In March 2016, Hannibal Muhtar, International Coordinator of LeadersFor, travelled to Nigeria to look into the possibility of a new project there in partnership with TETMI (The Evangeliser’s Team Ministries International), a Nigerian organization that has been planting churches in south-east Nigeria for 30 years.
For three days, Hanni met with 43 representatives of these and other local churches in Akaeze, Abia state. It was an unusual group because of the diversity of education – half of the group had not gone beyond primary education, but the other half held degrees at the B.A. level, including two Ph.D.s and two M.A.s.
The purpose, method, and expected outcomes of a LeadersFor project were presented with much practical experience. Many indicated their willingness to commit to the program, wanting to start training others and developing their own leaders as soon as possible.
Here is a comment from one of the group members, Pastor Dike of Onwyke Emmanuel:
“IT IS INTERESTING. IT IS PURELY BIBLICAL. IT IS THE TYPE OF TRAINING AND EXERCISES WE NEED IN OUR GENERATION TO HELP OUR MINISTRY TO BE BIBLE-BASED. THE EXERCISES DEVELOPED A FOCUS ON THE GOSPEL MESSAGE, WHICH IS THE ONLY MESSAGE THAT INTRODUCES MANKIND TO JESUS CHRIST.”
Beyond the obvious enthusiasm of the participants, a crucial requirement for a successful LeadersFor project is a strong organization which owns the project at the receiving end. TETMI appears to be such an organization; it has excellent leadership, is aware of the need for developing leaders, committed to the process and able to follow up with the participants. On the ground, things looked very good.
As this project was being considered, support on the Canadian end came together quickly. Partners International (Canada) has long been a partner of TETMI and committed to it, as did three churches: Morningstar, Toronto, ON; Maple Hill, Keswick, ON; and Stoney Creek, London, ON.
This project marks a new country for LeadersFor and the most diverse educational mix of any project so far. We are getting excited at the potential as we seek to establish a generation of Nigerian pastors who effectively handle the Word of Truth.