Globalization the buzzword for ministry

By June 1, 2012

India (MNN) — Globalization is the new buzzword that has come to dominate the world. With that buzz comes the end of the Cold War, changes in what was the Soviet Union, closer connections with Europe and North America, and lots of influence through media. Market economies dominated the world, and there were plenty of resources to be had by the savvy and creative. There was promise of greater access to developed country markets, productivity, and a higher living standard.

So, on the one hand, globalization has ushered in new ideas. David Dayalan, Asian Access National Director for India, explains: “15 to 20 years back, there was so little opportunity in terms of jobs. Today, you have plenty of opportunity. People have various options in terms of career, so that’s good for us.”

But globalization has also thrown up new challenges. Dayalan says, “We weren’t ready for such a rapid change because of globalization. It has an impact in all spheres of life in terms of culture, roles, family values.” The culture change created its own shock wave as the fabric of the family unraveled.

The disparity between the rich and poor became a chasm, and that also challenged what evangelists were telling people in the message of Christ. First, “They don’t have time because of long working hours, and young people starting very early on the jobs at call centers. The church really wasn’t prepared to act on all this.” Then, Dayalan says, “We see pastors trying various things to cope with this. In the process, they’re not really focused as to how to address the value of morality or the work ethics.”

Asian Access saw that a little pastoral help could go a long way. “We came along to help them to be a little more strategic, to be a little more focused, help them to clarify their vision mission, and at the same time, to help them be more intentional in terms of how they want to approach this [ministry].”

The Asian Access leadership training has been recognized as one of the most creative and fruitful leadership training programs in Asia. The key to its effectiveness is the careful selection of a
select group of emerging leaders. Dayalan describes the process: “We select 15 to 20 pastors and invite them for a two and a half year period of training. The whole process itself is transformational in its essence. Many who leave the program by the end of two and a half years have a lot more clarity and are empowered to do what God has called them to do.”

The class meets four times a year for a week at a time over that two and a half year period. When they meet, they work through an established curriculum that accelerates their growth as spiritual leaders, as well as organizational leaders. At their training sessions, they are resourced by leaders in and outside their country.

Over time, the pastors become united and learn how to work with the strengths and weaknesses of one another. They then develop skills to equip their congregation for effective service. At that point, they are ready to cast vision and plan strategies for growth and multiplication.

Sometimes, Dayalan notes, Christians are their own worst enemies when they get in their own way. The beauty of the A2 training method offers an effective form of globalizing the Church body of India through evangelism and discipleship. In other words, it’s a culturally relevant means to transformation from the inside-out. And that means less opposition.

What can you do? You can pray, give, or go. Specifically, “Pray for God’s wisdom.” Also, pray for those in training for leadership that they would “be men of God with integrity, and that they would be focused on what God has called them to do.”

Links for the other prayer needs can be found at our Featured Links section.

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