Leadership Resources’ main goal in our pastoral training is not only to equip groups of pastors, but to launch movements of the Word of God similar to what happened in the book of Acts where the Word “increased and prevailed mightily” (Acts 19:20).
By God’s grace, we are seeing this goal reached as movements take root in many countries around the world led by national pastors with a hunger to train others to preach God’s Word with God’s heart after going through the Training National Trainers program.
Brazil is one country where our biblical training has spread like wildfire and has reached “movement” proportions.
Through a long-term contact of Bill Mills, our founder, our work in Brazil began in 2006 with a dozen pastors from a large church of about 1,200 in Atibaia, Brazil. This church, Primera Igreia Batista de Atibaia (PIBA), had an existing leadership program for pastors that soon grafted in the TNT training to strengthen the pastors’ skills reading and preaching the Scriptures.
Two years later in 2008, another group was launched, this time training twenty pastors.
The next year, 2009, marked a transition point for our work in Brazil, although it didn’t seem like it at first.
During the three previous years of training, a vision stirred in the church for the strategic expanse of the training across their country to equip more pastors to preach God’s Word. The only problem was that they didn’t know how Leadership Resources would take the news. “Would they get offended?”
Instead of feelings of anger or taking offense, it turned out to be great news for us and an opportunity to share one of our chief goals: for those we train to continue the ministry in their country so as to impact more communities, churches, and ministries with the Word of God. We tell others that we want to work ourselves out of jobs!
A Movement Picking Up Steam
Fast forward five years to 2014.
Leadership Resources finished their training of 32 pastors total. This group of 32 pastors trained 1,300 pastors in about 64 groups throughout their country. They have began to partner with other churches to spread the training, even designating Regional Directors for various regions in Brazil.
On one occasion, an elder from PIBA visited a training group in the Amazon and was asked to preach. Soon after the preaching, one of the men approached him and began interacting with him about the sermon text. As he talked, he came to the stunning realization that a few short years before he would have been amazed if he knew he would be talking biblical exposition way out in the Amazon!
This realization is one sign that a movement has been born.
A Global Movement
PIBA has taken an Acts 1:8 approach to training that takes it from their “Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In addition to training all over Brazil, they have launched a group in Cuba and seek to reach seven Portuguese speaking countries all over the world including Portugal, Mozambique, and a Portuguese-speaking island in Indonesia—truly a global vision!
Our relationship with PIBA has transitioned from a teacher role to more of a coaching one. We don’t travel and lead training like we used to (they’ve got that under control!), but we lead special workshops through a new book of the Bible from time to time. (Most recently in 2014, Tim Sattler, our International Training Director, met with PIBA and gave a workshop on the book of Revelation.) This coaching relationship will involve special training for their key trainers (who we call Mentor Trainers) and further training to spread expository Bible reading to their whole church (what we call the Trellis and Vine Mindset).
Our goal in launching movements is not for the Leadership Resources name to be widely known (although that may happen), but to see an organic movement of the Word of God taking root all around the world so that the name of Christ may be known and exalted.
The Key for a Multiplication and Launching Movements
Our training does not just seek to only transfer information and skills, but foster a personal transformation through the Scriptures. Without a strong emphasis on personal application and worship leading to transformation, we miss a major aspect of God’s purpose in the Scriptures (John 5:39-40). We have found that when a pastor becomes gripped by God through His Word, his love for God grows, his hunger to preach the Word grows, and his desire to impact others with God’s Word grows.
The element of personal transformation is what we consider the “key” for multiplying and launching movements. If people aren’t first energized in their spiritual lives, expanding their view of God and His work in the world through His Word, then expanding the training isn’t a huge priority for them. When they get a deeper taste of the life that comes from God’s Living Word, they begin to share the Father’s heart for the world and want to be channels of blessing to others desperate for God’s life-giving Word. And when a whole group of transformed pastors come together with a desire to equip and encourage as many as possible in the Word, a movement takes place.
We are thankful for the faithful brothers of PIBA for their shared heart of equipping pastors to preach God’s Word with God’s heart.
To God be the glory!
See Mentor Trainer David Merck share how 12 trainers have trained near 2,000.