In December 2016, we chose Global Disciples as our Joy to the World Offering recipient. Your giving went to support a new way of teaching pastors and planters in small business practices throughout Ethiopia. Rather than sending teachers from North America, the Global Disciples leaders are investing in new leaders to not only teach the “What’s In Your Hand?” material but to teach others how to teach the material.
This simple shift in strategy will not only multiply the number of teachers and participants, but it will also raise the opportunities to put this material into the hands of pastors and planters who are targeting unreached people groups. Below I have explained the various phases of this project and share more in-depth about the trip to Ethiopia.
Phase One (Completed)
In December 2016, we raised over $22,000 to help Ethiopian pastors and church planters become self-supportive in their family and ministry.
Phase Two (Completed)
Along with two other County Liners, I traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Also, an Ethiopian Pastor helped to teach several sessions. During the ten-day trip, we conducted two types of training. First, we taught the “What’s In Your Hand?” training. At the end of this training, participants have a full Strategic Business Plan to help them start a business. Second, we conducted a “Training of Trainers” seminar. The same teachers went back and retaught their sessions, giving the participants a “behind-the-scenes” version of each session.
Phase Three (Completed)
Global Disciples has eight discipleship programs throughout Ethiopia. Each program director is responsible for creating a program strategy to implement in their region of the country. Their strategy includes identifying teachers, qualifications for grants, and other pertinent information.
Phase Four and Beyond (In Progress)
The next phase will take more time as these pastors and program directors return to their regions, communities, and churches to teach this material. Also, they will be training new trainers, reviewing business plans and presentations, awarding grants, and following up with grant recipients.
There are multiple layers of “wins” in the small business development training conducted by Global Disciples.
1. The ability for these pastors to care for their family on their own, rather than rely on outside sponsors. Most of the churches they lead are not able to give much to the church, which causes a burden on the church, as well as the pastor and his family.
2. This program allows the pastor, and the church, to be at the center of community development. Pastors can extend the training to those in their congregation as well as those who don’t attend church. This gives the pastor, and the local church, an opportunity to impact its congregation as well as those in the community to meet basic needs.
3. The primary lens Global Disciples looks through is unreached people groups. Their focus is leveraging the small business development training in order to take the gospel into countries where Christ is unknown.
County Line Church will continue to partner with Global Disciples in countries where we are working together. Pray for both our church and Global Disciples as we continue conversations about future partnerships.
Nathan Tatman is the Mission Advancement Pastor at County Line Church of God.