Training for Trainers - An Introduction

September 29 2015

by Aaron Taylor


Last week we dove into the first of three church planting processes promoted and used by Every Community for Christ (ECC), Village Church Planting (VCP). This week we will be taking a closer look at another one of the processes, titled Training for Trainers (T4T).

What is Training for Trainers?

Training for Trainers is a cooperative effort by David Garrison, the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, and Greater Europe Mission. Adapted from a training method developed by Ying Kai, T4T is now inspiring church planting movements all over the globe. Primarily used in Asia, T4T has seen Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and even secular communities come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

How is it used?

T4T, at its most basic level, is truly a method of training fishers of men. Ascribing to the belief that Jesus has already prepared the hearts and minds of those seeking him, T4T equips church planters with the tools needed to effectively change a culture and bring people to Christ. If you are a church planter who is seeking training that will bring momentum to your church plant, Training for Trainers is a great place to start.

For Additional Resources Visit:

t4tonline.org

onemissionsociety.org/ecc

or like us on Facebook !

Tags: every community for christ, methodology, ecc, intro, training for trainers, t4t,

Refugees Seek Their Own "Promised Land"

September 25 2015

I’ve heard it said that the job of a missionary is one of the most unpredictable jobs. The truth is I am blessed with the flexibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus whenever and wherever. Over the past three weeks, I’ve lived in a breaking news story. That’s an honor as well as a responsibility, especially when an international crisis is on your doorstep.

I am a photographer, but in the moment of a destitute refugee camp, a picture cannot fully express the reality of what is happening.

I took this photo September 8 on our initial visit to Röszke, Hungary. This boy looks incredibly desperate and hopeless. It appears that his eyes are prepared to gush tears. What you cannot see is the joy that he experienced moments before. We were dancing while his sister was watching and eating a banana, and his laughter was so contagious that I couldn’t help from laughing. You see, the photographers want to tell a story; they want to tell a story that sells, rather than a story that is real. It’s totally different when you actually enter into the story. I have made it my personal intent to share the stories that are real in the midst of this crisis.

Later that day, I walked up the train tracks and spoke with a man who shared a bit of his story, which began in Iraq and by the time we talked, he and his family had walked for 50 days. While this same story has been told many times along this route, my heart broke as he lifted his shirt to show me a catheter with which he had been walking this whole time. He had cancer, and they were hoping to arrive in Switzerland for a better life.

Saturday, things had changed for us, just as they had for the refugees. The borders closed in Hungary, and the camp we had worked in was now an empty field. The routes to freedom needed to change. We traveled to the border crossing between Croatia and Slovenia with the OMS van full of volunteers and resources. While the stories were different, the hearts were the same: we want freedom, safety, and HOPE.

Not only did we serve soup, fruit, and water, but we kicked a soccer ball, smiled when people asked for selfies, and listened to their stories and their expressions of gratitude to us for being there. I’ll be honest, sometimes I’m prone to judgment, but every time I asked questions or heard a real story from a refugee, my walls were broken down, and I saw that they are just normal people.

Families on a journey, communities in flux, and volunteers in motion. The transient nature of refugee life is not all that different from our spiritual walk. I can’t help but think of the journey of the Israelites, not having a “home,” only the hope for the Promised Land.

By Lauren Pupillo, OMS Hungary Missionary

Tags: refugees, europe, hungary, croatia, missionary flexibility,

Village Church Planting - The Method Explained

September 24 2015

by Aaron Taylor


Our previous post introduced you to the church planting method that has hit Africa by storm, creating many worshiping communities and bringing many people to Christ. Now let's really look at what makes Village Church Planting (VCP) such a powerful method.

12 Multiplication Principles

All of the methods used by Every Community for Christ (ECC) utilize 12 biblically-based multiplication principles. The principles are:

  • Fervent Prayer
  • Abundant Gospel Sowing
  • Intentional Church Planting
  • Scriptural Authority
  • Equip Local Leadership
  • Mobilization of Lay Leaders
  • Cell Church, House Church, Village Church
  • Churches Planting Churches
  • Church Reproduction Without Delay
  • Healthy Churches
  • Immediate Incorporation of New Believers into the Life and Ministry of the Church
  • Active Training While in Ministry

While all of these principles are found within the method, VCP emphasizes the areas of equipping local leadership; establishing cell, house, and village churches; church reproduction without delay; and immediate incorporation of new believers into the life and ministry of the church.

