Would you consider adding PLI’s international training to your congregation’s mission budget this year? And let us know your plans?…so we can plan?
One of the great joys for me the last couple of years has been to watch the rapid expansion of our training around the globe. Dr. Scott and Lori Rische have been the chief visionaries and the ones God has used in PLI to build a deeply relational, biblical training network that equips, encourages, and empowers pastors and spouses in leading all of the people of God to focus on and work together for the sake of accomplishing the mission of God. The Gospel is intended to be spread by everyone, everywhere, everyday!
Dr. Emmanuel Makala, new on our PLI staff in Tanzania simply states: “Where PLI has been training, the church is growing very fast. Very fast!”
One of my other great joys the last couple of years has been to watch congregations add PLI, or PLI’s international training in particular, to their mission budgets. Virtually everything that we do internationally wouldn’t happen without generous donors…oftentimes first learning in a living room presentation OR a congregation that includes PLI in their mission budget!
And, what’s being done is a “lot”…being funded with relatively “little.”
It happens in different ways:
- Last week, an Illinois congregation said: We want to start investing in the mission work in Africa. We believe in PLI’s training. Here’s a 3-year commitment you can count on.
- Another church pledged a 5-year commitment. We want to specifically support the 20,000 leader training in Kale Heywet in Ethiopia.
- A door offering in Texas.
- A ladies Bible study in Houston. “Count us in to help in Tanzania!”
- A church in Maryland considering PLI’s work in Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus in their capital campaign.
- A church in Las Vegas saying we have a Mekane Yesus congregation here. We want to support the training in Ethiopia.
And, it usually starts with a PLI champion whose life and leadership has been transformed here in the U.S. addressing their congregation: “Why don’t we find a way to make the same investment of building healthier, better leaders for the mission way beyond the U.S.?”
Bottom line, not much happens without a leader that people want to follow, who is influencing people to work together for the mission entrusted to them by Jesus.
So, here’s my request! Would you forward this to some of your congregational leaders and say: “At our next meeting, let’s discuss making a mission investment through PLI!”
Scott and I met the other day and he shared a brief update with me. Here’s how our conversation went:
Jock: How many countries do we have requests for PLI training that we don’t have capacity to respond to right now?
Scott: 13 or 14 countries.
Jock: So, if we had the financial resources, we’d be able to bring PLI’s leadership training to these pastors and spouses?
Scott: Partially correct! Yes, we don’t have the money to start. But, our other hinge point is having enough Principle Trainers and what we call Master Trainers. The Principle Trainers train the Master Trainers in a country. The Master Trainers actually train the trainers that will be doing the training on a local level within a country. It’s the only way that we’ve been able to scale to the large numbers of leaders to be trained.
We always need to choose our leaders wisely and then invest deeply in them.
Jock: And in 2024, how many countries will we be training in?
Scott: If all goes well? 31 countries. 13 in Africa.
Jock: Give us an update on the training of the 20,000 new pastors and spouses in Kale Heywet in Ethiopia. They have a vision of starting 10,000 new churches and each believer reaching one more person with the Gospel of Jesus! Some of our PLI congregations have invested specifically in this project.
Scott: We just finished training the 35 master trainer couples in Ethiopia. Dr. Tesfai and Abby Tesema from San Francisco and John Busacker from the Twin Cities were with us doing the training. These 35 Master Trainers are in the process of training 25 trainer couples in each of 14 “zones” or regions of the Kale Heywet church in Ethiopia. Hopefully there will be 350 trainer couples total. In 2024, they will lead 500 local training events totalling 20,000 pastors and spouses!
Jock: Next month, Gail and I will be with you and Lori in Singapore training Master Trainers.
Scott: It’s pretty amazing. These are incredible leaders coming together! We’ll have 3 couples from the Lutheran Church in the Philippines, 2 or 3 couples from Singapore, and 12 additional couples from two other countries in the region.
Jock: What’s in the immediate future?
Scott: If we have the resources, we have invitations and we’re ready to start in Malawi and Zambia.
In Malawi, 7 different church bodies/networks working together to train 5400 leaders.
In Zambia, 3 different church bodies/networks working together to train 1800 leaders.
It will cost $18,200 to train the Master Trainers in 2024. And then $50,000 for each of the 4 years that follow. It’s a relatively small amount of money to train so many leaders that are hungry for this training.
Jock: Obviously, we try to “count the cost” and be able to always follow through on the promises we make.
It’s absolutely amazing to watch this unfold, isn’t it? There’s a good chance that you and your congregation already support PLI’s training around the globe (or in the U.S.) If your church has not included missions support for PLI’s international work yet, would you start that conversation today? And, if you make plans? Would you let Rika Beckley, PLI’s National Director of Donor Engagement, know? In the next two months, we will be finalizing our commitments for 2024 and congregational support would make an important difference.