On the third day of the IPFBM All-Partners Conference, Cyrus Wanyonyi brought a message about the blessings and challenges of planting churches in Kenya. International pastors and laypeople are meeting Monday, Nov. 6 through Friday, Nov. 10 in Tagaytay City, Philippines, for this conference of the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries.
Wanyonyi, director of Good Soil Baptist Churches International in Kenya, says that in Kenya it is easy to start the church-planting process by first reaching children. “At any time,” he says, “we could gather 100 kids,” particularly through football, or soccer; eventually the church leaders hosting sports games establish relationships with the players’ parents. “When the youth become part of the establishment of the church, they take ownership. They feel like it is their church,” Wanyonyi says.
Jeannie Vogel, a Regular Baptist Press author and the wife of Jim Vogel, executive director of the Northeast Fellowship, continued her morning teaching ministry to the ladies. She clarified what God’s Word teaches about God, ourselves, and ministry and pointed out current trends that can sidetrack women from forming a Biblical viewpoint of these three topics.
Following reports from association leaders, Chris Hindal, director of Regular Baptist International, asked guests to tell the group about ways they share the gospel with their communities. Pastor Sujayakar Israel of Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Andhra Pradesh, India, gives treats to the Hindu children near his church. “I always take chocolate packages with me wherever I go,” he says. “So when they come for a chocolate, I give them a portion of Scripture to memorize. Then I hold competitions for more prizes. The Hindus will read, hear, and memorize God’s Word. They will recite that Jesus is the Son of God to win a prize. They are exposed to the gospel, which has power and bring them to Christ in due time.”
One of Chris Hindal’s goals for the conference is to find more ways for the international guests to work together for mutual benefit. During an afternoon session, he met with leaders of five Bible colleges and seminaries in Asia. Getting acquainted, the leaders shared with each other their schools’ history, student population, programs, and faculty acquisitions. The hope is that in the future these leaders can talk with one another about the challenges of school life.
In his church planting track, Clare Jewell, national church planting coordinator for Regular Baptist Churches, said every church needs to develop a key system, or process, for reproducing ministry leaders. That system, he says, should be ingrained in the church’s DNA and needs to be easily passed on to laypeople. Citing 2 Timothy 2:2 (“Commit these [teachings] to faithful men who will be able to teach others also”), he challenged the guests to train people how to share their testimony in less than three minutes.
“To be successful, we can’t just produce followers,” Jewell says. “We must develop leaders—disciples capable of making disciples. The two main reasons churches don’t get planted is because we are not making disciples and developing church leaders. As a parent, there came a time when I realized I wasn’t just raising kids; I was raising parents. The same is true in churches. We are not just raising disciples; we are raising disciple-makers. If we are not reproducing disciples, there’s not much point in planting churches.”
Philip Fernandez, national director of Campus Bible Fellowship of the Philippines and pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Davao City, Philippines, spoke in the evening session. Jesus’ mandate to make disciples involves entrusting the right message to reliable people, with spiritual multiplication in view, Fernandez says. In obeying Jesus’ mandate, people can keep three key motivations in mind: a fruitful life here on earth and future rewards in Heaven; the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16–20); and ultimately for the fame of God (2 Tim. 2:3–13). Fernandez says, “We can do the task God has given to us because He provides us also the means for its accomplishment: His grace.”
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