How does thinking about getting to ‘everyone’ change how you do things? Demeke is an evangelist in the Mekana Yesus church of the town of Dubti in Ethiopia. In September of 2014, he participated in MC2 training. MC2, which is a four phase training process created by Global Church Movements to equip people to launch new churches and faith communities.
Demeke faithfully implemented his training. A phase one assignment was to identify a person of peace through a strategy called “Prayer/Care/Share” in his network of family and friends. Those who respond would be the foundation to a new home fellowship.
Demeke applied the training in six locations which have now become six new churches around Dubti in the Afar Region. The Afar people of Eastern Ethiopia are nomadic Muslims, most with no known contact with a Christian church.
Now one community has a church with 103 believers, another has a church with 40 believers and a third has one with 65 believers. This third community launched a church in another community and this now has 38 believers. Finally, a fifth community has a new church with 11 believers. In addition, 77 new believers joined the existing congregation in the town of Dubti. This is a real miracle!
Asked, “How do you effectively minister in six places?” Demeke answered, “I prayerfully selected the sites. I searched for a person of peace who welcomed me with a positive attitude and asked him to have a fellowship time in his house. I shared Christ with him. As he accepted Christ, I encouraged him to invite his friends and neighbors to his house.”
Demeke then added “I guided them in how to study the Word of God and worship together. I appointed leaders from among them. I trained the leaders and encouraged them to take the initiative to coach others. Then I leave the area and go to another site and start over. Once in a while I will come back to visit. Sometimes I bring other church leaders to address some challenges they may be facing. I coach through phone calls as well as face to face meetings.”
How can God use one man to do so much in such a short period of time? Demeke summarized it best when he said “My focus is starting groups in new places then equipping leaders. It is the leader’s responsibility to help others to multiply and expand to other places.”
Demeke is not alone and God is using many others to launch new church planting networks like this in Ethiopia. Since that September 2014 training, 1,104 church planters have begun training in 33 locations. These training sites are sponsored by a network of partners ranging from recently planted churches, existing local churches and even an Ethiopian evangelical church in Dallas, TX. The map shows 30 of the 33 cluster locations, some not being shown due to the sensitive nature of their locations.
At last report, 629 groups and churches have been planted with over 7,900 members. The Spirit of God is moving and we believe that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:10-11)