Lebanon (MNN) – The Church in the Middle East is faced with constant challenges: arrests, attacks, blasphemy accusations, and other forms of religious persecution.
Yet, according to Jane* with CryOut, “I think there [are] a lot of churches in the non-Western world that would say one of the biggest challenges they often face is a lack of leadership and that whenever you see a great move of God, you need to be intentional about developing leaders that can be faithful in growing the movement the way God wants to grow it.”
CryOut focuses their efforts on mobilizing believers in the Near East and around the world to pray for people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.
“CryOut is very intentional about the people groups in this region and events that are happening here to enable people to pray for what is actually happening on the ground.”
Leadership Training Courses
Recently, at the end of August, CryOut mobilized their networks to pray for two back-to-back leader development training courses that were held in Jordan and Lebanon.
Jane shares the goal of the trainings was to identify key leaders, future leaders, and those who were helping develop leaders. The courses were aimed at how to train and develop these groups of people and how they could better disciple others.
There was also a twist. Church leaders selected other leaders or emerging leaders to attend the trainings so they could develop their skills and influence in the Christian community.
About 80 to 90 percent of the people in attendance were from Lebanon and Jordan. There were also leaders from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and several other nations.
While Lebanon has religious freedom, Jane says there are more pressures on believers who were visiting from the other countries. But persecution is a struggle Jesus warned Christians they would face.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why we felt this training was really a blessing…. It was very focused on Scripture, on the realities that Jesus warned us about, on the realities of persecution, [and] on the realities of the importance of still being faithful,” Jane shares.
“The whole training was basically focused on the way Jesus trained His disciples, what the core principles, concepts, [and] dynamics are from the way Jesus discipled His disciples, and how we can actually duplicate that in our lives and in the people we disciple.”
Jane says the trainings were successful and encouraging. People came with a thirst to know more about the Bible and how to better follow the cross and lead others.
“The season we’re living in is the reality that people are coming to faith in Jesus…. What was encouraging for us was to give this training to not just pastors of churches, but normal, day-to-day people who are intentional about discipling others and building other leaders.”
Also, pray that the Lord will raise up leaders in the Middle East and for ministries in the region.
*name changed for security purposes