Pastor J, a former family court probation officer, could be enjoying his retirement years by taking a well-deserved rest, perhaps using his nest egg for a once in a lifetime getaway. This man of God, however, is currently studying at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and investing his time, energy, money and fundraising efforts into ministry.
An evangelist involved in several ministry streams including youth and prison outreach, Pastor J first heard about the Congress while attending chapel at DTS. The chapel speaker for that day “happened” to be Dr. Ramesh Richard. Pastor J asked Dr. Richard if there would be a need for preaching at the gathering in Bangkok. Dr. Richard responded, “Not opportunities to preach, but opportunities to network and to take your ministry to the next level will abound. Pray about it.”
Pray Pastor J did, and although he felt led to attend the Congress, he had no clue how meaningful it would be for him. Afterward he remarked, “It changed my life and ministry. I saw the love Dr. Richard has for the pastors he has trained and his whole vision geared toward supporting them. God is love, and Dr. Richard reflects that in his very real heart for pastors. It was transformational to see him demonstrate that love to both young and old.”
Prior to the Congress, Pastor J had done some pastoral training, but never had he been so keenly aware of the severe lack of sound Bible training on such a global scale. He was challenged to do something to help meet that need and a vision was born. By the conclusion of the Congress, Pastor J was emboldened to increase the pastoral training he was doing and intensify his focus. He shared this note with the GProCommission team:
“This is the first time I’ve submitted any comments since the Congress. This is partly because I am still processing all that the Congress provided for us. I am still in awe!!! First, I thank God for His grace allowing me to live and attend such a historic event as the GProCongress. It was life changing for us individuals and the Church. Secondly, I thank God for Dr. Ramesh Richard. God has blessed him with such great desire, dream, vision and diligence to make RREACH and the GProCongress realities. I’m sure I speak for all involved; RREACH is an inspiration and a gift.
“Because of the Congress, I have added a new component to my ministry. It is called TEACH:
T-Training pastors and spiritual leaders globally;
E-Empowering leaders to fulfill their calling and ministry purposes; A-Accelerating pastoral leadership potential and helping them be agents of change;
C-Challenging leaders to pursue total Christ-likeness (transformation) and Holiness;
H-Helping to edify the Body of Christ worldwide.
“From August 12 to 21, 2016, I trained approximately 60-75 church youth leaders in Ethiopia, Africa. Recently, I was blessed to train 65 pastors in Las Tunas, Cuba, and 25 chaplains. My goal is to train 500 pastoral leaders per year for the next four years, if the Lord wills…”
GProConneXt: How did the Lord call you to pastoral training?
Pastor J: After I got saved, I became very involved in the local church. After my conversion, my pastor asked me to teach the Adult Sunday School Class. The class consisted of both adults and church leaders. It was my first exposure to teaching church leaders. Later, in 2007, I was given the opportunity to minister in the Philippines. The pastor included church leadership (pastoral) training in the program. At that time, the only resource I had was the Bible. The Holy Spirit helped me highlight and explain several leadership principles solely from the Scriptures. It has gone from there.
GProConneXt: What did you learn in any of the GProCongress sessions that has helped in your pastoral training or in the formation of TEACH?
Pastor J: During the Congress, we had so much time to network with one another. I met so many people, saw the need for training pastors and was challenged by all the strategies that were shared. I learned to view the ministry and the call to minister as a gift. I understand now how we can make a vital difference in helping those leaders with less training become more effective. Also, I gained a lot of confidence by Dr. Richard’s personal example (lifestyle) and his execution of ministry.
GProConneXt: How is TEACH different from the pastoral training you were already doing?
Pastor J: Since the Congress, I better understand the need for global pastoral training.TEACH is different because it is intentional pastoral training on a larger scale and I hope to train at least 500 leaders annually.
GProConneXt: What is the goal of TEACH long and short term?
The short-term goals of TEACH are:
T-Training pastors and spiritual leaders globally.
E-Empowering leaders through Biblical and leadership training to fulfill their calling and ministry purpose.
A-Accelerating pastoral leadership potential aiming them to become agents of change.
C-Challenging leaders to pursue total Christlikeness (transformation and holiness.)
H-Helping to edify the Body of Christ worldwide.
Currently, I am a non-formal pastoral trainer but I want to become a formal trainer.
A possibly long-term goal is to establish an institute to develop and train leaders, especially the younger generation and those unfortunately lacking resources.
GProConneXt: What is your action plan to achieve those goals?
Pastor J: I want to visit countries and assess specific needs of the local Churches and communities. Also, I want to both glean from existing materials and develop new curriculums designed to meet their specific needs.
GProConneXt: Do you have more pastoral training trips planned? We would love to help spread the word!
Pastor J: Yes. A revisit to Cuba is being planned for this July; a trip to the Philippines in August; a pastoral training for 200 leaders in Myanmar in September. I fit the trainings around my seminary studies. Every time the Lord opens a door for ministry and evangelism, I hope to be able to incorporate pastoral training!
How has your vision expanded since the Congress? What plan do you have in place to make it happen? Share with us in the comment section below so that we can encourage one another!