There is a great imbalance between the church in the United States and internationally. The ratio of theologically trained pastors to people in the U.S. is 1:230. The ratio of theologically trained pastors to people outside the U.S. is 1:450,000. More than 2.2 million pastoral leaders (and as many as 3.4 million by some estimates) presently minister, while ‘only 5% are trained for pastoral ministry’ according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
In the summer of 2015, God called me to reach out to those pastors and leaders. So that same year I beganLeadership Transformation International (LTI) a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation, dedicated to providing theological and leadership training to those who either have no access to training, or simply cannot afford it, or both.
These leaders are planting churches and reaching out to people in some of the most remote parts of the world; like the jungles on the Amazon river and the mountain villages of Nepal. They are the ones shining the light in some of the darkest, most difficult, and dangerous places like post-communist Russia and Muslim controlled Central Asia and Northern Africa.
So far, I have had the privilege of speaking to almost 9,000 pastors and leaders in 11 countries. I can’t think of anything I have done or could do that has the potential to impact Kingdom than investing in these pastors and leaders. I wholeheartedly believe that one of the most effective way to reach and disciple a nation is by training national pastors and leaders – who already know the language, culture, and customs – so that they can reach and disciple their own people for Jesus Christ.
Highlights from the Last Couple of Years:
A Russian pastor with his map spread out on a table and tears in his eyes showing us where he wanted to plant churches in the next few years. “You don’t know how much this conference has meant to us.” He said. “Many of us had lost hope and several have given up. We were so discouraged when we got here. Now God has re-awakened a vision in our hearts to reach our country with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Then a year later, I look over and there he is, holding anther map. He was grinning from ear to ear as he told me how he has been sharing the gospel in three of those cities and has already bought land, started developing a leadership team and has started construction on a new training center!
A taco stand owner in Mexico City who’s only request was for us to pray for him as he tried to reach out to the kids in a teen rehab facility. He asked us to pray that he would be a blessing to the teenagers who lived there. Many of them would come to his taco stand for lunch, and he wanted to make a small difference in their lives; to be a beacon of hope to those desperately in need of it, and to somehow point them to Jesus.
400 African Bible School graduates dancing in the rain and the mud after over 100 of their friends registered for the school. Then an hour later seeing over 200 others respond to the gospel and give their lives to Christ after the commencement message by one of our team.
A room full of Colombian, Peruvian and Brazilian pastors from the jungles of the Amazon praying together in a room because they have committed to developing new leaders and planting new churches in the villages of the Amazon that don’t have churches. Knowing that many of them have traveled several days, some even two weeks, one way, by the river and through the jungle, because they are so desperate for the training we provide.
One exciting new development has been that on the last four trips I have been asked to come back and teach an in-depth leadership seminar. So at this time, I am in the process of writing a leadership curriculum based on The Leadership Challenge, a seminar I teach through my corporate training in the states.
This presents an exciting opportunity to invest much more deeply in a smaller group of leaders. It also allows for a more significant level of training that is possible at a larger conference. However, it does not come without a cost. All of the conferences I have spoken at so far have been with Global Advance. Because of the financial situation of those that we serve, Global Advance helps cover the cost of the conferences. However, the leadership seminars will be through LTI and LTI will be the one helping to cover the costs of the seminars.
At the end of Philippians, Paul thanks the Philippian church for supporting him as he went out to minister to other churches. In fact, they were the only ones to do so. He wrote to them, “no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.” He says that by doing so, they were just as much a part of what God was doing as he was. They were “partners” in the gospel. That will be true of those of you who God leads to be part of what He has called me to do. We will truly be partners in ministry, because it is simply not possible otherwise. So again, please pray. Ask God if and how He would like for you to become part of reaching out to the nations for the sake of the gospel.
If you would like to partner with us financially to invest in the lives of these pastors and leaders, you can do so by simply clicking the donate now tab at the top of this web page; or you can mail your donation to: LTI, 2920 Lee Street, Greenville, TX 75401.
At this time, I already have more invitations to speak at conferences and train leaders than I can accept. It is my hope to grow LTI into a team of trainers so that we can reach even more pastors and leaders. Because every pastor and every leader we train represents a church. And if we can strengthen the leaders, we can strengthen the church, and the church will then be better able to reach a community. So, everything we do has multiplied impact. Please consider joining with us in this grand adventure God has called us to, and together we can reach the nations for the sake of the gospel.
I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:22–23, ESV