Peter is a big, burly man but tears filled his eyes as he told his story. He had been an angry, violent alcoholic and his parents-in-law had taken his wife and daughter away, fearful of what he might do to them. His life was in ruins.
Then Peter met a disciple of Jesus Christ. He discovered that Jesus could change his life in ways that his Hindu gods could not.
His family was reconciled and Peter found a fullness of life in Christ that he never imagined possible. His new church asked him to take the discipleship–mission training they had developed with Global Disciples and then commissioned him to plant a church in an unreached village.
Peter needed a way to support his family, so he also took the Small Business Development training developed by his church with the help of Global Disciples. When asked the question, “What’s in your hand?” Peter thought back to his boyhood experiences on a farm.
To support himself as a church planter and have an identity that made sense to the people in the village to which he was going, Peter developed a business plan for pesticide spraying. The guidance and support he received through his church from Global Disciples was enough to get a small loan and purchase a backpack sprayer with a small gasoline motor.
In the last several years, Peter has planted five churches in surrounding villages, building relationships through his business. He has been able to support his family and earned enough money to buy a small field to raise crops of his own. Now his face glows with delight.
Recently Peter was able to buy a second backpack sprayer, but not to expand his own business. He’s giving the new sprayer to another church planter who recently completed the Global Disciples training and is now going to make disciples and plant new churches in unreached areas.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
A leader with the right heart for God and His mission can see great things happen!
Some people want to be leaders because they want to be in charge, to call the shots, to be the “big man.” Others desire to serve, to guide people or develop new initiatives. And some become leaders because God simply has called them, and given them a clear vision for what He wants to do through them with His people.
Sam and Chris fall into this third category of leader. They’re gifted, called, trained, and with the right heart. But most of all they have a vision for leading beyond themselves.
Sam said, “The leadership training from Global ‘lifted my lid’ and got me out of the box I was in.” He’s broadened his focus to equipping leaders who are disciple-makers, ready and able to plant new churches. He and his church cluster have added discipleship-mission training, equipping future church planters. And small business development—SBD—gives church planters and new fellowships a means of support.
What started as leadership development has broadened to include planting 7 new churches. “In some of our churches,” Sam reported, “we have a senior pastor and an assistant. That helps the assistant be prepared to take on a new church as we multiply.”
Chris has a similar story; for several years, he’s been training leaders with the help of Global Disciples. But his vision to develop leaders has gone beyond his own network of churches to other groups and fellowships.
As Global Disciples, it’s a joy and a privilege to partner with leaders like Chris and Sam, helping them to equip a new generation of men and women to guide and multiply the Body of Christ in Nigeria, and around the world!
“Last year, we could not train due to Covid-19 restrictions. But God’s work did not stop. It went on in ways we did not expect.”
Prior to COVID-19’s most recent devastating sweep across South Asia, Global Disciples program directors had opportunities to gather in small regional groups to pray, fellowship, and share reports on the past year. While acknowledging disappointment over discarded plans, they expressed their joy, wonder, and gratitude at the powerful hand of God.
“God’s work did not stop,” Jai said. “To have regular fellowship and evangelism, we divided our congregation into 24 house fellowships.” The money they had budgeted for training went to help church planters and many needy people in their community.
“We challenged our believers to win 300 people for Christ this year, and everyone is playing their part!” Jai said. By the end of the initial lockdowns, this local fellowship had grown to 500 believers. God is at work!
Suchi leads a small business development training which sent out 20 church planters to do ministry through business. “During the lockdown,” Suchi reported, “I lost my first-born baby and tested positive for Covid—it was a very difficult time.” Yet God was at work. One of the church planters had started a vegetable business—a business allowed to continue during lockdown. He helped many families in need, and by living out Christ-like compassion, ten people accepted Jesus! He’s planted two small fellowships.
Another church planter had a tailoring business. During lockdown, she led 12 people to Christ, and started two new fellowships. God’s work does not stop!
In a community where believers faced intense opposition and arrest, God did a wonderful work. Surya, a high-caste man from a wealthy background, saw the sign board for a local fellowship. “I feel that somebody is forcing me to come here,” he told the pastor.
Surya had lost everything, his wife was working as a housemaid, and his young son was possessed by an evil spirit. They had a temple in their home that people came to visit. “I have tried everything to get rid of these problems,” he said, “and now I come to you.”
The pastor prayed with him, and Surya accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. God also delivered the son from the evil spirit; Surya’s son and wife joined him as believers in Jesus and demolished the temple at their home. The pastor rejoiced, “God did this miracle in the same place where believers were persecuted!”
In these desperate days, millions in India and around the world are looking for hope, for comfort in the face of death and despair. God’s work doesn’t stop, and neither do His people.
What’s in your hands? This question has been the title of our Small Business Development (SBD) curriculum for more than 15 years. SBD training has helped disciple-makers and church planters launch several thousand small businesses in the last five years.
