Training Reflection: An Asian Country (April 2016)
“We are at a very sensitive position in the church in our country now and this training is exactly what the church here now needs. It is essential that all pastors and church members go through this because we need heaven to come home in the family and then in the church and then in society”.
This was one of the many overwhelming responses we received from leaders that were trained on Fatherhood in the Great East recently. The pain of the pandemic of fatherlessness in the country struck us at the outset, yet as God showed up and touching the lives of many of the trainees, we realised again that this region needs to move up very high on our list of priorities. There were 45 ministers from 10 organisations across 18 provinces and cities at the trainings, and we had an evening seminar on restoring marriages that was attended by 280 people from 150 families. A mix of pain and hope was evident throughout the training. The men were deeply moved as they started realising all the mistakes they were making as fathers and the enormity of the problem of fatherlessness in their nation, but realised that if they do fatherhood according to the Biblical principles, ‘heaven can come home’! True transformation happened in the training. We saw a remarkable start of a Fatherhood movement. God gave us more than we prayed for!
A very exciting reality in this country is that due to a certain measure of restrictive persecution, the church is prohibited from developing a hierarchical structure, organisational power, or using attractional performance in their meetings. This suits The World Needs A Father’s decentralised model perfectly, and it minimises the chance of restrictive centralisation. Practically, it forces leaders to be inclusive and reproductive in their strategy for the way forward. [bctt tweet=”These leaders were the first group I have come across to repeatedly say:’We have to support each other!'” username=”twnaf”]
During the training, the head of one of the most prominent Christian ministries in the nation decided to immediately hand over all responsibilities of his ministry to those under him and take a leave of absence so that he and his wife could be with their son who is studying in America. This was a clear indicator of how seriously they took the fact that you simply cannot be a good leader if you are not a good father. Deep confessions, transformation of thinking and sacrificial commitments to a new life-style were enveloped by a sincere and intimate sense of God’s presence. The hour of reporting on their future strategies was one of the most encouraging that I have ever attended. Amongst the highlights were a father saying he was so touched by the training, he compared that training experience to his being born again. Others said things like:
“It was not a three day training for me but a spiritual baptism. This is the first time I have been mentored since I believed in Jesus in 1997.”
“I am going home to implement this in my family first; then I will make sure I have a long term accountability structure…and then I will train.”
“It was a training in personal knowledge and real life. The whole church should be involved…and from the church the community will be influenced.”
Since our return they already had a follow-up meeting with 12 pastors where they strategised about the way forward:
- They want to find out when the TWNAF book will be available in their language.
- Some fathers started to teach their congregations about the importance of fatherhood.
- A team has been formed to review the whole book to make recommendations how to best use the trainers info.
- They will then form a team of trainers to give training in churches starting from that city.
- They are going to translate and add subtitles to the training videos we have on our Youtube channel, and plan on making some training videos similar to ours more suited to their culture and context.
We are so motivated by the overwhelming reaction in this country, and look forward to seeing how the movement goes from strength to strength here.