SIM Peru looks into what makes a leader…

By March 8, 2006

Peru, Bolivia (MNN)–Both SIM Peru and SIM Bolivia intentionally partners with churches that share a passion for leadership in the church body.

This is especially true in areas where their work is taking a three-pronged approach. It’s part of a key ministry strategy for nurturing a mature church throughout the country.

Teams are working toward training children’s teachers, mentoring university students and creating internships for church leaders.

In Peru,with the teacher training programs, oral tradition provided the vehicle to leadership. Traditional efforts had failed to reach the people groups living in an isolated region. Instead, team members composed songs and stories to use as part of the training for teachers, and now finds Christian adults eager to teach the children. Biblical songs and stories are next on the list, so that the newly motivated Quechuan teachers can easily master and use them to further the ministry.

Other team members in Peru partnered with International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES), related to the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, to create a mentoring program for college students. The Peru branch of IFES is known as AGEUP. Graduates who were part of AGEUP now lead churches and Christian organizations all over Peru.

And, the practicum for training church leaders in Bolivia is real life work. The structure comes through SIM Bolivia’s Equipping Servants Internship (ESI), now in its third year. Leaders from various denominations and congregations meet weekly for 30 months and together study difficult issues that will challenge their future ministries.

Before the first groups graduated last year, they had grappled with Bible study methods, principles of interpretation, Bible doctrine, public speaking, answers to heresy, Bible survey, and methods of discipling and counseling. Now some of them have formed teams to start new ESI groups of their own.

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