Hallomai: Educating, Equipping, and Empowering African & Asian Natives to live to their fullest potential and excel for God's glory!

Educating, Equiping, and Empowering African & Asian Natives to live to their fullest potential and excel for God’s glory!

Indigenous Leadership Development Approach: The Desperate Need for Indigenous Leadership Development

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37-38)

Before diving into the massive work of evangelism, Jesus wanted His disciples to take a look around at the reality that there were not many people alongside this work.

Two millennia later, the harvest scene bears the need for this same appeal: “Ask for more workers.” Historically, global evangelism has emphasized the sending of missionaries out to places desperately in need of Gospel proclamation. Yet often times, it leaves behind large communities of Christians who sit by, passively agreeing. Whether the harvest is gathered in from an urban center or a remote village, there seems to be little for anyone else to do.

In other words, many honest Christians suffer what is called the “Surveillance Syndrome”. This syndrome is the result of Christians watching and surveying the landscape of religious activity without getting actively involved in the harvest work. It inevitably leads to being disconnected from the many good activities of world evangelism, or perhaps unconsciously opposed to it.

We often misunderstand the harvest work to be an evangelistic calling that pertains only to certain disciples. But when Jesus urged the Twelve to ask for more workers, His eyes captured the disheartening disparity between the numbers of workers available and amount of people left without a shepherd. Jesus saw no special class of disciples, or a separate “league of harvest workers.” He commands every one of his disciples to go out and make more disciples, and the passion in His voice for more workers is directed toward the ripe mission fields across the earth.

The importance of Indigenous leadership development cannot be overstated in this missionary era, for it is a key strategy in effective evangelism and disciple-making. The difference between going into a harvest field for long term missions and developing leaders from out of the harvest is so important to grasp. Time, resources, and even the human struggle to keep going are key factors that differentiate these two basic methods.

For long term missionaries, it takes several years to adjust to language and cultural barriers. These difficulties can be traps that burn missionaries out, or cause them to be sent from one field to another in the hopes of finding a more suitable ministry setting. All the while, the time invested in long term missions is an uncertain matter due to visa conflicts; our world is facing increasing travel and business restrictions. It’s devastating for missionaries to be forced to abandon their posts, after having grasped the language and formed deep relationships of trust.

Along with time working against the long term missionary, financial support that must be raised can be several thousand dollars per month. This high figure takes into account the need for permanent housing, reliable transportation, and other pre-determined costs set by the mission agency. The lack of these resources can delay work and become a lingering frustration.

Time and money are the concrete obstacles in the field of missions. But perhaps the biggest factor is being unable to quickly reduplicate the hard work and effort spent by the missionary. After so much has been invested, the ongoing pressure to bear fruit from among that one group of people leaves the desperate pleas from vast multitudes elsewhere unheard - who also need that missionary’s help. Hence, Jesus calls for more workers.

Indigenous leadership development is a missionary approach that treats these issues related to time, resources, and geographical coverage. This approach involves 1) the missionary team, and 2) the indigenous leaders.

The relationship between the two parties is what Hallomai seeks to develop and secure. Training existing pastors and raising local leaders with the knowledge and training necessary to lead their own people is the key to Hallomai’s work. These disciples are the ones who will serve and shepherd the harvest community at large.

Once they are educated, equipped, and empowered, the indigenous leaders face no language or cultural barriers to overcome, and they have no extra costs or transportation expenses. Yet over the course of one or two weeks of discipleship, instruction, and spiritual care, a great many indigenous leaders can be trained at no cost to them! For Hallomai, it would require less than $10,000.00 to train 200 indigenous leaders, with minimal costs for follow-up and ongoing support. This is a marked difference in comparison to the amount going to support a foreign missionary.

At the same time, the burden of bearing fruit falls directly, and more suitably, onto the shoulders of the native leader. With the amount of workers suddenly becoming available to tend the harvest fields, churches are sure to be planted and built up at an unprecedented rate.

Indigenous leaders who serve in this efficient way invariably release the missionary team to reach vastly more people groups and in different countries than if they remained long term in one place. Hallomai estimates training indigenous leaders in two Asian or African nations per year, with the goal of bearing long term results using far less time and resources. Would you consider sending a Hallomai missionary team to go and raise indigenous leaders in Africa or Asia today?

Click and follow this link to support Hallomai today.

- Michael Lee, Chairman Board of Trustees