It started in the fall of 1995. I was minding my own business during my morning prayers in the church building. Part of my prayer regimen was to pray through a book entitled Operation World, a guide for praying for the greatest needs of every nation in the world (www.operationworld.org). As I was praying for a particular country in Eastern Europe I read a simple sentence that changed everything for me:
Bible training for existing and future leaders is a great need. The average pastor
supervises five churches. Most new churches lack a pastor, and many pastors lack
training. This has hindered church growth.
I still cannot explain what happened next. Like Nehemiah when he heard about the brokenness and desperation of the city he loved, I wept and wept and I prayed for God to raise up leaders to go and equip leaders in this country and around the world. I told Him that if I had anything to offer, I am willing to give myself to this cause.
I wiped the tears and got myself together and returned to my office. Within twenty minutes I received a phone call from my friend, Neil Silverberg. “Mark, we are going to Poland to train leaders, too you want to come?” I went. I was ruined forever.
Since then I have been able to meet, labor with, train and develop relationships with many leaders in many countries. These men and women are heroes of the kingdom, laboring faithfully in very difficult situations for the gospel. They do the hard and daily work of pastoring people and advancing kingdom in their contexts, holding out light to a dark world. They need friends to come alongside them to encourage them. They need training resources. Many of them have never had a spiritual father, yet they are called to be fathers and mothers to their people.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the hope of every man, woman and child; the local church is the holder and distribution center for the gospel; and as go the leaders, so go the churches. So the health of these leaders is crucial to the work of God in changing the lives of real people all over the world. I have decided that I want to give my life to help develop hopeful and mature leaders worldwide.
By Gods grace, I am committing to:
Foster leaders by identifying, assessing, training and mentoring them.
Enlighten leaders by helping them know their gifts, strengths and passions, by teaching
courses and conferences, and by offering resourcing materials through this website.
Encourage leaders by building relationships and being available to them, by traveling
and holding personal and group retreats and by maintaining contact with them through
internet video calls and other means of communication.
I encourage you to join with me in supporting these champions of the kingdom. Spread the word about the resources on this website. Reach out to a leader near you. Develop an ongoing relationship with a leader in another country. Connect with us to travel overseas. Give an offering to enable someone else to go. Together we can help the kingdom of God advance by building leaders worldwide.