We've all seen the ubiquitous red heart in between "I" and whatever it is that someone "loves". Sometimes I'm reminded of the childish joke, "Do you really love (fill in the blank)? Why don't you marry it?" But this week I've been enjoying something I really do "heart" (love), and in someways I'm married to it, and that's equipping leaders.
This past past week I've been in South Thailand doing some Inductive Bible Study (IBS) training. I'm teaming up with a missionary friend of many years, Eric, who is based in Thailand.
Over the course of 10 days we will be doing 4 IBS workshops with Thai and Burmese believers. I also preached at 3 Sunday worship services, and it was great. Our first workshop was with a Singaporean missionary (Jason- http://cdcnewlight.org/), who is graciously hosting me at his center while I'm in the area. Our 2nd & 3rd workshops are with Burmese believers in two different locations. We start early in the morning and the other is in the evening to accommodate their work schedules.
I "heart" this because I am blessed and privileged to equip people who can reach people I will never reach with the Gospel. There are some great church planting movements going on in the world, although many people are unaware of them. There is great work going on with Biblical storying, which is bringing the Gospel to many yet-unreached peoples. But there is a dearth of ministries equipping believers and leaders worldwide. Although this week and a half is a short and limited effort, it is better than nothing.
And nothing is what many believers have (worldwide) when it comes to being equipped as leaders. There are certainly challenges in equipping people of other cultures and languages, but the benefit is mutually satisfying. Western churches have so much to offer in this way, but I wonder if we've lost sight of this, or has that vision even come into focus? If you're a pastor or leader, is it within your range of vision? There are many in the world who need what you've got (leaders). And those who need it are very thankful when they receive it.
Next weekend I'll be traveling back to the Philippines and diving into teaching a class at the Bible college, so my post might be late again. Hopefully I'll get time to get something posted...stay tuned.