Village Church Planting (VCP) is a focused process to plant churches in the unreached villages of Africa with a trained-in ministry philosophy. Through this outreach, hundreds of Africans are coming to know the Lord each day and multiple churches are being planted daily across the continent.

VCP Vision Statement

The VCP program aims to plant spiritually maturing churches in every African village.

VCP Mission Statement

The VCP program seeks to facilitate the planting of spiritually maturing churches in all unreached African villages by mobilizing the body of Christ to train indigenous church planter pastors to start church planting movements.

The Process

This method begins by appointing a coordinator with proper training within a village in Africa and continues by eventually instructing indigenous churches to go and plant multiple churches, and to appoint and train pastors for these churches.

There are three steps, or levels, in the VCP process:

  • Level 1: Appoint a VCP Coordinator to supervise the work in a region or country.
  • Level 2: Establish training centers in market towns surrounded by unreached villages.
  • Level 3: Train bivocational pastoral workers who come to the training centers from the surrounding villages, and who plant churches that multiply in other villages.

Therefore, as you can see, the program has a built-in support system where new church plants are nurtured by older, more experienced church planters. Entire villages are taught sustaining practices by their coordinators through the imperishable life that comes from the ultimate source, Jesus Christ.

For Additional Resources Visit:

intoafricaproject.org/vcp/

onemissionsociety.org/ecc

or like us on Facebook !

Tags: every community for christ, methodology, ecc, village church planting, vcp, method,

Village Church Planting - An Introduction

September 22 2015

by Aaron Taylor

This week we will focus on one of the church planting methods that Every Community for Christ (ECC) uses, Village Church Planting (VCP). We'll see why it was chosen and how modern missionaries use it.

What is Village Church Planting?

Village Church Planting is a subsection of the Into Africa Project, a ministry of One Mission Society (OMS), and the official church planting method that is used in a majority of African villages. The process was developed in order to evangelize and plant churches in unreached villages in Africa.

Hundreds of men and women are coming to the saving work of Jesus Christ through this training-in-ministry process so often adopted by many ECC church plants.

How is it used?

Associated with VCP is a goal called The African Challenge. The end goal of The African Challenge is to have planted a church in every village in Africa by the year 2030. In order to do this, VCP relies heavily on the youth of African villages to lead an evangelical pursuit in their own context. Through coordination and training, churches all over Africa are spreading like wildfire. The VCP church planting method is specifically targeted for use throughout Africa, but that isn't to say that it couldn't be used elsewhere with a little adaptation.

Statistics

Since its conception, VCP has planted more than 42,500 churches throughout Africa, and nearly 5,500,000 members have committed their lives to Jesus Christ.

For Additional Resources Visit:

intoafricaproject.org/vcp/

onemissionsociety.org/ecc

or like us on Facebook !

Tags: every community for christ, methodology, ecc, intro, village church planting, vcp,

2 Generations of Missionaries in Japan … 100 Years Apart

September 18 2015

I wanted to share our family’s connection with OMS Japan.

In 1912, my great grandmother's brother Edward C. Oney was a student at God's Bible College in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1913, Uncle Ed felt God calling him to be a missionary to Japan. In 1914, he joined the Oriental Missionary Society or OMS, (today known as One Mission Society) and in July of that year, he arrived in Tokyo.

Uncle Ed and his team walked from house to house in the cities and throughout the countryside, often as much as 20 miles in a day in what was called the Great Village Campaign. Rev. Oney shared that he had actually worn out new shoe soles in a single day, climbing the steep rocky paths to rural villages and houses.

In 1915, exactly 100 years ago, Rev. Oney returned to the United States to raise more money and recruit volunteers for the bands of workers, but most of the time between 1914 and 1917, he was in Japan engaged in the work of literature distribution.

