How One Megachurch in Ecuador is Strengthening Their Leadership in God’s Word

What happens when almost 100 people show up for our training?

Our ideal group is limited to 15 or 20. That way, lots of personal attention can be given and each one can fully participate in the discussions. Learning happens best with smaller numbers. So what to do when 100 show up???

Back in 2013 we had a modest beginning in Quito, Ecuador. A group of 23 (too many!) pastors, small group leaders, and members of the preaching team gathered from Iglesia Santísima Trinidad (Church of the Holiest Trinity) for our training. Four years later they graduated. Three key graduates excelled – they loved the training and had a profound burden to see a movement of the Word spread throughout their megachurch’s various sites and their entire country. We call them mentor trainers. 



Even though training had ended, our mentor trainers wanted more leaders in their church to experience the equipping and transformation of the training. So they began organizing another generation of training for other leaders at La Santísima.

The only problem? The number: they had almost 100 sign up. Yikes! That’s way too many . . . but our team didn’t want to say “no.” What was to be done???

Ah-ha! . . . Let’s break the large group into smaller ones and co-lead them with graduates from that very first group. This enabled our LRI team to coach the graduates moving them one step closer to an Ecuadorian-led movement of God’s Word.


One of our MTers, Clever, leads a session

 

Another MT, Oscar Paul, leads another group

 

Olmedo teaches the Traveling Instructions principle.


The response to the training couldn’t have been better. Here’s a sample of what participants shared:

“Other trainings are a monologue. This was asking us to discover the Word ourselves — it was great!”

“I believe that God has had more mercy on me than Jonah.”

“We’ve grown in our understanding [since studying Ruth]. The next training we’ll grow even more.”


The Group of Leaders in Quito


God is at work in Ecuador! He’s also at work in a similar way in the 50+ countries where we work, transforming one heart at a time as His Word is clearly unfolded and understood.

Thank you for helping make this possible as one of our partners!


Enjoy a tour of our training in Quito led by LRI’s Kevin Halloran:

A Testimony that Reminds Us Why We Do What We Do

Dear Friends and Partners,

I thought Helen had always been a godly, mature woman . . . until this week . . . when I learned her backstory – and how Christ changed her into the woman she is today.

Helen has been a dear friend and supporter of LRI for many, many years and is now in assisted living. Her daughters recently discovered a handwritten testimony which she shared with the women of Moraine Valley Church back in the 1980s, and Helen wants you to hear it. It’s a highly personal story that demonstrates why we help pastors learn to study and teach God’s transformative Word.

I wasn’t really born again until I was 30 years old, though I grew up in a Christian home.  My parents took us to a lot of gospel meetings, so I heard the gospel preached in many different ways. We knew the Bible well, but still I was confused about what God was really like and how to approach Him.

I led a double life. I did everything I was supposed to do at church . . . made a confession of faith, sang in the choir . . . but I was much more attracted to the world. Movies were glamorous and exciting, dancing was fun, and the guys in the neighborhood were more romantic and friendly. Of course, none of this was allowed in our home, so we had to find ways to do things on the sly. I learned to be an expert liar. The older I got, the easier it was.

I was first introduced to Rich in a tavern. That should have given me a clue to what lay ahead, but it didn’t. I was to learn that he was a wonderful guy when he was sober, but when he had been drinking too much, he could simply be crabby, or he might get really mean. It was like being married to two different men . . .  which one would be coming home?

Our marriage started out wrong, because I was pregnant and we had to get married. When you have to get married, you never know for sure if he would have asked you to marry him. Then we did something even worse. When we found out that we were to have our second child, I took some pills to cause an abortion. I lost the child in the fifth month and almost lost my life. It was our only boy.

I had a lot of trouble with the next two pregnancies, but we ended up with three lovely daughters. But how could the Lord ever forgive me?

