OAK RIDGE INTERNATIONAL PEACE UPDATE
Togo and Benin are two small French-speaking, neighboring countries of similar culture.
- Togo has 7.6 million people.
- Benin has nearly 11 million people.
This trip was a part of our church’s 2-year partnership for building healthy churches in Africa. This initiative was sparked by the miraculous changes in the country of Rwanda due to their partnership with Saddleback church. The movement is now spreading to other African nations. These powerful changes and initiatives are known as the PEACE plan.
PEACE is a grassroots movement of local churches committed to becoming a healthy change agent for their communities. As a part of the initiative, PEACE churches partner together with other churches desiring to become healthy change agents in their community. These partnerships span from local to international.
Oak Ridge currently coaches 9 regional churches and partners with 6 international countries.
This was our second of the four trips we will be taking through July, 2018.
During the first trip in January, we taught the DREAM conference to 460 church leaders in Benin and Togo.
After the conference in each country the denominational leaders chose a select group of senior pastors that fully committed to become DREAM / Purpose Driven churches. We call them the Pioneer Team:
Since January, these pastors have made AMAZING progress in their churches:
- Training their leaders
- Enhancing their guest services
- Expanding their outreach
- And implementing the Base CLASSes
The pastors requested more training on how to turn their members into ministers – helping every person discover their unique SHAPE and using it to make a difference by serving as a volunteer. So, for this trip we focused on 3 primary objectives – Training , Coaching and building relationships:
The first objective of this trip was to teach the 1-day S.H.A.P.E. seminar to the church leaders in Benin and Togo. What’s most amazing is that the Pioneers are fully responsible for all of the logistics for these conferences. Our church provides the teachers, but they fund everything else!
We trained about 100 leaders in Benin:
And 120 leaders in Togo:
In addition to the conference, we met with the Pioneer Teams in both countries for continued coaching and encouragement.
The 1-day coaching sessions provided a powerful time of investment in these pastors who will be leading the future movement in their countries. The goals for the Pioneer Pastors are:
- Fully implement the DREAM/PD paradigm in their church becoming a model church for the movement
- Train more pastors in their respective denominations
- Raise up the next generation of Pioneer Pastors
- Multiply the movement!
Please pray for these men as they seek to implement what they’ve learned and become the seed for a healthy church movement in their country!
The third focus of our trips is to build relationships. We preached, shared testimonies and loved on people in multiple churches on 2 Sundays:
At one service, I even got to dedicate a baby!
So, WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
We are doing this because the Great Commission says,
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20, NLT)
We are doing this because Jesus said,
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NLT)
Jesus commanded every church to be on mission not just in their local community, but also in their region, nation and across the world.
At the end of each conference, I challenged the senior pastors who were willing to do whatever it takes to fully equip their people to transform their communities to stand up. Dozens of them stood and then I prayed a prayer of consecration over these pastors. It was a powerful moment.
WE ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE THE CHURCH IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD!
God has blessed Oak Ridge in so many incredible ways and He expects us to PAY IT FORWARD by being a blessing to the nations.
THANK YOU for being a church that truly cares outside the four walls.
THANK YOU for your incredible generosity that makes this all possible.
THANK YOU for letting me pastor the greatest church I have ever been a part of!
Thank you ORBC for being a WORLD CHANGING CHURCH!