In 1917, Rev. Oney returned home to enlist in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army. Although offers of training for the chaplaincy and an officer's commission were made, he steadfastly refused, believing his greatest usefulness could be enjoyed as an enlisted man. One week after reaching England, they crossed the channel and landed in France, where they moved to the front in the midst of the Battle of the Argonne Forest. Rev. Oney was soon a Sergeant First Class with some 250 men under his command.

While Uncle Ed never returned to Japan and instead traveled throughout the United States as an evangelist, eventually retiring as the superintendent of the West Virginia District of the Church of the Nazarene, I'm sure he carried a burden for the people of Japan and prayed for them often.

Fast forward FOUR generations. Uncle Ed's niece, Grace, had a son named Arney, who had a daughter named Vicki, who had a daughter named Tori.

When Tori was a girl at summer camp, she heard missionaries to Japan speak about their mission work. She came home and told her family that she felt God calling her to be a missionary.

Some time later, missionaries to Japan spoke at our church in Pennsylvania. That day, God put a calling to Japan in her heart.

Tori graduated from high school and enrolled in Cedarville University with a major in International Studies and minors in Bible, Asian studies, and teaching English as a second language. She graduated from college in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts from the School of Biblical and Theological Studies.

ori then boarded a plane, heading for Tokyo for 10 weeks this past summer, teaching English and working with OMS missionaries in and around Tokyo, following in the footsteps of her great, great Uncle, Rev. Ed Oney, who 100 years ago walked on the same ground, taking the same Gospel message to the same people with the same mission board, OMS, that Uncle Ed served under!

By Vicki Pastrick, friend of OMS

Tags: historical oms, generational missions, japan, great village campaign,

Every Community for Christ Methodology - Intro

September 17 2015

Over the next three weeks, we will be posting a series about the three church multiplication methods used by Every Community for Christ (ECC): Village Church Planting (VCP), Training for Trainers (T4T), and Train and Multiply (T&M).

All three of these methods have been tested and proven effective by church planters from across the globe. Every Monday we will introduce a new method, and finish up every Thursday by explaining the ins and outs of each individual method.

Beginning this Monday, we will focus on the first multiplication method, Village Church Planting. Along with this series, we sincerely hope to post additional blogs that will equip you with Stories from the Field that will describe how each of these methods is being used practically.

We are so excited to have you join us on this journey through our own church planting methodology, and we can't wait to hear any feedback or questions you may have. It is such a blessing to share the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfill the Great Commission alongside each of you using these three methods.

Blessings,

The ECC Team

Tags: every community for christ, methodology, intro, ecc, village church planting, vcp, training for trainers, t4t, train and multiply, tm,

Home for the Desperate (Refugees)

September 15 2015

We drove through cornfields and Hungarian countryside for barely a kilometer before we started seeing the clusters of people walking toward bus stops and train stations. They were recognizable by their dirty, disheveled appearances, their small packs and their weary faces. We passed them and continued on toward the place from which they had eagerly departed. The poorly paved road suddenly was congested with buses and cars, news media vans, and police vehicles. And then we were there … the make-shift campsite where thousands of refugees were waiting to be processed by Hungarian officials and granted asylum.

I stepped out of my vehicle and stood a moment just taking it all in. Everywhere my eyes looked, there were tents, and trash, and people. All sorts of people: men, women-old and young, children, and infants-able-bodied and disabled. Everywhere I looked, there were people. I tried hard to get a sense of my surroundings and wondered where the best place to start was when I was startled by a man’s voice. So deep in thought, I did not see the middle-aged man that had walked up beside me. He spoke broken English, but the urgency in his voice was unmistakable.

“Shoes?” I quickly turned to face him, drawn back from my overwhelming thoughts to the reality in front of me. “I’m sorry?” I mumbled. He saw the confusion in my face and attempted again, “Do you have any shoes for me? I need shoes.” I quickly glanced down at his feet. Soiled feet in torn and flimsy sandals stood before my clean and nicely tied tennis shoes. “I’m sorry...” I managed to reply, “I don’t have any shoes today.” The man nodded and said, “Thank you,” and quickly disappeared back into the crowd of people.

