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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Training leaders of leaders

World Evangelism faces a definite challenge. The purpose of this study is to show the need for life on life leadership training. Why is this need considered to be so urgent? Consider the following weaknesses in mission work today.

At best, most missionaries can produce one church in one term. Usually, it takes much longer than that. Many are asking if all the missionary is going to accomplish is one church, a few dozen people, etc., in one term, wouldn't it be better to support a national who will work for much less and do about the same amount of work. By the term leader of leaders, we mean someone who will find and train others to do the work so that in about the same amount of time, he will have several doing the work of planting churches and not just himself.

Most missionaries can start and leave very few indigenous churches during their missionary career. The majority will have to leave their work with a North American missionary when they return to the states on furlough. They can get the people together and have everything that looks like a church but cannot have trained leadership to carry on the work. It is entirely essential to consider the contrast between training leaders and to be a regular church planter. Most missionaries go with a pastor mentality instead of a missionary mentality. They want to reproduce what they had back home but do not know how to go from there to having a national pastor to take the work.

Consider a Church Planter that can plant a church every year. That means knocking on doors, winning enough souls, getting a place to meet, training the people to be faithful, tithe, pray, preach, and all the other things that make up a church, plus find a pastor and leave in 365 days or one year. He would be doing a better job than most any living missionary today.

If he could consistently continue this ministry and take care of his family simultaneously, he would be able to start and leave a total of only 32 churches in a typical missionary lifetime. That means he started planting churches at the age of 25 and continued until 65 taking a furlough every five years (4 years on the field and then one on furlough). Consider that--32 churches. If they become self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating, he will have been used far beyond what most modern missionaries do. Almost anyone who has any experience in the mission field will realize that this is nearly impossible, if not impossible. Those of you who live in the states show me any church planter in North America that has ever been able to accomplish a similar feat in the States with all the North American church's advantages.

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