A CHURCH BY EVERY TRAIN STATION
The strategic focus of The Wesleyan Church in the United States is best summed up in the statement: “Celebrating every time a disciple makes a disciple and a church multiplies itself until The Wesleyan Church has a transforming presence in every ZIP code.” The focus is saturating our communities with life-giving churches—here, near, far—no matter how hard.
One place that is far and hard is the city of Mumbai, India. Mumbai is the financial and entertainment capital of India. Think New York City and Los Angeles combined, and you start to get the idea. This megacity is home to over 23 million people. Some report that over 25,000 people move to the Mumbai area every day.
Diversity of the city is striking. People from multiple language groups in India move to Mumbai to find work, bringing with them a vast array of cultures. The world’s most expensive private home is in Mumbai—valued at over $2 billion US. And Mumbai is also home to one of the world’s largest slums.
In this overwhelming sea of human need, how can the Church hope to be a transforming presence? This is the question that the Gujarat District, one of the oldest Wesleyan churches in Asia, began asking in 2012. Their people sacrificed generously to launch three church planters in Mumbai. Led by Pastor Prashant Shinde, these pastors are reaching and discipling people across Mumbai.
What is the Mumbai equivalent of having a presence in every ZIP code? Having a church by every local train station. Millions of people pass through the 107 Mumbai train stations every day. In a few short years, these passionate church planters have already established regular meetings at eight train stations. And they are full of faith to multiply churches by the remaining 99 Mumbai train stations.
Here, near, far—no matter how hard. That’s the mission of the Church. And we are celebrating every time a disciple makes a disciple and a church multiplies, until The Wesleyan Church has a transforming presence in every ZIP code—and at every train station in Mumbai.
Cover Picture: Gateway to India in Mumbai: constructed to welcome King George and Queen Mary in 1911