Russian churches weave in the pattern of Antioch.

By May 12, 2005

Russia (MNN)–As Slavic Gospel Association continues to move forward with the Antioch Initiative, the idea appears to be catching on and growing across Russia’s 11 time zones.

Slavic Gospel Association’s Joel Griffith explains, “It’s basically an evangelical strategy that provides for development of a systematic and effective evangelistic movement in Russia.”

It sounds complicated, but in practice, it’s simple. Griffith says, “The main priorities of it are to train pastors, worship leaders, and especially church planters who can then be supported financially for effective ministry.”

Griffith says there are four current Antioch locations in Russia: Ufa, Orel, Volgodonsk, and Ivanovo. There are hopes to develop five more. Bible, music and ministry training through a Strategic Bible Institute has either taken place or is in progress in Ryazan, Kirovo-Chepetsk, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, and Krasnodar.

Each city has been assigned to a coalition of partnering evangelical churches in North America. Griffith says, “Once these cities are identified and the churches, we help that local church become sort of like a ‘mother church’ to be able to send out people to plant other churches in the region.”

It’s a dream that is slowly becoming reality. Griffith agrees, “It’s really an exciting strategy and it’s really been coming to fruition here in the past few months as these initial Antioch sites have gotten off the ground.”

Please lift each region and church regularly in prayer before the Lord, asking for His guidance, provision, and protection as they strive to reach their regions with the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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