by Dwight Smith, Saturation Church Planting International
These last two years could simply be titled “Challenging!” At the beginning of the pandemic many wondered, “What will we do? If we can’t easily travel to meet face-to-face with our partners, what happens next?”
What happened was our partners sensed a new obligation to lead. And, lead they did! The result of that leadership multiplied twofold.
One, we have expanded Saturation Church Planting’s (SCPI) presence to dozens of nations where there are groups of church leaders asking the question, “How do we reach our place?”
Two, the number of leaders who are mobilizing their churches into multiplication has grown to numbers that we had not expected. I did some training on a Zoom call recently. There were 55 church leaders on the call. They represented all of the states and districts of this Asian country – ALL of the states.
Equally, they represented others in their area who they were training. I was asked to do another Zoom training a few months from now. They asked if it would be okay if we hosted 150 plus leaders!
The goal of the SCP team in this Asian nation is to see 1,000 leaders from each state trained and building a reasonable plan of action to reach their places with the gospel and leave behind groups of people (churches) in every place who do the same. If God gives them the desires of their hearts, that will be more than 25,000 leaders trained and mobilized.
One of my colleagues recently returned from a trip to another continent. The hoops he had to jump through because of pandemic protocols were extensive and costly. While the trip left behind an indigenous group of leaders who will carry the ball in the years ahead, it was a reminder that we don’t expect to return to a pre-pandemic normal, ever!
God has used the last two years to show us that Covid is not an obstacle to the work of the gospel, but a new challenge. God has people all over the world who are ready, capable and trained, to carry the gospel into every nook and cranny of their nation.
We rejoice that so many are willing and prepared to meet, and conquer, by the power of the Spirit, this new moment in history. For me personally, the picture that God has allowed our partners to paint encourages me greatly.
Just a few years ago, I thought that it would be my spiritual children who would fulfill the original dream which my wife Patti and I had. We spent three decades working at this vision through SCPI, documenting the most important elements of the vision, raising up leaders who were effectively practicing Saturation Church Planting principles, and seeing them lead others in the same directions. The possibilities have multiplied so quickly in the last two years, that it would be possible to see at least one key person in every nation of the earth who is building influence, training and mobilizing strategies to put the gospel in access to every man, woman and child in their nation.
In anticipation of this, a few partner churches (including The Chapel) in the US, along with key partners in Eurasia, Latin America, Africa, and Asia moved ahead to form a Global Fellowship. I first dreamed of this fellowship of like-minded global leaders more than 25 years ago.
Sometimes, even the best of thoughts take time for the Spirit of God to validate and bring into existence. Over the last decade the Global Fellowship has been in discussion and construction. Indeed, Daryl Largis was key in advancing the fellowship before his death. The GF launched and even now is working on strategies and relationships to take the vision of ‘whole nations reached,’ in our lifetime.
We are daily reminded that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power! (See 2 Timothy 1:7.) Covid will not stop the advance of the gospel!
Saturation Church Planting International exists to glorify God through partnering with church leaders in nations, regions, and cities throughout the world toward the full evangelization of those places through the mobilization of the Church. Over the last three decades, SCPI has had the opportunity to work with thousands of leaders around the globe toward this outcome. To learn more about this ministry partner, please visit scpglobal.org and dwightpaulsmith.com.