Training Leaders to Multiply Churches

Training Leaders to Multiply Churches

Ankha is a pastor in Ikh Tamir, Mongolia, but this is not where she expected to end up. After high school she left her village to go to the city, 10 hours away, to attend a university for engineering. Influenced by her pastor, she transferred schools and began Bible college where she prepared to be a church planter. Her parents were upset with this decision and fought her. Nevertheless, Ankha persisted. After completing her four-year degree, she anticipated following her dream to plant churches in unreached villages. Instead, God led her back to her hometown to pastor the church she grew up in—the church where she met Jesus.

The church Ankha leads is the only church in the village. From the steps of the church, she can look out over the hillside dotted with small cinderblock homes and the more traditional gers (yurts). She can see a harvest that is ripe and is painfully aware that the workers are few. The neighboring village is without a church—her heart breaks with the need and opportunity. Ankha prays for new leaders and eagerly looks for new ways to train them.

There is a Bible college in the capital city of Ulaanbataar. Because of its distance from many of the villages, it is impractical for most leaders to leave their villages, move to the city, and support their families while attending school. There is the Quarterly Bible School where the Mongolian Wesleyan pastors and leaders gather at a centralized church location for training provided by visiting professors and missionaries. Even more opportunities are needed to train and develop church leaders living in these far-off villages.

During the March 2017 Quarterly Bible School, Ankha was interviewed for ordination. “I was nervous to come here and learn about Wesleyan theology,” she told us. “I was afraid that, after pastoring the church for this long, I would learn that I was not actually a Wesleyan and did not fit.” Then she laughed and said, “But I agree with what you taught. I believe it. I am Wesleyan.” We spent the next hour asking her questions about doctrine and her leadership, life, and call to ministry. We heard from her heart—truly a pastor’s heart. Ankha deeply loves God, sacrifices daily for her congregation, and begs God for more workers because she sees the great opportunities. She knows the harvest is plentiful, and the workers are few.

In September 2017 Ankha, along with Naraa, another Mongolian pastor, will be ordained. They will become the only two ordained Wesleyan pastors in Mongolia. Their desire is our desire—to see the gospel flourish all over the world. We will do this by working with the local leaders and pastors to train and equip evangelists, preachers, leaders, and pastors. We will continue to work to provide creative, affordable, and culturally appropriate ways to partner with God to raise up workers for the harvest.

 

Rev. Cory and Rev. Jennifer Ellison travel frequently to Mongolia as short-term missionaries from All Shores Wesleyan Church (Spring Lake, Michigan) where Jennifer serves as Associate Outreach Pastor.