Christian fellowship is often wonderful.
But it can be especially sweet when it crosses significant cultural boundaries, bringing together people of quite different ethnicity, context and history for the purpose of seeing God do great things in major global cities.
In early March, John Thomas, City to City's Director of Global Training, spent a week and half in Sydney with church leaders from 4 Australian capital cities as well as 4 leaders from Taiwan and China.
The purpose? To train them in how to train church planters and leaders using the Incubator, the research based, 16 module, 2 year, ministry formation 'mother-load' developed by John, utilising materials primarily from Tim Keller.
The Incubator is a rich feast. It is theologically very robust and stretching, constantly pushing participants to ensure that not only do they espouse faithful gospel theology, but that their ministry design and practice is thoroughly shaped by that gospel theology. And to do that, the Incubator works with a fully integrated adult education paradigm.
Which is where the challenge lies! To equip preachers, practiced at delivering monologues, to instead give space to adult learners, takes someone as skilled as John. We were schooled in being 'learner centred', and using 'learning activities' and 'dynamic reflection' as ways of making sure that the church planters we train are not just knowledgeable, but even more important, skilful practitioners.
This 'Train the Trainer' event was a significant step forward in seeing one piece of a gospel ecosystem flourish in cities throughout the Asia Pacific region.
CEO, City to City Australia
Back row L-R: Murray Campbell, Roger Bray, Gordon Huang, Josh Dinale, Mark Tapping
Front row L-R: Scott Yeh, Andrew Katay, John Thomas, Steven Han, Vina Huang.