The rest of the team had already begun cleaning and picking up trash as I reached for the box of M&M’s I had brought to pass out to some of the children. They were happy and full of smiles as I started to hand out the small bags of candy. In spite of their pleased faces, I couldn’t stop thinking about the man’s desperate plea for shoes. His was the first request I heard, but unfortunately it wasn’t the last. And a picture was quickly painted for me of the amount of desperation these people were feeling.

Yes, desperate for shoes, or clothes, or food, or blankets ... but also desperate to be able to stop running. Desperate for information or help or safety. Desperate for freedom and desperate for hope.

I realized as I returned home that night and gave our daughter a bath in a nice tub of warm, soapy water, and as I helped our boys finish their homework and pack their lunches for school the next day, that I don’t know the kind of desperate that these people do. I’ve never had to pack up my family because our street was blown apart by bombs or war. I’ve never left all my earthly possessions behind and lived out of a backpack for weeks with small children. I’ve never had to walk 18 hours a day, for more than 50 days straight, across foreign countries because I feared the border would be closed before my family reached freedom. But I am reassured by the One who knows this kind of desperate. Jesus helped desperate people. He healed. He fed. He gave hope. He calls us to show his love and his mercy to the least of these. He calls simply for us to offer what he himself would give. He calls us to be his hands and his feet and his mouth, showing his love to all people, bringing light to the darkness and hope for the desperate.

By Corinne Long, OMS Hungary missionary

Tags: refugees, europe, serbia, middle east, migration, migrants

Stories From The Field

September 10 2015

For today's post we have various stories from mission fields around the world. These stories include church planters who have begun using the Train & Multiply curriculum, as well as courageous men and women sharing the Gospel in their own cultural context. We hope that these stories will inspire and encourage you to continue the great work of the Kingdom.

Job Vilma - Haiti

by Job Vilma

Job Vilma, 38, is the ECC Trainer in Haiti. He and his wife have a five year-old son. Job did not have an opportunity to begin his schooling until he was 13. Since that time, he has completed grade school and high school and earned a seminary degree.

The leader that Job has trained uses a bicycle for transportation. To reach his congregation, a one-way journey requires two and a half hours of riding, followed by three hours of walking, and he makes this trip seven times a month. One Sunday a month he goes to his local church to participate in taking the Lord’s Supper.

In 2013, a house group was started in Orange, and a month later this group birthed a worshiping group in Pillet. When this group was three months old, they started a group in Blankan. Now the following pattern has developed: The Pillet group meets together every Tuesday, and the Blankan group every Thursday. On Sunday, they come together and meet in Augarde, on the mountain. At their first combined service, 30 people were present.

Job makes a point to be with the believers at Augarde every second Sunday. Believers from the congregation he attended prior to becoming a trainer often accompany him on this trip up the mountain.

Raju – India

by Raju

My name is Raju. I am almost twelve years old and live in a village in India with my father, my mother, and my brothers and sisters. I am very blessed because I am able to go to school, but millions of children are forced to work and never learn to read or write. My father is like that. He cannot read, so I help him by reading the Bible to him so he can preach and start new churches. I also teach the other children in my village about Jesus. One day, my father took my mother and me to a big city where he was going to learn how to be a Bible storyteller. We joined him in the training room, although we sat to the side. I listened very carefully and studied the picture that the storyteller put on the wall for each story. After four days of training, the storyteller asked for people to stand by the pictures on the wall and tell all the stories in order, from Creation to the Resurrection. Several adults tried to do this, but they needed help from the others. Then I asked if I could try. The storyteller smiled and said, “Yes, Raju, you tell the stories.” Do you know what happened? I told all the stories, and the storyteller said that I was the best storyteller of all! Now I can be the storyteller for our village and help my father even more. I can tell him the stories over and over again so that he can go to other villages and tell people about Jesus. How do you tell people about Jesus?

