“Planting new churches is the most effective strategy of evangelism under heaven!” These first words from my doctoral mentor Dr C. Peter Wagner as I stepped into the Strategies of Church Growth class at Fuller Seminary have remained with me ever since. Experience and practical ministry have since proven this to be so.
Therefore, church planting has been one of the primary pillars of AFnet’s ministry over the past 37 years. Of course, as strategically important is training and equipping Christian Leaders to ensure not only quantity, but the quality of churches being planted. Our goal always is to see Christ-centered, Bible-believing, and self-multiplying churches planted. But the Church also has a compassionate role to fulfill according to the Apostle’s mandate in James 1:27 to care and provide for the widows and orphans. Thus, AFnet’s 3rd arm and focus on Orphan-care.
Today we highlight a few young pioneer church-planters, trained and sponsored by AFnet, all working amidst difficult and challenging deep rural situations.
Timothy & Mercy Chileshe: Pastoring a small, 55-member church-plant in Mporokoso village. A graduate from Kaniki Bible University, this dedicated couple chose to go to this difficult rural area as evangelist church planters. They need help to complete the roof of their small church building.
Clinton & Rachael Banda: Recently graduated from Bible School, this couple currently serves in Mbereshi while being observed and considered for placement to take over the pastorate of one of our anchor congregations at Serenje.
Alfonso & Emma Chibwe: Both Bible School graduates, they work side by side, and currently in language and culture training under the mentorship of Bishop Mumba. He a widower and she are now married just a year. They asked to be sent as pioneer church planters to the virgin territory of Mumba village, with a very different culture and language.
Living Chanda & Naomi Mumba: Living Chanda, one of our fine young evangelists is engaged to Naomi Mumba, hoping to get married early next year. Currently working alongside Brian Muchochoma in Mongo, Living’s evangelist gift adds great synergy to this church planting team.
Vincent and Beatrice Mulenga: A week after we commissioned and sent this couple on their first church planting assignment two years ago, their baby died. Devastated at the time we brought them back to Mansa where they spent time being counselled and further equipped for ministry. They recently indicated that they are ready for a new assignment, and, with a new baby in arms asked to be sent to another difficult area, Milenge, a village steeped in witchcraft and dark practices. They need our prayers!
Reality evidences that you and I can never qualify; linguistically, culturally, or practically to fill the shoes of those sacrificially able and eager to serve as frontier missionaries and church planters among their own. However, you and I can make it possible for them to go. Ready on the sidelines are many dedicated, equipped, and committed servants of God, equally qualified and ready to be commissioned for service. Their only hindrance, a lack of support. For a $100/month commitment over two years can help us train and saturate the sub-continent with hundreds of ready-to-go Young Emerging Christian Leaders.