Equipping local church leaders
when seminary is not an option
LeadersFor began in 2002 as a mission’s project of Huron Park Baptist Church (HPBC) in Woodstock, Ontario. At that time the church “adopted” a church in Honduras whose leaders asked to be "discipled." Their church had no pastor, and the seminary there had been closed several years before. The project was called Leaders for Latin America (LLA). HPBC accepted the responsibility for their theological training using Church-Based Theological Education (C-BTE) resources of Biblical Institute of Leadership Development International (BILD).
Shortly into the project, the 350 member Honduran Baptist Convention (CONIBAH) asked to have their leaders trained as traditional education options were becoming too costly. LLA was interested in the biblical paradigm following the imperative of 2 Timothy 2:2 which would result in trained local pastors and leaders who could train others.
A nucleus group of 25 pastors was formed. These pastors were interested in learning and committed to developing leaders in their own church and to training other pastors. This was the first generation of Honduran pastors. Countries outside of Latin America began to show interest, and the project name soon changed to LeadersFor.
Today that first generation of Honduran pastors train others in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. There are about 300 Honduran pastors and "Timothys”’ in first, second, third and fourth generations of trained church leaders. And the process continues.
Presently, LeadersFor has similar cohorts in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, India and Uganda. In May of 2011 a new cohort will begin in Kenya.
Outcomes of LeadersFor
• Serious and intentional Bible teaching
Several pastors now teach and prepare their members using the C-BTE material. Groups segregated by age study intentionally and seriously committing their minds, hearts and lives. A model among Honduran churches, El Planeta Baptist Church uses C-BTE to train about 80 men and women leaders.
• Spontaneous desire to plant churches
Several of the trained "Timothys” have lead mission works which became church plants. Several of these pastors have trained their churches to plant churches which would be led by their own trained men.
• Pastors desiring to learn and grow
The learning paradigm opened among pastors a desire to continue to study together. There are now groups of pastors who still meet on a regular basis for continued learning.
Impact of LeadersFor
• Regional: The impact that LeadersFor had in Honduras was felt in Central America, India and East Africa. In Central America, trained Honduran pastors started to train pastors and church leaders from El Salvador and Guatemala. LeadersFor is receiving calls from other countries in Central America and East Africa and other locations in India to start new cohorts there as well.
• Local: Fellowship churches in Canada partner with LeadersFor and participate. The testimony of local pastors is that it is a blessing to them and their church to partner with LeadersFor. It takes learning to be able to train, so the impact is both inward and outward. (See the article “LeadersFor: Connecting Ontario to India” by Dave Hunt on this website.)
• Fellowship: Today, the LeadersFor ministry team operates under the Fellowship's umbrella of ministries. It exists to introduce Church-Based Theological Education to church movements by certifying key leaders within their movements.
Needs of LeadersFor
Projects need trained pastors to facilitate as well as funds to operate. Partnering churches in Canada can send pastors and trained leaders to train the national leaders. Partnering churches in Canada can finance projects fully or partially.
Prayer of LeadersFor
We pray that every Canadian church in the Fellowship will partner with LeadersFor for the training of pastors and leaders worldwide.
Dr. Hannibal Muhtar is the coordinator of LeadersFor. For more infomation contact Fellowship International at www.fellowship.ca.