International (MNN) — Pastoral training in the West follows a pretty typical set of rules and patterns: a believer receives a calling; goes to seminary to learn proper theology, research techniques, and pastoral care; and then either starts a church or is invited to pastor one.
For most of the pastoral world, though, this process is not the norm.
"Still only about five–perhaps as high as eight–percent of pastoral leaders around the world have the privilege for formal training for ministry, and the rest are just out there slugging it out the best they know," explains former president of Global Advance, David Shibley. "That's where the ministry of Global Advance comes in: to go on site to them, to put a vision in their hearts, and tools in their hands."
For years, Global Advance has provided training and resources for pastors who would otherwise not have the opportunity or resources to obtain these things for the good of their own church body. As a result of Global Advance's Frontline conferences, pastors often are able to look after their own flocks with much greater knowledge and care than before, and are even invigorated with greater passion for more mission possibilities.
"Not only does their current church grow in numbers and in effectiveness, but also new churches are planted as a result of the vision that the Holy Spirit places in their heart during those days," says Shibley. "An investment in a pastoral leader is always a good investment."
That good investment can go even further than usual right now, thanks to an incredibly generous $200,000 matching grant offered through December 15.
"[The matching grant] means that every dollar given to Global Advance right now will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $200,000. That makes giving to Global Advance right now a tremendous stewardship opportunity where your investment can literally go twice as far and have double impact for the cause of Christ around the world."
The impact is certain to reach far and wide. In the past, pastors have been trained in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. "We have an enormous slate of training events that are scheduled for 2011, and we're very excited about that and very grateful. But obviously that's going to take a lot of money," adds Shibley.
It seems like a lot, but it actually only costs about $75 to send a pastor to a conference–a price which includes his transportation, housing, food expenses, and training, as well as tools like Bibles and commentaries. Right now, though, if you were to give $75, two pastors would get to attend a conference, thanks to the matching grant. This means that if one pastor would end up reaching 200 people with the Gospel after his training, your $75 could go to reach 400 people by getting two pastors better equipped for the field.
Global Advance could add as much as $400,000 to its ministry if enough people pitch in, sending hundreds of pastors to be trained and to catch a vision for the Gospel in their region of the world. To join Global Advance as they follow God's will to reach the ends of the earth, and to bless hundreds of pastors and thousands of believers, click here and give.
"For those who want to invest in a Thanksgiving offering to the Lord, this is a great way and a great time to do exactly that."