On a recent trip to India, a team of us had the privilege of encouraging, equipping, and challenging leaders of tribes spread across the northeast portion of this nation. One of our goals was to get them interested–even engaged in–our church multiplication strategy in that part of the world. They listened with interest, but with reservations–until one of their own testified.
One of their pastors had been involved for two years with our close partner in church planting, TTI. He shared how he had tried to plant churches for years with very little success. Since aligning with TTI, he has helped start seven churches (in two years) and has personally baptized over 80 new believers. These were impressive results–far superior than anything any of the others had been a part of. Suddenly, interest was at a fever pitch.
Why is Converge International Ministries determined to “multiply transformational churches?” Why are we eager to be a catalyst for what we pray will become church planting movements?
An Indian from the state of Madhya Pradesh helps us understand better:
“I came to Jesus in the late 1980s. Not long afterwards, I experienced a large evanglsitic crusade in a city. Impressed, I returned to my village and organized similar crusades there and in the surrounding villages for years. Thousands came, and everyone liked it. The crusades were so successful that even the lame could walk again–and walk away never to return; the blind could see–and they never looked back.” (from India: 3,000 House Churches Planted in Madhya Predesh Since 1994, Victor Choudhrie, p.38)
This evangelist goes on to describe how he became committed to church planting because it was in the context of community that true disciples were developed.
David Garrison, author of Church Planting Movements, describes the need of the church well when he states that:
(A) salvation is preferable to lostness
(B) growth in Christlikeness is preferable to simple salvation
(C) so churches which foster and nurture growth in Christlikeness are preferable to individual or even mass evangelism.
Just a few more reasons that we’re committed to “multiplying transformational churches” through Converge Worldwide.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest,”Luke 10:2 ESV
I saw a ripe harvest field in Nepal recently. Susan and I had the privilege of meeting with 1100 Nepalese church planters in Kathmandu early in February — most are intending to plant their churches in villages that have never had a Christian witness before! Of all the countries in the world, Christianity is growing the fastest in Nepal.
We could feel God’s presence in this place.
We saw God’s hand at work.
We witnessed the hunger of these leaders intent on helping others know about salvation through Christ.
We are soberly aware of how big the harvest field is in Nepal.
In the last few years, Christianity has grown from 0.1% Christian to about 3% right now. That’s impressive, but it also compels us to reach the 97% who are still unreached. With Converge Worldwide’s close partner in ministry, The Timothy Initiative (TTI), a goal of 100,000 new churches in the next ten years has been stated. It’s a huge field that’s very ripe. We just need harvesters.
Jesus’ statement reminds me of a few important biblical principles:
Jesus sees the harvest and longs for the harvest to be brought in.
Jesus tells us to pray that He would send workers into the harvest. It’s not our primary job to send, but it is our primary job to pray. This comes first.
Jesus tells us to pray earnestly. This is not an afterthought type of praying that Jesus compels us to engage in.
Jesus compares this situation to a harvest. In the agricultural world, everyone knows that a harvest season is always frighteningly finite in time. You work as hard and as fast as possible to bring the harvest in while the harvest is still available. Urgency is stressed for the task at hand.
What action can be taken to be an integral part of reaping the harvest in Nepal?
Pray for workers and pray about your part.
Contact us about adopting a people group in Nepal or about helping to plant a church or churches. A $300 one-time investment will plant an indigenous led self-sustaining church in this part of the world. That’s an out-of-this-world investment! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org