Despite persecution, pastors seek training

By March 27, 2009

India (MNN) — Despite increasing persecution against Christians in India, pastors are not being deterred from seeking the training they need to be more effective in sharing the Gospel. Because of their desire, Serve India Ministries is coming alongside them to help BILD a program.

In Part Two of our series on Serve India Ministries, President Ebenezer Samuel says Serve India Ministries is training pastors in India through the program called "BILD" — Biblical Institute of Leadership Development. "It's a five-year training program that helps train pastors and church leaders aiming at accelerating church planting," says Samuel.

The program was developed by a church in Ames, Iowa, and will have incredible benefit immediately. "We have 400 pastors who work with us. And each one of them has at least five leaders they want trained. So we're talking about 2,000 leaders."

BILD is designed to help the spiritual life of the pastor, his family, and members of the church. Samuel says, "The training also seeks to impart motivation skills to pastor his family, his congregation especially, so that they will be able to actively share their faith with their non-Christian neighbors." The goal is to accelerate church planting.

Serve India is currently working in about 2,000 villages in India. Samuel says as the training is completed, the work will expand. "Pretty soon we're going to be working in 5,000-6,000 new villages because the training expects that each one of these people who are in the training will be involved in church planting ministry."

The only thing holding them back is finances to translate the BILD material into seven different Indian languages spoken by their pastors. "I'm seeing a need of something like $70,000 or $80,000 this year that will be required for translating and printing the material."

Severe persecution is actually providing more opportunities for church growth, says Samuel. Pray that God continues to use Serve India Ministries to help the church grow.

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