Equipping Leaders: Creating the Future: Four Stories from the Frontlines
When Pastor Lawrence Temfwe completed his studies in 1999 at Wheaton College, he wrote his position objective as: “To create a bridge between the Western and the African Christians, which promote mutual respect, accountability, and partnership in proclaiming the gospel to the unreached people and in making meaningful contribution to the African desire for godly social peace and economical sufficiency.” But he had no idea what this would look like in reality.
In 2000 he founded the Jubilee Centre whose mission is to empower churches, communities, and their leaders to grow spiritually, flourish physically, and have a voice in the world. Over the past 13 years the Jubilee Centre programs have included following services to the churches: Contextualized Church Leadership Training, Care and Compassion Ministry (HIV and AIDS), Youth Ministry, and Children Ministry and Advocacy (especially around the UN Millennium Development Goals).
Photo: Pastor and Mrs. Temfwe during worship at Mapalo Bread of Life
Since its creation, Jubilee Centre has impacted over 400 churches in the nation and beyond. We praise God for the partnership with the global church which is making this possible. Here we share with you four stories that have happened in the last two months in order to illustrate how God has used Pastors Temfwe’s dream from 1999.
Willow Creek Community Church
When Pastor Temfwe read the book Move that contained results of a survey that was done by Willow Creek Association on over 1,000 churches and 250,000 congregants that identified activities that are most effective in helping people grow in their love of God and love for others, he quickly requested for 40 more books from Willow Creek. Pastor Temfwe passed out the books to key church leaders in each of the four communities Jubilee Centre serves, hoping that the leaders would read it and that it would enable them find out whether they were building churches that are focused on growing devoted followers of Christ. A year later, Pastor Temfwe went to the church leaders to find out how the book has been helpful to them. He could not believe their response. Up to 80% of the leaders who had started reading the survey could not continue because they felt the book was meant for the church in Europe or North America.
However, last month Pastor Temfwe got the breakthrough he was hoping for when Kellye Fabian visited Zambia. Kellye a lawyer by profession recently stepped down from private practice to join the Willow Creek Church staff and work as a part of their Care Ministry. During her visit, she spent two quality days helping 20 pastors study the survey and see how it can help them understand how the local church can impact members from a range of spiritual steps. At the end of the two days’ workshop, leaders were shocked to learn that involvement in church activities does not necessary result in church growth.
Church leaders left the workshop with an understanding that they should not just call people to serve but also encourage them to spend time with Jesus through studying the word. They were encouraged to teach people that Jesus loves them for who they are, not because they are serving the church. In the closing prayer a pastor prayed, “Lord help me to encourage the individuals in your church you called me to serve to spend time with you because you love them as they are, not because of what they do in your name. Father help teach members that it is in loving Jesus first, that they will serve the church better”
Photo: Kellye with Zambia Willow Partners at JC Resource Centre
Kellye also spent time with 10 program staff members of Willow Creek partners from Serve Zambia, Jubilee Centre and SOBIA. All the participants left with a new understanding on how they are going to help church leaders do ministry and demonstrate that the church is the hope of the community. Later she witnessed the presentation of four houses to orphans and vulnerable families. Kellye has also helped find funding for four Zambian churches, which feed over 480 children three meals each week. As she left Zambia for the USA she stated, “My time here has strengthened my faith and encouraged me to continue to grow and surrender my life to God.
Christ Presbyterian Church
Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina USA (CPC) is a key partner of Jubilee Centre which supports programs of churches in the George Complex. The activities they partner with include Care and Compassion Ministries (HIV/AIDS), Children Feeding Programs, Leadership Development, Intergenerational and High School Exchange Programs, Income Generating Projects, and simply helping to breaking the cycle poverty through the support churches and individuals. This month they are building two houses for orphans and vulnerable families and they have contributed funds to assist two churches in their construction of building of sanctuaries. They are also putting up a tank and a submissive pump to increase the life of the borehole and volume of water supply to the community around a local church in Lusaka.
Photo: Far left Pastor Bweupe, Pastor John Crosby and his wife Laura, with the team after the church service in Lusaka
During the first week of November the senior pastor of CPC, John Crosby and his wife Laura, together with the mission pastor and ten other people decided to visit George Complex. In welcoming John and his wife at Apostolic Faith Mission Church, the pastor, Rev. Bweupe, stated, “We are very much touched by your humble spirit and the Christ centred life you and your wife have exhibited to us. It is not easy for a pastor of 5,000 people of an upper middle class in the USA to leave his church and travel several thousands of kilometers to come and preach in an under extremely challenged church of 120 people.” Pastor Bweupe also shared in his speech about the book “Move” and how it is helping him to encourage church members to become devoted Christ followers.
St Nicolas Anglican Church, Reading
In 2000 Neil Warwick accompanied Pastor Temfwe to Bread of Life in Ndola. Neil Warwick was originally employed by World Vision and his future plan was to build up his business. But when he attended a church service in Ndola, he heard God tell him of His plans for full time ministry. He went back to UK and shared with his wife and, after much prayer over two years, Neil headed off to Cambridge University to study and prepare for ministry. Today Rev. Warwick is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church and leads St. Nicolas Anglican Church in Reading.
Last week, Rev. Warwick visited Zambia as a guest of Jubilee Centre working with churches mentoring groups deepening their understanding of how to search for the best in the members of a local church and the community around them. He led workshops to encourage and enable pastors to lead their congregations with a positive attitude and dream of the future. This process is called Appreciative Inquiry.
He helped church leaders to develop the art of asking questions and encourage people to see opportunities and resources within the community rather than starting with the problem statement. During one workshop, he paired the church leaders in two’s and asked them to share the best they see in each other. After the workshop, Pastor David Ngona stated, “Today I feel so encouraged because someone has shared something positive about me” To end the workshop, the pastors gathered together to pray over the dreams and destinies of their congregations. On his departure Rev. Warwick said, “I go back renewed and refreshed”
Photo: Rev. Neil Warwick with pastors from Chifubu network of churches
Reverend Neil Warwick is the Vicar of St. Nicolas Church in Earley, England. He has travelled throughout the world teaching and encouraging Christians in their work to live out the gospel. He has a deep connection with Jubilee Centre and has visited on several occasions. We are so thankful for his work and wisdom among us this week.
Global Leadership Summit.
When 12 key Zambian church leaders met with Gary Schwammlein from the Willow Creek Association five years ago to hear from him about the Global Leadership Summit few among us believed that a conference made up of showing DVDs would have such a national impact. Nevertheless, by faith each one of the leaders gathered bought into the vision and this year we had the largest Zambian Summit ever, attracting 985 at our two sights in Ndola and Lusaka. We had people as far as Serenje, Samfya, Kawambwa, and Kasama attend the conference at the two sites. We had politicians, business, labor union movement leaders, diplomats, senior pastors, college students, and others attend.
Photo: Far left Rev Pukuta Mwanza EFZ Director and Pastor Temfwe far right with pastors from Serenje
We thank God that the Global Leadership Summit was a huge success and many participants expressed their gratitude and excitement to go and use what they had learned. As we prepare for next year, we are already considering new sites where to hold the Summit. We are now working on next steps and plans to help participants fulfil their commitment to create the future God imagined.