SGA moves to next step in training in Russia

By March 20, 2009

Russia (MNN) — Since the fall of the former Soviet Union, Christians flooded the nation with the Gospel. Many people came to Christ. The church experienced phenomenal growth. Churches were birthed, and discipleship and training programs started.

However, according to vice president of ministry operations at Slavic Gospel Association Eric Mock, media and technology has hampered that. "With the advent of the internet in Russia, they are in the midst of having five pounds pushed into a one pound bag. So training has now become hyper-critical."

It's not just any training, says Mock. "(It's) training in the sense of being able to distinguish the truth and authority of God's Word that they may be able to teach it to their congregations."

A void of this training could be devastating for the church. Mock says, "Truth becomes relative. Void of this training, we find there's no real clean way to distinguish between all the different views and interpretations. Christ becomes one option among many."

The great news is that western Christians aren't taking over the training. "In Russia, there are some wonderfully-gifted and well-trained men who are doing a wonderful job of training their own." They're being integrated into the SGA training.

Mock believes Russia is in a period of transition. "Many of the Russian leaders are starting to ask themselves, 'How do we now fulfill the missions mandate to send people to the ends of the earth? How do we send out Russian missionaries to other countries?'"

He says as the Russian church works with western Christians, they'll work together to impact the world.

Mock says funding is an issue for the program. "Getting people to be excited about and to support training is really one of the most difficult things to raise funding for."

Mock is asking people to pray that God would raise up more indigenous trainers in Russia who can help fan the flame of outreach within the local church.

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