What’s more, it’s practical training more than just education. With core elements of the “essentials,” drawn and distilled from my research and writing of over 40+ years, the focus will be on a mix of orthodox biblical beliefs, how to share their faith, and basic apologetics to give them an unshakable confidence in their beliefs.
Which is why your partnership and support in this effort will profoundly impact the lives of tens of thousands.
In short, we’re talking about a goal of rapid multiplication, not incremental addition. For the multitudes of new believers and tumbleweed Christians, time is of the essence.
As part of CRI’s continuing “Going Global” initiative, a priority is equipping multitudes of believers in the 10/40 Window and beyond. This area extends from the west coast of Africa to the east coast of Asia, between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. This region is home to over one billion people, most of whom have never heard the name of Jesus, let alone of the power of the gospel to radically transform their lives.
In addition to being home to roughly two-thirds of the world’s population, the 10/40 Window includes many countries characterized by great poverty and often miserable living conditions. And many governments in the 10/40 Window are overtly antagonistic, if not hostile, to Christian work of any kind. This means that Christian workers here know little if anything of the cozy Christianity that has characterized churches in the comparatively affluent West. Many of those we train work in communities that are downtrodden and impoverished. They serve slum dwellers. Widows. Orphans. The sick and the hungry.
And please understand this: Throughout countries in the 10/40 Window, being grounded in your faith doesn’t mean being able to debate the arcane or esoteric theological propositions of a “classroom Christianity.”
It means being willing to risk your life in the face of often near-certain persecution and potentially imprisonment or death.
Not only because you wish to share the abundant life that you have personally experienced in Christ. But because you have been equipped to share why your beliefs are grounded in the transformative truth of God’s Word. That’s why the training I’m doing is vital to so many. It’s done in a video format to distribute to key groups of pastors, church planters, missionaries, and lay leaders in such locations as India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Rwanda.
Given the dearth of even the most basic teaching among so many indigenous pastors where church growth has exploded, we’re talking about the ABCs here, not graduate courses in theology! By ABCs I mean the ABCs addressed in my book Truth Matters, Life Matters More.
Trust me. We’re not talking about abstract theological concepts that merely titillate. We’re talking about equipping fellow believers with biblical truths and tools that transform.
What makes this task urgent is not only the rapid growth of the Church in the Global South, but the increasing threats in many areas of persecution by militant Hindu nationalists and the hideous perversions of the gospel by prosperity preachers who easily prey on the spiritual and physical hunger of many innocent and trusting new believers.