As 2016 winds down, we look ahead to next year, making plans for three areas of impact that we believe we are called to invest in. The first, highlighted in early December, is to launch new teams and open new countries. The second is to start disciple making movements here in the US. The final area we plan to focus on strategically in 2017 is that of developing national leaders
In all the places CRM staff serve, we believe that the intentional development of national leaders is key to the success of gospel movements. In 2016 in South Africa and the Middle East, we’ve seen fruitful examples of this process:
In 2016, one InnerCHANGE team launched an apprenticeship for emerging young national leaders, all of whom are now active change agents in their communities, expanding the gospel movement that is taking place. Participants in the apprenticeship learned about such subjects as identity, dealing with conflict, connecting with God, spiritual gifts, practically preparing for the future, and how they can serve through their passions. As a result of the ministry of these young adults, many more people in the neighborhood have become disciples of Jesus. There are also 33 people from the neighborhood wanting to go through next year’s Apprenticeship!
In the Middle East, the gospel movement is rapidly expanding every year, so much so that in order to preserve the fruit of the harvest, we’ve applied additional effort to developing leaders so that the movement doesn’t implode and so that it will continue to grow in a sustainable way. This last year, we developed an annual training calendar full of discovery-based studies drawn from J. Oswald Sander’s classic book, Spiritual Leadership, the most widely read volume in English on the topic of spiritual leadership, with basic and universally applicable content.
Through all of these efforts and others, leaders are learning to cultivate the skills, nurture the gifts, and lay the foundations of healthy biblical leadership.
Our goal is to develop “whole person” leaders, helping them avoid the burnout and dangers associated with a life that is focused on ministry. We are working to help leaders develop a vital intimacy with God and to be equipped with tools that will help them lead others toward Jesus. As a result, we believe that their communities and countries will be impacted and transformed by the gospel working through them.
Would you consider a special year-end gift to support the development of national leaders to grow and sustain gospel movements around the world? Your generosity makes it possible for us to launch these new teams, equip and deploy new staff, and invest in the critical systems that support this 2017 project.