Global Mapping International
The cry for Christian leaders with integrity who can manage effectively is being heard from the growing church in the Two-Thirds World. Again at GCOWE in South Africa this summer we heard it expressed over and over that without trained leaders there is little reason to do more evangelism. As Phineas Dube, from South Africa said it so well, "the church here is twenty miles wide and only one inch deep." More and more of the thoughtful, mature leaders from Sri Lanka to India, to Africa are dedicating themselves to ministries of leadership development and asking for help in this great task.
While training for Christian leaders in the Two-Thirds World is a well documented need, what is not as well agreed upon is an effective means of meeting that need. Educational institutions, seminars, and traditional extension education are all vital, but there are new specialized responses also being created. One such response is the Alliance for Leadership Development created by Development Associates International, Mission Aviation Training, and Global Mapping International.
"To increase the effectiveness of majority world Christian leaders in evangelism, discipleship, and social transformation by creating and delivering relevant educational and mentoring resources."
GMI assists DAI is developing indigenous trainers throughout the Two Thirds World who in turn train other leaders more effectively. They provide these trainers with educational skills, ongoing mentoring, curriculum in various formats, and access to information technology. This united effort began with two training seminars in India and Bangladesh in February, 1998, for approximate 30 Christian leaders.
In 1990 two distinguished professors dared to believe that they could make a difference in the lives and ministries of key leaders in the Two-Thirds world by founding The Center For Organizational Excellence at Eastern College. Their dream was to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of Christian leaders world-wide.
Today that dream has grown into an organization called Development Associates International (DAI) serving leaders through the majority world who have the least access to spiritual, human and material resources. DAI provides curriculum, develops mentors, does consulting, and facilitates integrated development projects in order to bring changeóchange in the effectiveness and integrity of Christian leaders and their ministries.
Dr. James F. Engel the founder and president of DAI, taught at Wheaton College for 18 years. Besides a highly successful secular career in marketing research, he served as a trainer and consultant to over 250 Christian organizations in 60 countries. Dr. Engel was as a member of the Communications Working Group of the Lausanne Movement, adjunct faculty at Daystar University in Kenya, senior faculty member of the Asian Institute of Christian Communication, faculty associate of the Haggai Evangelistic Institute in Singapore, and a member of the Long Range Planning Committee of the World Evangelical Fellowship. In spite of all these successes, a passion continued to burn in Dr. Engel to do more. Specifically he wanted to provide training resources that really make a life changing difference in he lives of key leaders.
Meanwhile Dr. David Fraser had gained significant exposure to leaders at the grass roots through serving as a member of the senior staff of the MARC Division of World Vision International with responsibilities for Unreached Peoples. He had also served with the Mission Training and Resource Center for three years, helping to develop curricula and training models. Having taught at institutions in more than 15 countries he also carried a passion for effective leadership development.
"The missionaries brought us the gospel, but they never taught us how to live!"
"We waited and waited for outside help to come, but weíve given up now. It's not coming. If we are going to change our situation and make it better, weíre going to have to do it ourselves."
"We donít need to you to tell us what to do. We know what the problems are. We just need to know which questions to ask. How do we take the first steps. How do we find our own answers?"
As DAI leaders listened to one Christian leader after another share hopes, dreams and discouragements in Bangui, Central Africa Republic in February 1995, the same themes continued to come through: Help us help ourselves. Help us help ourselves! The same words have been spoken to the leaders of DAI over the past five years, in a variety of languages, in at least 20 different countries, using different phrases, but always with a similar meaning.
God is doing a tremendous work across the Third World, bringing many to Himself, with indigenous churches springing up in previously unevangelized areas and unprecedented numbers of people accepting Christ. Enthusiasm about fulfilling the Great Commission is heard from many corners, yet the warning signs are also becoming glaringly evident about a church in need.
Discipleship, the very essence of the Great Commission, has often received only superficial attention in the midst of the "race" for lost souls, creating a church described by one African leader Phineas Dube, as "twenty miles wide and only one inch deep." As Reverend Nicolas Wafula of Ugandaís Deliverance Church told us, "We could start many new congregations tomorrow if we had leaders, but we refuse to plant more churches until we can find a solution for adequate, affordable, accessible training for the leaders of the churches we have."
A Call for Leadership Development
Growing numbers of Christians are discovering anew that Godís primary means of world evangelization is to build local communities of believers which affirm and proclaim His Lordship over all phases of life. When asked to state their greatest need the most frequent response reflected this idea, "help us develop leaders who are capable of discerning the mind of Christ and developing our own appropriate, indigenous ministries with lasting effectiveness."
