Brazil (MNN) — Christ compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, “which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade” (Mark 4:31b-32, ESV).
God uses His people to share His truth with the world. He can use the smallest of beginnings to create the biggest impact.
Dr. Haggai, founder of Haggai Institute, was only ten years old when he was called to the mission field 80 years ago.
The call in his heart was the small beginning he wasn’t able to pursue until many years later. While on a trip in Lebanon, he discovered the mission world was changing and was calling for a new type of leadership: the leadership of nationals to their own people, language, and culture.
Haggai Institute now trains leaders all over the world to spread the Gospel effectively to their spheres of influence, igniting global missions worldwide. They do this through their International Sessions for Advanced Leadership. Haggai Institute originally focused on Asia but has since moved to Latin America.
John Bachman of Haggai Institute says, “Thirty-five years ago, the work in Latin America began.”
Haggai Institute recently celebrated their 35th anniversary in Brazil, and more than 2600 people attended the celebration.
The country is populated by 200 million people. Over 1300 Brazilians have attended the ministry’s international sessions, and more than 7000 have attended the national sessions in Brazil.
What’s unique to Brazil from the other 104 nations that offer National Seminars for Advanced Leadership is that participants must present a plan for their outreach after the seminar is over.
The influence only grows from here.
Many alumni of the program hold church seminars and other training platforms where thousands more are instructed on how to be a Christian leader.
Bachman explains the effectiveness of reaching beyond the church with this training, saying, “About 70% of the participants who come are in what we would call ‘secular employment.'”
Bachman tells an account of a policeman holding seminars for other policemen. The leaders are found in just about any occupation or skill group.
“At the International Sessions especially, we emphasize techniques of passing on their training within their denominational networks, within their Christian business associations, and how to more effectively communicate the Gospel,” Bachman says.
“On average, the goal is to pass on their training within two years to 100 others. And as we’ve done tests to see if this is done, some have actually trained thousands on a very systematic basis.”
Both the National Seminars and International Sessions for Advanced Leadership are effective in areas that traditional mission agencies may not reach.
The training even helped a senator from Nigeria thank God that he lost his re-election bid as governor of his state.
He said when that happened, he had time to go to Haggai Institute’s training and that it completely transformed his life. Bachman reports him saying, “I used to think that [global missions] was what I paid other people to do. Now I realize it needs to be part and parcel of who I am.”
All National Seminars are held off western soil and taught by non-westerners. The International Session is offered in English, Mandarin, and Arabic.
Haggai Institute believes in unity that is grounded on essential subjects of our faith. Therefore, all denominations are welcome to get involved.
Bachman shares why these seminars might be so successful. “It’s not just a number of principles or techniques, but it’s a passion that infuses them that they need to be involved in total obedience to the Great Commission.”
Some of these alumni are looking for ways to impact the world that is at their doorstep to watch the World Cup.
“There have been teams of individuals [asking], ‘How can we use this–the world coming to Brazil–to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ?'” says Bachman.
Stay on top of what’s happening at Haggai Institute with their magazine. You can access it here.
If you’d like to support the work Haggai Institute is doing around the world, consider a financial gift.
Haggai helps support those taking their seminar, but alumni are responsible for their global missions pursuits after graduation.
Pray that God would continue to use Haggai Institute to transform lives and soften hearts to His Good News.