International (MNN) — We’re halfway through Holy Week. Have you told anyone who doesn’t believe in Christ why this week is important?
“As the old hymn says, we have a story to tell to the nations,” says Dr. David Shibley of Global Advance. “And so, it’s in obedience to our Lord’s Great Commission that we’re taking the Gospel to the world, and we’re equipping leaders around the world to do the same.”
On Good Friday, Christ was crucified to pay for the sins of man. When He rose again on the third day, the Son of God paved a way for people to be reconciled to the Father. It’s our responsibility as Christ-followers to bring this message of salvation, otherwise known as the Gospel, to as many people as we can.
Through annual conferences, Global Advance educates and equips pastoral and marketplace leaders around the world to carry out that mission.
“Almost any calendar week, there will be a Global Advance team somewhere,” shares Shibley. “We anticipate being in 35 nations this year, with the possibility of as many as 38 nations.”
From December 2013 to March 2014, Global Advance trained more than 3,000 leaders.
Each year, Global Advance sponsors numerous Marketplace Conferences for developing world entrepreneurs and marketplace professionals. Attendees are taught Biblical principles and practical business skills by successful businesspersons. These conferences are a valuable venue for believers in the marketplace to receive encouragement and connect with others who desire to transform their nations.
“The primary thing that those attending will take away is that their churches can be catalysts for the fulfilling of the Great Commission,” says Shibley.
Frontline Shepherds Conferences
Global Advance also hosts and sponsors conferences, roundtables, and training initiatives for indigenous pastors every year. Over 90% of pastors in developing nations will never have the chance to attend seminary or formal Bible training. Many are in desperate need of encouragement.
“It’s our prayer for every pastor and pastoral leader who attend our pastor’s conferences…that they will leave with a vision in their hearts and tools in their hands for the advance of the Gospel,” Shibley says.
Global Advance training events are catalysts for church planting, discipleship, and indigenous transformational efforts. In the ministry’s 24-year history, they’ve equipped over 600,000 leaders (mainly pastoral) in 89 nations.
In a couple of weeks, Dr. Shibley is meeting with church leaders to discuss ways they can reach the Middle East for Christ.
“They’re all very involved in vigorous–and yet wise and strategic–church planting within areas of Islamic strength,” Shibley shares.
“I believe the Lord’s going to do some great things, where we will see the Gospel advanced in wonderful ways as a result of this collaboration.”
There’s more for you to take away from this story than a warm, fuzzy feeling.
“We just trust the Lord through those who are believing in the Great Commission…that they will partner with us and certainly pray for us,” notes Shibley.
Please pray for the ministry of Global Advance and the teams they’re sending out. Ask the Lord to prepare the hearts of conference attendees, whether they are pastors or businessmen.
“As we celebrate the great saving act of Christ, the cross, and the resurrection, [pray] that we would renew in our own hearts our love for Christ [and] our devotion to His Commission,” Shibley requests.
Help is also needed in the area of financial support. Global Advance goes above and beyond to equip leaders through their conferences. Along with training, the ministry pays for leaders’ transportation, meals, lodging, and materials.
“All of that costs about $75 per attendee, and of course some of our conferences have literally thousands of leaders attending,” says Shibley.
If you have a burden for using your skills to further others, you can help “train the trainers” at the Marketplace Missions or Frontline Shepherds conference. Click on each hyperlinked title to learn more.