We are presently experiencing in Africa, what is a growing trend in the widespread transformation of the global missions approach.
The traditional missions model predominantly relied on European and American missionaries being sent out and supported by large denominational and missionary organizations. These missionaries, at great personal sacrifice, lived amongst the people group or groups that they had chosen to serve. They spent years learning the language or dialect of the people, assimilating into the culture, overcoming suspicion, developing relationships and cementing credibility. All this before they could begin to minister effectively to the local population.
To encourage these embedded, dedicated missionaries, the sending organizations would provide material and financial support, as well as organize short-term mission teams to travel to faraway lands to help build churches, schools, hospitals, etc. As well-meaning as these efforts have been, and as powerful a legacy as they have left, effective on-going evangelism and church-planting, within a people group or nation, will always rely on the emergence of mission-minded leadership within that culture to carry the torch.
Just within the last few decades, we’ve seen the emphasis in missions rapidly shift away from a focus on large denominational and missions organizations, to more local or regional cross-denominational missions, focused on mentoring and discipling indigenous leadership and implanting in them a missional vision, both urban and rural. The responsibility of reaching the people groups of the world with the Gospel has shifted, at first almost imperceptibly, and now more and more obviously, to the indigenous churches and to Kingdom-minded leadership within the developing world.
LMC-Africa is committed to just such an approach. We have a three tier strategy:
1] Help to implant a missional vision in the heart’s of local church leadership by the use of the world-class ‘LIVE SCHOOL’ Missions Training Curriculum developed by our partners World Mission Centre, based in South Africa.
2] Select and approve young men, with a heart for rural church planting, recommended by these ‘LIVE SCHOOL’ intakes, to undergo 3-months of intense rural missions training and discipleship at the LMC-Africa Base Camp being developed in Kazungula, Zambia.
This very practical course includes numerous village outreaches, focused, demonstrated teaching, mentoring and discipleship, as well as
practical life-skills training such as farming, irrigation, well-drilling, water purification, carpentry, etc
3] Coordinate partnerships between U.S. and South African based churches and other groups to support worthy village-based projects being run by these rural church planters, such as well-drilling, formation of primary schools, job creation, farming, small businesses, etc
By the end of 2017, LMC-Africa plans to have approximately (25) operating ‘LIVE SCHOOL’s’ in (8) countries extending from South Africa north to Ethiopia, as well as a number of effective ‘Rural Village Revitalization Programs‘ in effect, by partnering with other churches, organizations and small groups in both South Africa and the U.S.
To God be the Glory!
“I have sometimes seen in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been.” – Robert Moffat (1839)