(Thursday, Jan 17, 2013) At times I feel like what we do here is like dropping a stone in a lake. After the initial ‘plop’ the stone disappears. But then God reminds me that the ripples continue long after the pebble is gone. In fact, they get larger and larger as then move away from the pebble, until they touch every part of the lake. That’s the assurance that keeps us moving ahead with our work here. What is invested in these men and women will grow in them and through them spread to others here and in following generations.. It’s all about the pastors of India.
One of the many joys and privileges of being involved with the pastors of India is getting to know them and watching God work in and through them year after year. We go to new villages and have pastors’ conferences in different places each year so we can train men who have not had the opportunity. That is the main focus of our ministry – train untrained pastors in India. So far we have had about 2000 pastors and 500 wives attend our conferences over the years.
But several years ago God added a new dimension to our work here – building in a deeper way into the lives of key pastors who train and oversee other pastors in their area. These gifted, influential men also lack training and resources, but find themselves in influential positions in the church structure in this part of India. In addition to attending the daily conferences year after year and learning there, we have the books I have written for them which have been translated into Telugu. They can use these and pass them on to other pastors who can never attend a conference. Each year we bring 40 or 50 of them together in one location for 2 full days of advanced training. We build on the individual conferences, as well as what we taught in previous years. It gives me an opportunity to go in depth with men I have gotten to know over the years. I have eating in most of their homes and preached in most of their churches. They then take these truths and skills in pastoring and spiritual warfare and pass them on to other pastors, who will then do the same themselves.
Out of that group of 40 or 50 pastors, there are about a dozen we have chosen to help support financially. Some of you have been led to commit to sending $25 a month for their support. Many people spend that much for coffee at Starbucks or Wawa each week, but for a pastor’s family in India $25 a month makes all the difference. Most of the pastors survive on $50 a month and their families really struggle. The extra money allows them to have more time to minister, more funds to travel, provide an education for their children and makes it much easier for their wives to feed the family. For $25 a month we help someone who is already on the field, knows the culture and language, has acceptance by the people, and who will stay on the field for life.
I have NO problem with missionaries who come to India from foreign countries. That is wonderful, and is a special calling from God. But when the cost in dollars, time and energy is compared to supporting a pastor who is already here for $25 a month it’s easy to see what an effective ministry this is. It doesn’t just add, it multiplies. They will train pastors I never speak to, and they will follow up with them. These pastors will train others. The children of these pastors will be trained as they grow as well. Beyond my lifetime, God will use this in a very special way to bring many lives from darkness to light in this part of India.
Pastor Moses stays in touch with these men regularly as he distributes the money. He visits with them several times a year holding follow-up conferences using materials we provide and paid for by funds you contribute. He is a great discipler of pastors and does an excellent job maturing them as Christian men and pastors.
A side benefit is that these pastors have someone in America committed to praying for them regularly as well. I keep those who give informed about needs and requests from these pastors and share pictures as well.
If this is a ministry God would lead you to commit to please let me know. There are many, many more pastors we’d like to include in the program. Dollar for dollar, I can’t imagine a better investment in the Kingdom now and for eternity!
2 Timothy 2:1-2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
Pray for me as I teach these men in our Leadership Conference on Friday and Saturday, January 18 and 19. Pray for Pastor Moses as he stays in touch with these men throughout the year. Pray for them regularly. I won’t publically announce their names to protect them and their families in India, but can send you names and specifics if you email.