Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing to let you know that Sharon and I are shifting our ministry organization to Global Training Network (GTN). We want to thank you for your ongoing support and friendship as we begin this new ministry adventure.
For the past several months Sharon and I have been wrestling with how to best steward the years of experience, training, and gifts God has graciously entrusted to us. More recently the words “leverage” and “essence” have been running through our hearts and minds. As a result, we have been praying that God would guide us to leverage the essence of our almost 48 years of ministry and our now (yahoo!) 50 years of marriage. Toward this end, we have been afforded a wonderful invitation to join the ministry of Global Training Network (GTN).
The mission of GTN (www.globaltrainingnetwork.org) is to train Majority World church planters, pastors and Christian leaders so that they can more effectively equip their congregations to evangelize and disciple their communities for Christ. GTN is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) by providing training for pastors and leaders around the world. These pastors and leaders then teach, train and disciple the men, women and children under their influence and care, and these indigenous Christians in turn continue the process of carrying out the Great Commission and the Great Commandment throughout their extended families, neighborhoods, villages, cities and entire nations!
I first heard of GTN two years ago but did not feel then that the timing was right to explore another ministry. I have long had a global calling but for many years Europe was the epicenter of that call. I felt that before expanding to other parts of the world we must first reach a point of critical mass in Europe so that going global would not diffuse our efforts. We reached that point several years ago with good leaders in place and multiplication happening in a number of countries and regions in Europe. Given this, I felt the time had come that I could release the reigns of Christian Associates and focus more on being a missional catalyst globally.
As we look back upon our 43 years with CA, Sharon and I rejoice to see God’s hand in touching the lives of thousands of people in dozens of countries. We are confident that there is much fruit ahead for CA and that CA is in good hands, with Rob Fairbanks as its leader. We plan to stay in close relationship with CA as friends, cheerleaders, and hopefully as a resource on an as needed and as invited basis. At the same time, we believe that our years of ministry experience and training give us the background to multiply leaders globally through training, mentoring, coaching, and writing.
Over the years, I have led many conferences, seminars and workshops over the years with national leaders from Norway to Uruguay (and many places in between). In my role with GTN, I will be able to draw upon my years of starting churches, leading a growing organization, mentoring leaders, my book, The High-Impact Church (which was translated into several languages), Linus Jr.’s and my soon to be published The Divine Expedition: Where Are You in the Book of Romans?, my doctor of ministry dissertation, A Grassroots Movement to Reach the Global Highway of the Emerging Culture, articles I have written such as “A Strategy to Reach Urban China,” and, in my mind more importantly, my years of teaching through the Bible book by book.
This call to multiply leaders was confirmed in my recent trip to Brazil to lead two seminars. One of the men attending, Pedro, came from a northern Brazilian state called Bahia. A friend of his gave him a copy of The High Impact Church that was translated into Portuguese some years ago. Pedro is a lawyer who a little more than a year ago started a church with eight people. He said reading Uma Igreja de Alto Impacto (The High Impact Church in Portuguese) gave him a “photograph” of what the church could be. The church he pastors has since grown to 150 people. I was humbled and encouraged by meeting Pedro and hearing his story.
Paul’s words in Philippians 3 have long motivated Sharon and me:
“…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12-14).
The words “press on” mean to pursue relentlessly. Sharon and I want to continue to pursue relentlessly to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. Thank you for enabling us (in the good sense) to do so.
In summary, our core passion is to see God’s kingdom spread by multiplying leaders who will reach lost people with the Gospel, raise them up to be fully devoted followers of Christ, become leaders themselves, and then start more churches that do all of the above. Sharon and I have been involved in all of these areas over the years.
Please contact us if you have any questions or want to know more about this next season of being “on expedition with Jesus.”
With gratitude and friendship in His grace and mercy,
Linus and Sharon
The support path with Global Training Network has a few ways in which you can continue your support for us. Learn more here.