How does thinking about reaching “everyone” with the gospel change how you do things?
Demeke is an evangelist from Ethiopia. He participated in an MC2 training, a four-phase training process to give people a vision for outreach and equip them 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 responded would be the foundation of a new home fellowship.
Using this strategy, Demeke planted six new churches in six locations in Eastern Ethiopia. One of the churches is among the Afar people.They are nomadic Muslims, most of whom had no known contact with a Christian church.
The first of the churches now has 103 believers, the second has 40, and a third, 65. This third community launched a church in another community, and it now has 38 believers. A fifth community has a new church with 11 believers. In addition, 77 new believers joined Demeke’s own congregation.
When 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. When he accepted Christ, I encouraged him to invite his friends and neighbors to his house.”
Demeke added, “I guided them in how to study the Word of God and worship together. I appointed leaders from among them, then trained the leaders and encouraged them to take the initiative to coach others. After doing this, I leave the area and go to another site and start over. Once in awhile I 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 this way: “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.”