One of the things God has given me a passion for is to train men for ministry. From very early on in my ministry, I have been convicted that the most effective impact we can have on the nations comes through people who are native to the culture they are ministering in. I have always felt that in many cases, the church in other countries would be better served by equipping leaders than by sending someone from outside that culture to live and serve there long term. My time in the military made me think more critically about how we look at short term missions. Throwing money at projects without partnering with an existing entity that can take credit for bringing us (which in turn gains respect in many communities) and ensure the longevity of and care for that project leads to much of the work being for nothing within a few years, even months of leaving. What we need to do with our short term mission trips is partner with existing churches and church leaders to leverage our strengths to meet their needs in a way that better positions them to minister.
Since before I arrived in York, I have been praying for God to open some doors to be able to serve the global church by equipping local pastors and partnering with local churches for short term mission trips. Soon after I moved here, I met with Duane Tweeten who told me about Training Leaders International (TLI). TLI serves the global church by leveraging the tremendous access to theological and pastoral training that we have in the US, and bringing that to places in the world where pastors otherwise would not have access to any theological or pastoral training.
85% of the 2.2 million evangelical churches around the world are led by pastors who have not had any formal theological training. Some have are the first Christians in their community and are looked to by others who come to faith to lead. Others only have access to false teachers in their community to learn from who teach the prosperity gospel or other false gospels. TLI seeks to serve the church by providing training to pastors around the world. In doing so, they are blessing and strengthening the local churches in these countries.
Over the last 3 years, I have gone to Uganda and Romania and Mongolia. In Uganda, I taught 30 students from 5 countries who came to Kampala because they wanted to be trained. Some walked, some rode motorcycles, some hitched rides on large trucks. All of them wanted to know how to better serve their people.
In Romania, we partnered with two pastors who are the only evangelical pastors within hundreds of miles. One serves as the pastor of 5 different churches. We were able to help equip other leaders to minister to the people of God in Romania.
In Mongolia I taught Biblical Theology to first generation Christians, some of whom are pastoring in persecuted areas of the world. All of these trips had a long term and multiplying effect on churches in those countries, and left a lasting impression with me. Through email, I still keep in touch with many of the students and am able to encourage them and pray for their needs regularly.
Through those the two trips I've gone on so far, God has given me a passion and vision for partnering with TLI in the future to bless churches through equipping pastors who will care for them.
My immediate goal is to be able to go on 2 trips a year. TLI currently has more sites than teachers. Pastors around the world are contacting TLI asking them to come and TLI is not able to meet those needs because they don't have enough teachers.
My intermediate goal is to train and take 1-2 men from Arbor Drive on a trip over the next 5 years. I would love for Arbor Drive to have a ministry of sending men to equip pastors around the world to better care for God's people. I want to identify and prepare men to be able to help meet those needs and take them each on a trip over the next 5 years.
My long term goal is to have a steady stream of men who are equipped to equip others going on trips throughout the year to meet the needs of the global church in a sustainable and effective way through training pastors. I would love to have a constant rotation of men from our church and area who are being sent throughout the year on this mission.
4 Ways You Can Help
1. Please join me in praying for these goals. Pray that God would provide the resources to be able to take 1-2 trips a year. Pray that God would raise up men to be equipped here at Arbor Drive in order to be sent to equip others. Finally pray that God would provide the men and resources to have a steady stream of short term missionaries from Arbor Drive and our surrounding area that are sent around the world throughout the year to help meet the greatest need of the global church.
2. Please consider partnering through giving a one time gift and contribute toward my next trip. I am currently planning on going to Mongolia in May of 2020 and will be teaching the Psalms as we explore how to interpret and teach poetry. You can give to help me fund this trip directly through the TLI website here. The process is safe, secure, and you will be participating in training the first generation of pastors in Mongolia through your gift and partnership. All gifts are tax deductible.
3. Consider being a monthly partner at one of the following levels.
If enough people commit to one of those levels, it will enable me partner with TLI on 2 trips/year. You can select a monthly, quarterly, or annual amount to give on my TLI giving page. All gifts are tax deductible.
4. If you cannot give financially, please consider sharing this page on social media to help get the word out and encourage friends that you think might be interested in partnering to help meet the needs of the church around the world in a very meaningful, tangible and impactful way.