by Gary Johnson
I’m writing to you this week from India, where I am part of a team working with Dr. Ajai Lall and Central India Christian Mission, in Damoh. One of the highlights of the trip has been the dedication and distribution of our original series of books – Answer His Call, Reflect His Character, Lead His Church and Enjoy His People – in Hindi! Through our partnerships with CICM and LATM (Literature and Teaching Ministries/Joplin, MO), several thousand of these books are now available in the largest language group of India, (and the fourth-largest language in the world). Dr. Lall said, “The books will help leaders understand and fulfill their God-given role in the church, as there are no such books available in Hindi about this subject. Evangelical churches throughout India don’t have a manual to train their elders to strengthen their ministry. These books will cater to the great need and fill the gap of this great ministry.” While here, it was our privilege to help begin the distribution of these books to elders in Central India.
Our ongoing partnership with LATM has been a great blessing to e2: effective elders in that they have made it possible for our literature to be translated into five languages to date, (Russian, Polish, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu), and they have now begun the process of our first translation into Spanish! In Eastern Europe, TCMI has been using the Russian and Polish editions in their church leadership courses, and Colegio Biblico will soon be doing the same in Mexico.
As we pray and further develop our work among elders, the Lord continues to reveal to us that e2: effective elders is not a ministry, so much as it is becoming a movement that began in the Midwest, has moved into different regions of our country, and is now moving around the world. In fact, Ajai and I have begun planning an Elders’ Conference at CICM’s location in Damoh for February 2019 that will host 1,000 elders from India and six neighboring countries. This is only possible through the principle, and indeed the deliberate practice, of one another.
When we read the New Testament, there are over fifty uses of the phrase “one another,” “each other,” etc. God wants us to do life in relationship and partnership with one another to advance His kingdom, both near and far. We are better, stronger, and wiser when we help one another in the name of Jesus.
We are grateful to the many churches who have become ministry partners with e2: effective elders. Because of your investment in this ministry as one of your missionaries, you are literally serving elders across the country and around the world! Your investment in these men will enable them to lead the Church more effectively, and when that happens, the Church grows.