An update from Kyle Huber, Lead Pastor of Greentree Church in New Jersey USA;
Kyle spent two weeks in Belarus working with leaders of a dozen churches to bring encouragement, and training in discipleship and biblical leadership. Prominent themes included “A Biblical Understanding of Weakness and Strength”, “Unity in Mission”, and “Leading in the Home”. The desire these church leaders had for instruction was an encouraging sign for continuing fruitfulness.
A significant issue discussed with leaders throughout the trip was how to best disciple and train future church leaders. The lack of young leaders is a critical problem for the Belarusian Church. This is true for a variety of reasons:
- Culturally, leadership has been left for those who are older
- The hardship of life for church planters and pastors has made pastoral ministry unappealing for the younger generation.
- Economic pressures have made residential studies unattractive for young people, and virtually impossible for those with families.
In the coming year, SEE Global (an organisation based in Belarus started by Greentree Church, with the object of developing healthy churches in Belarus) will continue to explore ways of strengthening discipleship and leadership training in churches through two primary initiatives:
(1) A two year program for training students who will gather monthly. The goal is to strengthen present and potential church leaders in subjects essential to church leadership and mission.
(2) Visiting teachers spending 5-6 days with an individual church, involving teaching and discussions with church members each night, and seminars and preaching on the weekend. Ample time will also be set aside for individual meeting time with pastors.
Our prayer is that as churches are strengthened and their influence is felt in communities, the restrictions the government has historically placed on public church activity will soften, and ultimately, that many more in Belarus will come to experience our Glorious Risen Saviour through the work of healthy local churches.