February 2018 - McCarty Ministry Minute
Greetings from the McCartys! I hope the first month of 2018 has gotten you headed toward a wonderful year, full of blessings and opportunities! Typically I share one page of Family Updates and one of Ministry Updates - BUT since we recently sent Tracy’s annual Christmas update, I think you are pretty caught up about our family’s goings ons (except maybe for Remington’s recent concussion - which is healing quickly). So this time I will stick with the ministry side. So here goes…
Equip, Release, & Coach in Lesotho!
While the work led by our national teams continues throughout Tanzania, Rwanda, DRC, Zambia, etc., my focus is primarily on the countries of Lesotho and South Africa, our most recent areas of expansion. Once we have identified and directly equipped a faithful team of national leaders, our regional team (Sainet Phiri, Israel Wandamba, and myself) shifts to the role of coaches and mentors. We continue to encourage, train, and resource that local team as they lead the charge to multiply Leaders, Disciples, and Cell churches… which leads to a multiplication of Movements within (and often beyond) the boundaries of that country. In addition to solid Biblical teaching, there are two critical components needed for this to succeed: Time and Relationship. I’ll share briefly about these two components and then about Lesotho.
Time. Time is a mission-critical component for many reasons. It takes time to reveal faithful commitment. The first year after we enter a new location, many pastors and leaders get excited about what we are doing! They are loud! They tell of how our ministry is exactly what they have been needing! They proclaim how committed they are to continue through the ongoing training in the School of Multiplying Church Planters - how they are going to keep on growing in Christ, keep on making disciples, keep on raising and releasing leaders, and keep on planting cell churches! When we return on the next visit, most are nowhere to be found! It is almost a rule that the loudest leader will be the first to disappear. Time reveals true and faithful commitment. Time is also an essential component of relationship. In Strategic Impact, we are not satisfied to merely “hire” a new staff member who has the skills we are seeking. Instead, we are looking to build genuine transparent friendships. There is no substitute for time when building authentic relationships.
The second mission-critical component is authentic relationship. Our conviction is that the ministry of multiplication moves forward based on the strength of its relationships. We seek a depth of relationship where we know each others families, discuss life’s victories and struggles without fear of rejection - because we truly desire the best for each other. This is both the soft, gentle love of a mother, and the strong, firm love of a father.
I received perhaps the most awkward text I have ever from one of our National Directors a few years back! It read (format and spelling intact), “Today Is Mother’s Day.you Are A Spiritual Mother In SI In Africa And Thank U For Being A Good Mother With Full Milk Which Is God’s Word,love &Care U Show To Us.” I grew up doing construction, so I have been called a “mother” before… but it was usually followed with a more harsh second word! Our goal is to instill and demonstrate this type of brotherly love from top to bottom. This is probably the reason our team has come to refer to itself as “the SI Family.”
Now about Lesotho!
I met up with Stephen Aputara [pictured below] - our West Africa Regional Director - in Johannesburg, South Africa on the journey to Maseru, Lesotho. Stephen joined me for this work so we could “cross-pollinate” and spend time together. I was really grateful for his presence… in fact, without him, I don’t think our training would have been able to even take place!
We have been working in Lesotho for almost 3 years now, and through that time, we have winnowed down from a large group (many of whom were merely “talkers of the talk”) to the “doers of the thing” - the faithful few. The main “doer” is Pastor Ntjana Henry Khoabane [pictured below with his wife Mamoliko Alice]. Henry has been using the Strategic Impact training materials personally and to equip the members of his church, Tree of Life Community Church, on the outskirts of Maseru. They have not only experienced substantial growth through evangelism, but their members have substantially matured in their faith as well. I had already discussed the possibility of Henry officially joining SI Staff as the National Director of Lesotho, and he had been prayerfully considering it.
Stephen and I landed in a rainstorm, which morphed into a hail storm soon after. It was pretty cold - extremely cold for my Ghanian friend Stephen! We finalized the training schedule that night with Henry and were dropped off at our guest house shortly thereafter for some much needed rest. The next morning, we awoke to some light snow on the surrounding mountains - and I awoke to a full-force sinus infection. When it was time for me to give the opening message for the Leadership Thrust, I was dragging. By God’s grace, I made it through that message and was promptly sent back to the guest house by Stephen and Henry. I slept the rest of that day and night. On day 2, they sent me ‘home’ again after 2 hours. Stephen and Henry carried the day - teaching powerfully and challenging the pastors and leaders to truly follow Jesus with all that they are - and then to make disciples out in the community and train them to do the same. Multiplication at every level: Leaders, Disciples, Churches, and eventually Movements. Day 3 was largely my responsibility, and I was feeling much better. We closed the Thrust with our tradition of “Locking Arms” together and praying for the nation. - [I apologize for the lack of photos this time. The two above were all I took!]
The following day, Stephen and I began to train the newly formed SI Lesotho Leadership Team and handed over responsibility for SI Lesotho to them. They were ready for this step. We will continue to coach and mentor the team as they own the call to saturate Lesotho with the gospel and multiply SI to the surrounding communities. Pray for Henry, Peter, and Idlett. Especially for Henry, our new Lesotho National Director!
One more nation!
One more step closer to a multiplication movement
throughout Sub-Saharan Africa!
Many small steps in the same direction will cover a great distance!
Be sure to check out NEW Personal Website: www.McCartyMinistry.com
None of this would be possible without YOUR partnership in prayer and giving.
THANK YOU so much!