoral training and already there was a third generation of leaders being trained. As of June 2012 the first generation of pastors had trained 125 full-time serving pastors and 525 “Timothys” who are already leading church plants or assisting pastors and serving in teaching in their own locations. The same remarkable results are now being seen on three continents.
LeadersFor connects Canadian pastors with their international counterparts for the purposes of leadership development. It currently uses the international church-based curriculum produced by BILD, The Biblical Institute of Leadership Development. LeadersFor is developing their own church-based theological education and ministry training curriculum specifically designed for the various cohorts and for cross-cultural use. For further information contact the Fellowship International office.