Middle East/North Africa (MNN) — When you hear “Middle East and North Africa,” what comes to mind?
“People think of negative things. They think of terrorism, or they think of war. We also think of great things like hummus and shwarma; they have the best food in the world!” Dr. Jennifer Murff says.
“We think of a lot of things, but we don’t usually think about how God is moving. And He’s at work.”
Dr. Murff is President and CEO of the MENA Leadership Center, a brand-new organization equipping believers in 13 countries. “Our mission is to bridge the leadership gaps and expand the capacity of Christian leaders throughout the MENA,” she says.
Last year, MLC launched six courses that trained more than 141 ministry and NGO/non-profit leaders from 13 nations and 56 organizations. This year, the organization plans to equip at least 220 leaders across the MENA region.
Why does the MENA Leadership Center matter?
By offering local Christian leaders the training they need but cannot access, MLC helps believers grow and thrive in a critical territory.
“The MENA region is the home of our Christian faith. Jesus fled from his hometown to Egypt. The Gospel writer Mark was from Libya, and the apostles ministered in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. The Bible, as we know it today, was codified and approved in Tunisia,” Dr. Murff says.
“The whole region was once the epicenter of the Christian world. Today, God is once again at work, and the Church is seeing growth unlike any time before.”
Increased need and demand for capacity-building follow closely on the heels of exponential growth. MLC’s curriculum provides the training leaders seek.
“We provide courses that meet those particular needs they (Christian leaders) asked for, and we help them build strategies around those needs,” Dr. Murff says.
As described here on the MLC website:
While seminaries may teach theology, they often fail to teach how to run the business side of a ministry. Likewise, an effective MBA program may be great for business, but may lack pastoral training needed to lead a multi-national ministry. Out of a desire to train and equip leaders in the Greater Middle East to have greater ministry impact and effectiveness, the MENA Leadership Center was born.
Find your place in the story
Like medical workers at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christian leaders in the MENA region often find themselves overburdened and worn thin. “They are on the frontlines, and they’re exhausted,” Dr. Murff says.
“They’re tired, and they need God to renew their hearts, so please pray for them. We (at MLC) need prayer because there’s a lot of spiritual warfare.”
Sponsorship keeps tuition affordable for Gospel workers. By supporting a leader, you can make a significant investment in the future of Christian ministry in the MENA region.
“We want to serve every single leader in the region, so scholarship funds are always needed. The funds in the region are limited,” Dr. Murff says.
Header image courtesy of MENA Leadership Center.