These small businesses give disciple-makers an identity that makes sense in a Muslim village or a Hindu neighborhood and provide support for their family. Through their businesses, at least 43,667 people have come to Christ in 1,407 newly churches planted.
Starting a business based on what’s in their hands has borne much fruit. This strategy makes sense. And the small business/church planting stories that have emerged are fascinating and inspiring.
“What’s in your hands?” is a good question for each of us to consider. Recently one of our Global Disciples Facilitators from Ecuador was sharing about the perspective his church has on reaching least-reached people.
He said, “We tell the people of our church that everyone works in the mission: the knees of those who pray, the hands of those who give, and the feet of those who go. No matter what area of the mission you are involved in, either praying on your knees, opening your hands to give, or moving your feet to go, it must be done sacrificially. Sacrificially pray, sacrificially go, and sacrificially give to reach the unreached people.”
What is your role in reaching the one-third of our world that has never had the opportunity to respond to the Good News of Jesus? What is in your hands? The Bible reminds us that God our Savior “wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
It is inspiring reading stories of the early Church after Pentecost. “They were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:45). Their engagement in God’s mission began with what they had in their hands. It’s a great place for each of us to start in making God’s glory known in the nations.
Pastor H leads a Global Disciples partner program in South Asia, training local believers in discipleship-mission and small business. He sent along this story.
This year, as we were conducting our training, the Holy Spirit spoke to us to take the Gospel to the ‘rejected and neglected’. We didn’t understand, but we kept on praying, asking God to guide us to the place He wanted us to take the living Word.”
The Lord answered their prayers and directed them to a community with no witness for the Gospel. As they entered the village, they saw a group of women sitting outside their houses.
‘The Lord led us to share the love of Jesus with them,’ Pastor H said. ‘All were eager to hear the Gospel of Jesus, of His deliverance and acceptance. When we began to pray, several started crying and confessing their sins.’ The disciple-makers learned that twelve of these women were involved in prostitution, with about 14 children between them.
‘The Lord put a burden on us to counsel these women and help them come out from this evil experience,’ Pastor H said. For a month, the disciple-makers counseled and prayed with them, showing them how Jesus offered life and freedom. Finally, all twelve surrendered their lives to Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior! A church was planted in the community and these women are now engaged with the new fellowship, growing spiritually.
As new disciples of Jesus, this group of women knew they needed a different way to support themselves and their children. With help from Pastor H’s church, each was given a sewing machine and a teacher came to teach them.
‘They have learned to sew,’ Pastor H shared, ‘and they are taking care of their families with their daily earnings. Before they start work each day, they have time for prayer and Bible reading. Kindly pray for them, and for the entire village that we can win the lost in this area.’ This is the redemptive mission of Jesus: to seek and save the lost, to set the captives free, to bring hope, dignity and life eternal to those trapped in sin. And a dozen women, with their sewing machines, can tell you how that mission transformed their lives.
In much of the world, a local church doesn’t have the resources to send out and support their own mission workers, or their pastor. So when you want to help mobilize the church to reach the least-reached, finding a way to develop local sustainability is absolutely essential.
That’s why Global Disciples offers small business training as part of our approach.
Azad lives in North India and went through a local Small Business Development training related to Global Disciples. “It’s been life-changing,” Azad said.
“I completed my training and started a business as a carpenter. It became a way to earn a living for my family, and through it I can share the Gospel. As people come into my shop and I’m invited to their homes to make household items for them, it opens a way to interact with them and talk about Jesus.”
Last year, Azad shared the Gospel to more than a hundred people, and he’s seen ten of them come to faith in Jesus. He works alongside his pastor to disciple and nurture these new believers.
Azad said, “I used to think ministry was just the pastor’s work, but now I understand that ministry to people can be done through business.”
Pranit did the same training as Azad. He said, “I had a general store, and after the training I started a cosmetic store too, and I am serving the Lord through this business. As a family, we share the Gospel with whoever comes to the shop.”
Last year, Pranit saw 15 people come to faith in Christ, and he baptized 13. He said, “We’re starting one cell group which all these people attend. I have decided in my life that I will share and spread the Gospel more and more through my future.”
We love to hear about people like Pranit and Azad, as they use what’s in their hands to support their outreach, their families, and their future ministry. And knowing they’re equipped to share the Gospel, to make disciples, and multiply the Body of Christ around the world.
Praise God with us as we see His people accomplishing His mission.
At Global Disciples Canada we are committed to work closely with Canadian Businesses who love Jesus’ Great Commission and want to partner to develop mutually beneficial fundraising campaigns, initiatives, media and more. You can find more about our Brand Partnerships at https://www.globaldisciples.ca/partnerships/brand-partnerships/.
One of those Brand Partnerships has been with SEO Buddy who have helped us in particular with the SEO on our website. Specific details or how they can be of help to you can be found at https://seobuddy.com/seo-checklist.