Rebuilding the Broken Walls of Leadership Training
Many pastoral leaders lack Bible training. For those, especially in Asia and Africa, many have poor access to the Internet. iTEE Global provided pastoral training through its online platform, iTEE University but quickly realized that many who would benefit from the training could not participate because of inaccessibility.
In 2017, iTEE Global began to offer face-to-face training, providing courses to motivate and train pastoral leaders who can train others beyond the walls of their churches. Students and leaders teach what they have learned online to local groups in a face-to-face setting. Thus, they disciple other leaders lacking Internet access.
In the Book of Nehemiah, the Bible describes the rebuilding of the broken walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah, stands out as a model of the pastoral leader. Through passion, prayer, confession, planning, organization, motivation, and leadership, Nehemiah accomplished in 52 days what seemed impossible. At iTEE Global, we use his model.
Project Nehemiah is a 20-hour face-to-face workshop, where iTEE Global teaches pastoral leaders how to effectively apply Jesus’ teaching principles to effectively address the student’s head, heart, and hands.
These pastoral leaders then teach others using the same principles of teaching they experienced in Project Nehemiah Workshops. They use their new skills and teach Biblical truth through courses such as Galatians, Romans, the Christian Life, Communicating God’s Word. Through their efforts they make possible the training of leaders who are extremely difficult to reach and train because of their geographic location, their access to the Internet, and their level of achieved prior education. These trainers are modern-day Nehemiah’s.
Why is Project Nehemiah Strategic?
- It is an entry point for iTEE University in areas where the Internet is not suitable.
- Local trainers will have ongoing access to online education and printed material for their face-to-face classes.
- It offers a way for iTEE Global to connect local North American Churches with global leaders participating in local Project Nehemiah events.
Project Nehemiah in Action
Just before the restrictions of the COVID pandemic stopped all international flights, a small team of six left Chicago and traveled to serve in one of the world’s poorest countries — Zambia. The team from Community Fellowship Church in West Chicago included two pastors and four laypeople. Along with some of iTEE Global Staff, their mission was to train 29 pastoral leaders on Project Nehemiah.
The training meeting was held in Ndola, Zambia, on February 10-15, 2020. Prior to their departure, the team completed an orientation training, coordinated by iTEE Global facilitators through a face-to-face meeting as well as via ZOOM. Upon arrival in Zambia, another training was scheduled to help them with cross-cultural information and extra-cultural orientation before the actual event. According to the Project Nehemiah’s vision and mission, each of the team members had to learn how to lead small group activities at the workshop.
They had to learn:
1) how to ask questions,
2) how to introduce group learning exercises,
3) how to lead a group in prayer, and
4) how to apply Project Nehemiah content.
As participants to the Project Nehemiah, they were all responsible for teaching pastoral leaders of another culture.
Everyone on the team from West Chicago was amazed at how God used each of them to build relationships and transform the lives of these Zambian pastoral leaders. Not only did they bring training to 29 leaders, but they also equipped them to multiply disciple-makers.
After the three-day workshop, the goal was for the 29 leaders to apply the Project Nehemiah learning experience and conduct face-to-face training in two or three locations. But the COVID pandemic “stayat- home” lockdowns halted that plan and forced everyone to go online.
The impact of Project Nehemiah was profound. In the face of adversity, iTEE Global’s training team, working with the leaders from Community Fellowship Church, opened up an entire nation to Bible training. As a result, and to this date, over 375 pastoral leaders and church leaders in Zambia have received the same training. They are learning to serve their churches in the Word of God, and how to disciple other pastoral leaders to make disciples. God used a single team from a local church in West Chicago to alter the trajectory of biblical training for Zambian pastors and church leaders. When we obey the Lord to Go, we do Make Disciples of all Nations!