International (MNN) — Most Western Christians probably would not attend a church with a pastor who has never been to seminary, much less a pastor who has never been to high school. But in many areas of the world, believers don't have the privilege of making that choice.
In this final installment of our 5-part Global Action series, new president of Global Action Phil Long says training options for most pastors–especially those living in poor or remote areas–are far and few between. As a result, more pastors than you may think go without training.
"62% of the world's pastors have no formal training and will probably never get any formal training from Bible school. A lot of these pastors have less than a 6th-grade education," says Long.
Determined to change that, however, Global Action created GLOMOS: the Global Module Studies program. GLOMOS is specifically designed for pastors who have never had any formal training, but in a way that all will still be able to grasp. In just 10 months, teachers from all over the globe lay out the basics of seminary, including church history, New and Old Testament surveys, Bible interpretation classes, and more.
Global Action has taken GLOMOS to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and Latin America, and hopes to begin programming in Africa as well. The Kingdom success the ministry has seen from just a 10-month program has been overwhelming.
"We have heard testimony after testimony after testimony of people who are trained and either have planted or [are planting] churches that reach hundreds of thousands of people over the last 10 years," says Long.
The ministry goes even deeper than just training with many pastors, though. Pastors committed to planting a church can be sponsored through Global Action's "I Started a Church" program. Lack of funds can be extremely prohibitive to start-up churches in poor areas, so the "I Started a Church" program allows individuals and churches to come alongside these plants for just $50 a month for three years.
The financial commitment for the first year pays for pastors to be trained through GLOMOS.
The second year commitment helps with church basic needs. For instance, Long says, one house church in India grew large enough that it had to start meeting in a cow barn. A gift as small as a plastic chair or a guitar can be significantly helpful to a church with nowhere to sit and no instruments with which to sing praises to God. The second year commitment helps with some of those basics that Western churches tend to take for granted.
The third year helps the new church reach out to the community with anything from handing out Christian literature to passing out warm blankets in cold weather. It allows the church another way to start building relationships with the community to share the Good News.
The program has allowed the body of Christ to combine resources to reach more of the world with the Gospel. To get involved with your family or church, visit www.IStartedAChurch.com.
To help specifically with the GLOMOS program, click here.