“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Mathew 20:26-28
a Quick History
Over the years, a group of elders from different churches in our region noticed that even though there are many churches planted in different language groups, without missionary presence, there are still a lot of major needs for shepherding and discipleship, and that they are too dependent on missionaries and NTM for help. Furthermore, there was not a lot of fellowship and unity amongst these churches. Me, together with these leaders in New Britain and similarly in New Ireland started to take a look at what the Bible teaches the church should be and should look like and started to visit all the churches in New Britain, and showed how Gods Word shows that we are one church, with one father and one goal to be Holy as He is. During these last years, we visited churches and shared these truths. And slowly but surely this team has grown into a large team with representatives coming from most churches planted in New Britain. Our focus is to develop leadership within the Churches of New Britain and to equip them to address all spiritual, ministry, and technical needs themselves.
One of the greatest privileges I have is to work very closely with some men and their wives who are an inspiration and example to me! They are now living with us in our support center. They have been sent by their church as missionaries to come and live and work with me.
This (picture below) is Kewaka, Grace, and their kids, Lea, Eti, and Cameron. He is from the Maleu church and has been working together with me for many years. He has worked as an elder and church planter amongst the Maleu these last 20 years now.
This is Kaiko and Palava, on the right on of the picture below. He has worked nearly 30 years as an elder and church planter amongst the Ata people. Tumusi and Ki with the kids are on their left. He is a deacon in the Ata church and has been working together with Kaiko. His role is to start taking over a lot of the logistical stuff for the national church in New Britain. Thus helping them with their supplies, literacy and curriculum printing, etc.
WHAT ARE WE DOING
Developing vision – Kewaka and Kaiko are working with me as we are developing the vision to see a national leadership team developed for the churches in PNG.
Developing curriculum – We are developing resources that the churches could use in addressing needs and equipping.
– God’s Goal for His Church – from Genesis to Revelation.
– Biblical leadership model – An overview – Godly leaders result in Godly believers.
– Foundation matters – Truths that are crucial for a healthy church and healthy leadership.
– Dead or alive – How does a church look that is alive, and how do we get there.
– Discipleship – The most important way to preach.
– Using Gods Word – How to read with understanding, and application.
Teaching and discipling – We travel together to teach this material to the church leadership, and we teach them to use it. Usually, we first travel to three clusters, on one the North Coast, on the South Coast, and then one central. Here we connect with representatives from all the churches in those clusters. After we taught the material, we allow them to take it home study it and share it amongst their leadership in their languages. We then have a large meeting with all the representatives present in one location where we have followed up teaching and equipping. And finally, we will try and visit each church to teach together with local teachers. Through this repetition we thus get an opportunity, to teach equip, disciple, evaluate, and correct.
THIS YEAR UP TO NOW
Helping the Bala church – One of our goals is to get churches to work together and help each other, not just in spiritual and ministry needs, but also in technical or practical ways. This is a way to foster unity, function as a body, and portray the body functioning and working together. A recent project was to assist the Bala church in building a building in which they can meet for services and do literacy. We had many different churches donate funds towards this and also come and help build.
Helping the Ata church – The Ata church had major damage due to a tornado kind of wind that ripped of the roof and siding from the old missionary houses, which they now use for literacy classes, storage, office space, and larger group accommodation. Again, we had many different donations come in towards helping them and had a bunch of churches come together to help fix up these buildings quickly.
Leadership development in Central New Britain – Since January we have been working on developing 10 modules on Biblical leadership within the church. I, Kaiko, and Kewaka have been working on these here at our support center. When we eventually got the first draft completed, we had a test run among the Nakanai leaders right here at our support center.
Leadership development on North Coast – After we traveled in Central, we then traveled to the North Coast of New Britain where we taught the leadership modules again to the church leaders from the North Coast churches. It was awesome to see key leaders from 5 churches walking days long, traveling by boat, and sleeping next to the road, to come to the teaching. We taught about 10 sessions and had many different meetings with individual churches and their leadership. Here is a clip showing about our trip to Kombe.
An amazing story that struck me, was when spending time with a group of men who came walking three days from their cluster of villages. They are elders from the churches in that cluster. One of the members was ill when they started and then got worse as they traveled. Eventually, on the road, he died. They then buried him next to the road, marked the grave, and decided to first come to the meetings.
They said – “Mipla I no bisi lo dai, nogat em I go pas na mipla bai kam bihain” – We are not concerned about death, he went ahead and well come afterward.
– These coming weeks, we will be having meetings on the South Coast between the churches. These meetings again will be focused on leadership development and by then we would have covered all the churches in New Britain with this teaching.
– We will also be having a large meeting in August with representatives from all the churches in New Britain to help deal with a serious problem we are having in one of our older churches, where we are having a lot of disunity and a possible split taking place within the church.
– We are also planning a visit to New Ireland to visit the churches there and meet with the leadership. We hope to visit all the churches in New Ireland during that time.
– We will also be working on completing the resources to help leaders study God’s Word inductively and develop their curriculum.
– We are also planning on giving some additional training to national missionaries that are being sent out from their churches into other language groups. Many have been equipped well by their local churches, but they express the need for some additional help. Therefore, the leadership team is working on developing some modules that would assist these families. We are hoping to teach these modules to a couple of families this year.
Please consider helping us!
These key leaders are carrying the burden of the work financially, but we are trying to support them in some ways from time to time, as we work with them and disciple them and they likewise disciple us.
Please consider contributing towards this church leadership fund we have to help support some of these leaders and events. There are a variety way you can support this ministry. Please contact us for more details, or following this link —— “Supporting the national leaders in PNG“