Church Planting with ReachAfrica
For over 85 years the Evangelical Free Church of America has been sending missionaries to Africa. God is now doing an exciting work in giving the African church a heart for missions in Africa. In April of 2007 EFCA ReachGlobal missionaries serving in Africa gathered outside Nairobi, Kenya along with leaders from five of our African National Partner Church movements. The purpose of the conference was for training, encouragement, and making connections together. However, God had bigger purposes in mind.
During those days together the Lord began to lay on the hearts of the African church leaders their responsibility to reach Africa with the gospel. One of them shared, “It is our job as African Christians to reach Africa’s unreached people.” They heard and courageously accepted the call of God to raise up a generation of African church planting missionaries. These leaders from African Evangelical Free Churches in DR Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, and Sudan formed a new alliance they called ReachAfrica. ReachAfrica is the African expression and extension of ReachGlobal. Organically connected to ReachGlobal, it operates with a common ministry philosophy and in cooperation and coordination with ReachGlobal’s ministry in Africa.
In August of 2007 ReachGlobal leaders met with these African leaders to map out a plan and formulate a missions strategy for ReachAfrica, this new alliance of African Evangelical Free Churches. After serving for eight years as President of the Congo Free Church, Pastor Nubako Selenga was their unanimous choice to lead this new movement. The leadership of ReachGlobal invited Pastor Selenga to join the ReachGlobal Africa LeadTeam making him the first indigenous African missionary serving with the EFCA.
Pastor Selenga has a clear passion for ReachAfrica. His vision is to see all peoples of Africa transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. ReachAfrica employs the following ministry strategies to accomplish this vision:
- Identifying unreached people groups
- Mobilizing national Free Church movements in Africa for national action
- Recruiting, equipping, and sending church planting missionaries
- Partnering with others who share ReachAfrica’s vision and mission
- Ministering holistically
The initial focus of ReachAfrica was to mobilize prayer and church planting missions in each of their own countries as well as to seek to send church planting missionaries to some of the neighboring countries. A Multiplication Church Planting Training strategy has been developed and over the past three years the following has been the result of the ministry in ReachAfrica in more than 15 countries:
- 136 churches were planted in 2011, 360 in 2012 and 378 in 2013.*
- 1,095 church planters were trained in 2011, 1,811 in 2012 and 2,239 in 2013.*
- 31 master trainers were trained in 2012 and 27 in 2013.*
- In total 874 churches have been planted, 5,145 church planters have been trained, and 58 master trainers have been trained in the last 3 years.
*final numbers for 2013 are still being collected
As they look toward 2014 ReachGlobal leadership is asking the Lord to enable them to reach the following goals:
- To train 3000 church planters and to plant 1500 new churches
- To train 35 Master Trainers using the Level 2: Church Planting Master Trainer/Coach materials
- To launch Level 1: Multiplication Church Planting training in 8 new countries
- To complete the development of Level 3: Church Health training
- To launch Level 2: Church Planting Master Trainer/Coach trainings as well as Level 3: Church Health trainings in all countries where Level 1: Multiplication Church Planting training has been launched over the past three years
The Lord has opened amazing doors for Pastor Selenga and ReachAfrica to develop significant ministry partnerships in more than 20 countries in Africa. In addition, God is using Pastor Selenga to build bridges for ministry expansion in his home country of DR Congo. The Lord has granted him great favor with the leaders of the ECC, the national association of 72 protestant denominations in Congo. They have invited Selenga to sit on their Committee for Missions, Evangelism and Family Life where he has significant influence in impacting millions of people with the gospel. The ECC has asked ReachAfrica and ReachGlobal to help them launch Leadership Training, Church Planting Training, Church Health Training, Children’s and Youth Ministry Training, and Holistic Ministry Training in every region of the country.
ReachAfrica has been able to expand their ministry into 20 countries over the past 5 years through the sacrificial gifts of God’s people that have covered the travel and training ministry expenses for Pastor Selenga and other ReachAfrica trainers. For ReachAfrica to be able to reach their goals for 2014 and beyond there is a significant funding need for:
- $85,000 for travel expenses for ReachAfrica staff to facilitate Church Planting and Church Health Training and to print the materials for these trainings.
- $10,000 to provide Bibles for church planters and Master Trainers to distribute to new believers and leaders in the churches that will be planted.
- $25,000 to help cover the costs for the 50 Master Trainers to launch the Multiplication Church Planting training in their countries. ($500/Master Trainer)
God has been extremely faithful in the past five years in blessing the ministry of ReachAfrica in amazing ways. We are eternally grateful to the Lord and to His people who have prayed and given to make this possible.