I began attending Dr. A. W. Tozer’s church. There I met Christians who were really filled with the love of Christ. The women were so kind to me. They really loved me. I didn’t think anyone could love me like that. Now I was really listening to what they said because they had what I was looking for.

On Good Friday in 1958, I kept thinking about Jesus dying on the cross for me. It was as though He was still hanging there and the cross was blocking my way. I couldn’t go another step with my life until I decided for Him or against Him. If I decided to turn away, it would be forever.  There was no way I could do that, and there was no way around it. I had nothing to offer Him. Finally, in the afternoon, I fell on my knees and said, “Lord, I don’t know why you could want me, but if you do, you can have me!”

He did want me! On that Good Friday, I was crucified with Christ, and on that Easter morning, I arose with Him. I was filled with the most incredible joy as I sang the Easter songs in church and took the communion rightfully for the first time. I was a new creature, and I knew it!

My values began to change. I went back to studying the Bible. But I had a lot more to learn than I ever imagined. I seem to have to learn everything the hard way.

In 1960, the girls were at school and Rich wasn’t around much. Although I found a church and was involved in children’s ministry, quite often I felt lonely and depressed. So, I would listen to Moody Bible Radio or sing hymns, read the Bible or a Christian book, or just pray. Sometimes I would think of myself as sitting at Jesus’ feet like Mary did. I could really relate to the women that Jesus knew on earth, especially the really sinful ones who were forgiven by Him and loved Him so. He was so tender toward the women. I’m really glad the Bible tells us about them.

I remember studying Philippians 3, struck by the fact that Paul was willing to give up everything in the world for the joy of knowing God and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings so that he might lay hold of that for which God had laid hold of Him. I wondered what that could mean in my life, so I asked God to show me.

Later Bill Mills became my pastor. He taught us that it was for freedom that Christ has set us free and that our adequacy is in Him. He taught us about the Kingdom of God as opposed to the kingdom of this world, about discipleship, about God’s sovereignty in our lives, and about getting to know God. He taught Philippians 3, about losing your life in order to find it. . . .                    

Rich died two and a half years ago, and our last daughter just got married. Now, it’s just Him and me. It doesn’t matter what change point I’m going through, because for me to live is Christ. Always with the fellowship of his suffering goes the power of His resurrection. . . .

I hope you’ve been encouraged by the transforming power of God’s Word in Helen’s life. We see this same power at work in and through thousands of pastors worldwide.

Rejoicing in His resurrection power,

Craig Parro

President

PS: After Helen was widowed, she cleaned houses to bring in a little income. During that time, she contributed what she could to support LRI. I treasured her gifts as much as any. I still tear up thinking about Helen scrubbing floors so that she might give her widow’s mite. Thank you to each of you who similarly give sacrificially to this ministry. Those are precious dollars. May the Lord reward you!

New Release from Bill Mills: A Gospel Worthy of Your Life: Orienting Every Resource, Attitude and Passion Around the Cross

LRI Founder and teacher Bill Mills recently released a new book titled A Gospel Worthy of Your Life: Orienting Every Resource, Attitude and Passion Around the Cross


A Gospel Worthy of Your Life - ebook coverHow do you disciple a church to give themselves wholly to the gospel? As we walk through the book of Philippians, we will hear the Apostle Paul teaching this beloved church what it means to partner together in the gospel. This Bible study is designed as a resource for churches, small groups and classes as they grow with one another in evangelism, missions and worship. Consider it a strong and encouraging personal devotional tool as well.

IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL LEARN HOW…

  • God has been building in your life a unique platform for the gospel
  • God has designed suffering as His means of carrying the gospel to the world
  • Our great enemy seeks to distract you and your church from the gospel
  • You can be set free from the past so that you can give yourself to the gospel

Available in Paperback and for Kindle

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Mills and his wife Karen are the founders of Leadership Resources International, a global mission based in Chicago, Illinois. Bill’s career has been focused on encouraging churches in the West and equipping pastoral leaders in the developing world. Bill also serves as a staff pastor in his home church.