Over 60% of the people in the world do NOT learn as people in the West have traditionally learned.
Instead of books and academic teaching, they learn as Jesus taught the disciples —
through parables, stories, practical hands-on learning, and deep, personal interaction.
Leaders reached through our program*
WHERE WE SERVE
1 in 4 of the world’s people calls South Asia home. Christ’s gospel is making an impact; but most church planters are unengaged. With its array of groups, religions, and geographies, the church faces many challenges here.
Since 2010, we’re working among storycentric ministry leaders in India and Nepal. In 2020, a network in India launched an “Orality Institute of Leadership.” This accredited degree program will be the first to offer the entire curriculum of The Garden Project, our leadership development program, using story-centric methods.
A program leader hoped,
The participants will be equipped with both knowledge and experience to lead effectively. They will work in mentoring relationships alongside church planters, pastors, missionaries, and leaders of storycentric communities. They will gain unique understanding into sharing their faith, making disciples, planting churches, and developing other leaders.”
We started in Africa with Ethiopia, in 2015. The only country to evade 19th century colonialism, Ethiopia has a largely indigenous church. Folk religions, Islam, and Orthodoxy are strong too.
A facilitator observed, “Several months ago, an Ethiopian colleague was teaching one of Freedom to Lead’s modules to a group of church leaders in his network. Halfway through the four-day module entitled, Leadership for a Healthy Church, one of the older participants stood up and said,
You came very late! You came after we died. After we made many mistakes in the house of God. Why didn’t you teach us this earlier?
These leaders are some of the most under-resourced people in the world, and FTL’s program is the only Christian ministry of its kind that specifically gears leadership development for storycentric learners.”
In East Africa, we work with multiple networks serving church planters, ministry leaders, evangelists, social services, and the persecuted church.
We are expanding into a new network covering nine East African countries, including Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Uganda.
In 2018, Freedom to Lead began working with church and ministry leaders in southern Africa, a region that is as complex as it is beautiful. These leaders are from the Church of the Nazarene denomination and come from places like Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Botswana, and Mozambique.
After transferring The Garden Project to 40 pastors in his region, a pastor from Zimbabwe reported, “From the feedback I received from all the pastors and leaders it was truly a valuable lesson. It brought a different perspective to their way of leading the church and their way of participating to what the Holy Spirit is doing in the life of the church in general.
His ministry partner from South Africa was deeply impacted by The Garden Project’s first module, Leadership for a Healthy Church. When he came back for the second module, Leading Change, he told to us, “We kept asking after the first module, ‘What more could you possibly have to teach us?’ Then we got to this module and we’re like, ‘Oh, there’s so much more to learn!’ Because here, in South Africa, we are saturated with leadership development trainings and seminars – and I’ve been to a lot of them.
But this is the first one that speaks to actual situations in our contexts.”
We have commitments among leaders in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Togo, etc. (Francophone Africa refers to its French-speaking regions, mostly in its west.)
Recently, a participant in Cote d’Ivoire said, “If you feel called by God to do this training, we cannot wait 6 months.
We need to give this training tomorrow.”
Another said, “I’ve been quietly listening and I am thankful for God’s servants (FTL facilitators). The Lord has transformed many. I pray that they may be enabled to transform many more lives. For us,
let us not keep to ourselves but be like rabbits.”
In addition to maintaining operations in dozens of nations, Freedom to Lead has new opportunities emerging, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East. A new network of ministry leaders from Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Mauritania is scheduled to start soon, and more leaders from Egypt and surrounding countries have requested help.
Denominations and ministry networks we work with:
United World Mission, Belhaven University, Bridges Training Network, New Generations, Lifeway Mission International, SIM–Serving in Mission, Church of the Nazarene—Africa, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and Church of the Nazarene.
Our Next Step in Multiplication
A key component of our strategy is for each program participant to transfer the modules they have learned to another generation of leaders. Beyond this core strategy, we have found that a smaller select group of qualified master facilitators from each network/country are essential to sustain program momentum and to spur continued growth. Therefore, we have recently launched Master Facilitator Training Events to train selected leaders from various networks/countries to communicate our program – The Garden Project – using oral-based and adult learning methods. We have found that this training provides program momentum and acceleration in local contexts.
Together we can reach:
- rural pastors leading churches along the Pakistan border
- interior leaders of several Francophone African countries
- leaders in remote regions throughout East Africa
- influencers among persecuted believers in northern India and Nepal