Tags: stories from the field, job vilma, raju, haiti, india, ecc training, train and multiply, bible, storytelling, evangelism, jesus,

Stories From The Field

September 10 2015

For today's post we have various stories from mission fields around the world. These stories include church planters who have begun using the Train & Multiply curriculum, as well as courageous men and women sharing the Gospel in their own cultural context. We hope that these stories will inspire and encourage you to continue the great work of the Kingdom.

Govardhan - India

by Jim Hogrefe

Govardhan from Madya Pradesh had tried to plant churches, but had no success because he did not know where to start. He came to a Train & Multiply training event and then went back to his village and trained others. One of the people groups in his village had no believers, so Govardhan prayed and one person from that group believed. Govardhan made him a disciple and after several months invited him to become a pastoral worker. At first the man was hesitant, but they prayed and Govardhan said, “If God is telling you to share the Gospel, I will help you.” Together they went to the man’s people group and began looking for persons of peace. Now there are fourteen families (53 people) who have believed and formed a church to help each other grow in the Lord.

Angela - Colombia

by Greg Carlson

As Angela hung up the phone she gripped her brother's arm and said, "You've got to come with me!" Her family, members of a fourth generation house church in Medellin, Colombia, had been evangelizing in the streets near their home. The phone call was from her neighbor who was pleading for Angela to come pray for her sick mother. Angela was afraid. She had never done that before.

McGregor, Angela’s brother, agreed to go along for moral support. He had only chosen to follow Jesus weeks earlier after previously listening indifferently to the Bible studies in his cramped living room. As Angela sat beside the ailing woman, the only prayer that came to her mind was what we call ''the Sinner's Prayer." She asked the woman if she would like to pray to ask God to forgive her sin, and the two prayed together. The next day, Angela learned that the woman had died.

Attending church the following Sunday, Angela spoke with the pastor's wife and said, "I just hope the Lord will have mercy on her." "Why, Angela," the pastor's wife replied, "you gave her the offer of salvation, and she accepted! It's because of your visit that she is in heaven today!"

Tags: stories from the field, jim hogrefe, greg carlson, india, colombia, govardhan, angela, train and multipy, church planting, sinner's prayer, salvation,

The Least of These: Ministering to Refugees in Hungary

September 10 2015

I saw her through the open flap of the tent (this photo is of another young mother and her son). A young mom in her 20s, a floral shawl wrapped around her head, exposing only her face. She was dressing her infant son. Barely the size of an American football, the baby wiggled about with jello-like movements as the mother pushed his hands through small coat sleeves. She smiled at him, and I could see her lips moving as she stood alone talking to him.

It had come together so quickly. In less than 24 hours, a community of believers, both Western missionaries and Hungarians, had collaborated as one to put a compassionate outreach together to minister to the needs of the mostly Middle Eastern refugees flooding through the borders of Hungary. We set up a “baby-washing station” for the transients to bathe their infants with warm water, soup, and clean towels. We also provided a hot soup meal for about 450 arriving refugees who, no doubt, were tired and hungry.

Our team stepped out in faith and bought tents, blankets, and sleeping bags. After dropping off the supplies, OMS missionary Viktor Rozsa, a Hungarian volunteer from our church, and I drove to a small town to pick up 500 liters of hot soup. While they were unloading the soup at Budapest’s Keleti train station, I realized I hadn’t seen the ministry tent set up, and I wanted to see what it looked like. That’s when I saw the young mother through the flap.

When I saw her smile as she spoke with her child, it occurred to me what a strange set of events had brought us both here … to this place, at this time. A mother from Syria, doing what she had probably done many times before in her own country, washing her infant son, yet this time, in a plastic tub, heated by a coffee pot, in a tent, in a Budapest train station. Me, a missionary kid and current missionary from the U.S., called to serve in Hungary in leadership development, yet serving soup to hundreds of refugees.

While communication was limited, and tragic circumstances created this situation, I was reminded of Christ’s powerful words, “What we did for the least of these, we did for him.”

––Jonathan Long, OMS Hungary Field Director

If you'd like to make a donation to the Middle East Refugee Fund, #408140, click here.

Tags: hungary, tent city, refugees, middle east, soup kitchen, european crisis,