“Can’t we speed the process up a bit?”

Dear friends and partners,

“Can’t we speed the process up a bit?”

We’ve heard that question many times about our four-year training process. But there’s a reason it takes four years: You can’t grow a forty-foot tall oak tree overnight. Shaping convictions around God’s Word, building skills in exposition, and transforming hearts take time. Consider the story of Anatoyli* from the former Soviet Union:

“By 2008, I was burnt out. . . . My church was growing, but I was not. I did what I was obligated to do but felt emptiness. I desperately needed God to touch my heart. That year, LRI came to do [training], and I sensed I needed to be a part of it.

“LRI’s training is not a fast process. We are goal-oriented people who want fast work. But it doesn’t work like that. After the third or fourth session of training [about two years into the process], I began sensing more of God’s will and His heart – His love for everyone, His mercy, His holiness. I realized I needed my heart changed. He started putting His heart into my heart.”

If we had fast-forwarded the training process, Anatoyli’s new heart might not have come. It also might not have motivated him to pass the transformation on to others:

“I see the same [transformation] in the hearts of other pastors and leaders we train. I see that God changes [us] through His Word. When we abide in the Word for four days, God’s Word does wonderful things with our hearts. We could see pastors in [regions where we train] have a hunger for God’s Word. When the training is over, everyone says, ‘God is changing me.’ Even the congregations say that God is changing their pastor!”

Yes, for oak trees and for pastors, deep roots and healthy multiplication take time. But as Anatoyli would testify, it’s all worth it.

Thank you for your partnership in this work – we couldn’t do it without you!

Yours in Christ,

Craig Parro

PS: Would you consider a generous gift today so that pastors on the verge of burnout might instead become enflamed for God and His Word?

*Name changed for security purposes.

Note: Right now Leadership Resources International has a matching gift from a generous donor. If you are a new donor, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar! Learn more.

Craig Parro

Since joining Leadership Resources International in 1989, Craig directed its international ministry, and as of January 2010, he now serves as President. A graduate of TEDS (M.A., Mission), Craig is a stimulating teacher and has equipped and encouraged pastors and churches throughout the U.S., Latin America and Asia. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition), an association of pastoral training organizations focused on accelerating pastoral training worldwide. Craig has authored articles appearing in several magazines. His first book, Unlikely Warriors, was published in 1992. He is also co-author of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout.