I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. (Phil. 1:3-5 – NASB95)
At a recent STN International Board meeting, we were discussing how faithful STN’s prayer warriors and donors have been since the very beginning. As an organization, we really don’t do a lot in the area of fundraising. We often wish we could do more, but our board is comprised of all volunteers and we don’t have the time to focus on that component of the ministry. That is why we are so thankful to God for all of you and the way you support this ministry. Some of you have been supporting STN since we incorporated 10 years ago. Words cannot express how grateful we are for your generosity. The gospel is spreading into unreached areas and churches are being planted because of your faithfulness.
Because of your sacrifice in giving, the Board feels very accountable to use the funds as wisely as possible. We prayerfully seek the Lord, research what the needs are around the world, and then focus our energies on what we believe will make the maximum impact for Christ. As the Lord opens new doors for ministry we seek Him to know how to best utilize the resources He has provided for maximum impact. Right now, that means we are focusing more of our attention and financial resources on regional trainers.
The First 100
In the early years, we were training 100 church planting pastors in India and Nepal, and fully financially supporting about 40 of them (including two medical doctors). It took us about six years to train those men and they are being used mightily of God in unreached villages. Over the past few years, the training ministry has expanded into more areas of India and Nepal, and we started new ministries in Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala and Southern Mexico. Instead of training 100 men (twice each year at two training centers in India over a 6-year period), we are currently training 500 men in about 18 different locations in six countries. Because they are able to meet weekly, the training can be accomplished in about 2 ½ years instead of 5+ years.
The Current 500
Right now, STN has over 100 people who have graduated from the BTCP training. Add in 500 people currently in training and we have a total of 600 who will be finished with the training by 2019. We are asking each of those people to find at least 10 more people to be trained. What kind of exponential growth are we considering? If we multiply by 10 every three years:
- Year 2019 = 600+ trained church planters
- Year 2022 = 6,000+
- Year 2025 = 60,000+
- 2028 = 600,000+ trained church planters going to unreached parts of the world where they can reach the lost, plant healthy churches, and multiply again and again.
Why train so many pastors and church planters?
There are nearly 3 billion people currently in unreached people groups with little to no access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those 600,000 church planters would have to each share the gospel with 5,000 people in unreached people groups to reach the 3 billion currently unreached. And more people are born every day!
The challenge with training that many men is not lack of vision, desire, or commitment. The challenge is the financial cost of supporting them after they are trained. Even at $100 per month per church planter (full support in the poorer areas of the world), the total cost would be staggering to the imagination. Just supporting 600 men would be $60,000 per month. Supporting 600,000 men would be $60,000,000 per month. Our current plan is to continue to support some of the church planters, but the future focus will be primarily on supporting the regional trainers. These regional trainers need our financial support so that they can each devote themselves to train, resource, and encourage hundreds of new church planters.
These men will provide on-going support and accountability to church planters as they go out by faith and plant churches for the glory of Christ.
Please pray for the financial resources to support our current regional trainers as well as more of them in the future as the Lord directs. If you know of any individual donors, small groups, churches, and/or foundations that would like to get involved with STN, please send them our way. The Lord keeps opening doors into new areas of the world and we need a lot of ministry partners to join us.
Thank you again for your partnership in this growing ministry. We know that you are giving sacrificially, and we are confident that our God “will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). May you enjoy His goodness each and every day, and may His grace and peace be yours in fullest measure!