We are hearing a clear consensus as to the areas of greatest need:
Working in Alliance
The Alliance for Leadership Development was formed in September of 1997 after several months of discussion. Development Associates International (DAI), Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and Global Mapping International (GMI) agreed to form the alliance because of the hope and belief that by working together they can respond more effectively to certain missions challenges than any one of them can do working alone.
The purpose of the Alliance for Leadership Development is:
"to increase the effectiveness of majority world Christian leaders in evangelism, discipleship, and social transformation by creating and delivering relevant educational and mentoring resources."
Each Memberís Contributions:
Curriculum and Educational Method
The curriculum developed by Development Associates International is a growing body of resources that concentrates on content unavailable to these leaders elsewhere. It deals with topics like:
This curriculum is used in a unique way. Audio tapes and workbooks, or CDs, or the Internet make the coursework available to local Field Associates who mentor students. This provides the benefits of extension education--that is making it available where the students live and work--while integrating the biblical model of mentoring. The materials force application through the questions asked and the projects required, which makes them truly life changing. In many areas where the curriculum is being used, the Field Associate regularly brings together leaders in groups to interact with the material, providing the interaction and stimulation often found in the classroom but lost in traditional extension education.
MAFís Information Technology division creates and delivers communication and information access, and provides training and ongoing support for the use of related technology. They specialize in making these tools available in the most difficult access parts of the world, just like theyíve been doing with aviation over the last fifty years.
Education Tools on CD-ROM
GMI specializes in putting effective educational tools on CD-ROM. They do this in such a way that these products are both appropriate and affordable. Their expertise in electronic publishing of educational materials for the Two-Thirds World has come from much experience.
Current products include:
GMI also works hard to enable Christian leaders to better use information and to apply technology to their ministries. This experience is key as The Alliance approaches doing just that in the Two-Thirds world.
Each of the members of The Alliance has been working in their strengths in the Two-Thirds world for many years, however our first cooperative initiative took place in January and February of 1998.
Why Begin in India
After prayer and strategic thinking, the leaders of the alliance agreed to begin their joint efforts with an initiative in India. Here are just a few of the many reasons for this decision:
Though the first two seminars were scheduled for India and Bangladesh, two more workshops were scheduled for Africa in May, 1998.
"Training of Trainers" workshop
Essential to everything that we do in leadership development are effective local mentors who are equipped to multiply their leadership skills to others. Therefore, we conduct "Training of Trainers" workshops to train and develop the mentors that we call "Field Associates".
The first workshop was for about 30 Christian leaders and trainers who had already been exposed to DAIís curriculum and wanted to use it more effectively in their contexts. The workshop was held in cooperation with India Missions Association and hosted by TENT, an indigenous Indian mission founded by Dr. B.E. Vijayam. About 15 groups participated in this workshop including: Indian Institute of Missiology, Union Biblical Seminary, Operation Mobilization, Youth With A Mission, Friends Missionary Prayer Band, Yavatmal College, and World Vision India.
The content of the workshop included:
a. Learning how to facilitate adult learning by understanding:
b. Learning how to use DAI curriculum effectively in your context:
c. Learning how to use information technology in missions training:
From this group we had 15 committed trainers who set their own goals and objectives for utilizing the training resources we are making available within their contexts. We plan to work with this group over the next three years to provide whatever technology and technical support they need in order to be networked by e-mail. In cooperation with an Indian computer company called Olive, we plan to make available whatever training they need to utilize various information technology resources.
We also want to provide them with ongoing educational and mentoring support both by key Indian leaders and Westerners. While doing this we intend to hold them accountable to the goals and objectives they created for themselves during the workshop, and walk alongside beside them to help make them successful in accomplishing those as we are needed. This will also enable us to evaluate our ministry efforts and continue to make adjustments as we continue the training process.
This process was repeated in Dhaka, Bangladesh with additional committed Field Associates the second week in February, 1998. Over the next three years we plan to regularly conduct subsequent training seminars in various locations in the Indian subcontinent and throughout Africa.
Working Together Makes Good Training Better and More Easily Accessible
While the cry for training and quality leadership development is clear the challenges are daunting:
1. Western produced curriculum for use in the Two-Thirds world can be limited in its effectiveness at best, and tragically inappropriate at worst.
2. While seminars can deliver good content much is forgotten before the participants even return home and even what is retained is hard to apply.
3. Third World leaders are often subjected to accepting whatever training resources are brought to them due to limited access to travel funds, technology, and accessible training alternatives.
As a result of the "Training of Trainers" workshops, indigenous leaders:
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