Why Train Students?
Benefits of Training Student Leaders
1. Taking the African Church Deep in Discipleship.
“Africa is a mile wide in evangelism and an inch deep in discipleship.” Lewis Nelms heard this statement in the early 1990’s while visiting Africa for the first time. Since that day, he has heard it literally hundreds of times, and has seen it first-hand.
On the positive side, Africa is a mile wide in evangelism. What a blessing! In 1900, Evangelicals made up only 1.9% of Africa’s population. By 1990, just ninety years later, that percentage had risen to 13.2. It represents only a seven-fold increase in percentage, but a thirty-fold increase in actual numbers. Many have come to Christ in Africa, and many continue to turn to Him as Savior!
On the negative side, Africa is only an inch deep in discipleship. I have seen this firsthand, also. But why is this the case? Consider a couple of logical reasons, both of which are beyond the control of the African Church.
Consider the rapid growth in conversions throughout the continent. People were hungry for the Gospel. The Holy Spirit was at work in their lives. No Christian would desire for this number to decrease, yet the magnitude of this number created a bottleneck in discipleship. Without adequate discipleship, these new converts would bring non-Christian customs, attitudes and worldviews into the African Church (which has happened). Without adequate discipleship there was a profusion of denominations and the ensuing confusion which would be expected. Much of this was beyond the control of the African Church.
2. Provides Training to African Leaders That the Church Could Not Otherwise Afford
Consider the poverty throughout the continent. Africa is the poorest continent, and it’s getting worse by the day. It would only be logical to conclude that the African Church would also be the poorest. Did you know that barely 1% of the world’s earnings are generated in Africa? The typical Christian in Africa is extremely poor! There is a lack of funds for training; there is a lack of funds for full-time workers; there is a lack of funds for buildings; there is a lack of funds for literature. As a matter of fact, the book shortage is so serious, it has been called a book famine. The African Church is poor, really poor!
I am sure there are other reasons for the lack of discipleship, but what should the global Christian church do? We can curse the darkness and do nothing, or we can try to light as many candles as possible. With the Lord’s help, Gospelink has chosen to light the candles.
Though it has not reached capacity, the International Bible College of Zambia is currently (2013) training approximately 70 students and has just released its first graduating class into the harvest, equipped with a Bachelors in Theology and great ministry training. When it reaches full capacity, the college will train 600 students annually. With the help of mission teams and churches across the USA, the campus and the student body will continue to grow and thousands of young men and women to reach their continent with the truth of God’s Word.
What’s ultimately at stake?
The continent of Africa, with 10% of the world’s population. Even though Africa is a mile wide in evangelism, there is still plenty of work to be done on this continent. Out of the 55 independent nations in Africa, the Evangelical population in ten of them is less than 1%. Of the world’s nearly 4,000 least-reached peoples, over 1,000 of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is still plenty of work to be done - evangelism, discipleship, church planting, Bible translation, apologetics, literacy, and the list goes on. The International Bible College is one small light, but the light always dispels the darkness.
Educator Paul Hawkins once said, “The Christian Church has a destiny. One of the ways the church will fulfill its God-given destiny in world evangelism is through education. Biblical Christian education must be seen as a significant strategy for world evangelization.”
Student Leader sponsorships are available at $50.00 per month. This amount covers the bible college student's physical and educational expenses. To help a Student Leader, click here.