Training inside leaders is the key for future church planting in India

By March 21, 2006

India (MNN) — As redevelopment work continues in the tsunami zones in East Asia, God is at work in at least one area. Water supplies, home rebuilding, fishing boat replacement and other assistance has brought life back to communities hit hard by the tsunami 15 months ago. While this physical rebuilding has been on-going, God has used it to lay a spiritual foundation, too.

City Team International has been working in small fishing villages scattered along the coast in southern India since the tsunami hit. City Team’s Harry Brown says they didn’t go into the region alone. “City Team only works in partnership with indigenous organizations. And, there’s strategy behind that. Our goal is to be able to respond to immediate needs, but then use that opportunity to create relationships that lead to evangelism, discipleship and church planting.”

Water distribution provided City Team the initial invitation and now they’re developing a pay for service water distribution program so they can be weaned away from dependence. Brown says that has other implications. “The income generation is providing the support for indigenous church planters to continue to be in their area, to be self supported and also not depending on the outside.”

According to Brown, the program has had an impact on the village leaders. “They couldn’t say enough about not only the service that was provided, but the fact that we came and we stayed and we continue in relationship with them. And so, their hearts have been very open and we’ve seen some come to faith and we’ve seen the first small churches be launched there.”

This is exciting news for Brown. “It’s very possible that there’s been no Christians in this area for hundreds, if not a thousand years. It’s something that’s virgin territory.”

Now, City Team is focusing on training leaders inside these villages. “If we focus on the inside leaders, pour our life into them, and get them sufficient with the tools and the mindset to be able to meet the needs where God has placed them, it has a chance to ripple long after we are gone.”

While their projects have been successful, funding is needed to duplicate programs like this throughout the world. Brown says, “The things that we fund are always catalytic. They’re designed to start things that could not happen, but not designed to be on-going.”

Click on the link below to help them.

Leave a Reply