Life giving vision trips with The Timothy Initiative
Director of Church Planting Partnerships
The Converge International Ministries Vision is:
We are asking God for a gospel movement among every least reached people group in our generation.
Part of the Converge strategy to accomplish this vision is through a partnership with The Timothy Initiative (“TTI”). TTI offers yearly vision trips for pastors and leaders to various ministry areas in Asia and Africa. Richard Wallace, a Converge Pastor of Missions at NorthShore Community Baptist Church, Beverly Farms, MA, recently joined with others on a Timothy Initiative vision trip to experience in person a disciple-making and church-planting movement in Kenya, East Africa. I asked Richard a few questions, and here are his responses.
1. What did you learn on the vision trip?
“God can act powerfully to draw people to Himself even despite seemingly big obstacles, …famine and drought, a lack of resources, very remote communities that are difficult to access, strong opposition from witch doctors and false teachers. Yet through the humble and faithful work of disciple making, the gospel is being known in village after village.”
2. What was the greatest impact on your life and ministry?
“The greatest impact for me was being able to see first-hand that a gospel movement is possible! I was also incredibly challenged by the humility of all the church planters and disciples. They realize that their part of the world will be reached when there is a multiplication of faith, by raising up disciples who make disciples who make disciples.” Richard also noted, “ increased my faith and fervency in prayer” and, “I was incredibly challenged by the humility of all the planters and disciples”.
3. Would you give a word to Converge pastors on the value of going on a vision trip?
The value of going on a vision trip is “The encouragement of meeting so many Spirit-filled faithful disciples, witnessing lives transformed by the gospel, understanding the cost of discipleship, more passion to share with my congregation, and gaining a new perspective on partnering with God’s kingdom around the world that prioritizes the mobilization of the local church.”
TTI, from its beginning in 2008 to the present, have planted 121,003 verified, that is, visited by TTI field representative to determine the accuracy of their reports, churches with its partners. Over the last nine years about 130 Converge churches have partnered with TTI.
In 2021, 72 churches were planted daily! Each church averages about 20 people, and on average about 16 of those people are new believers!
On a monthly basis, TTI trains about 500 movement leaders and master trainers, 1,000’s of “Pauls” (local national pastors), 10,000’s of Timothys (church planters who are lay persons in the local church), and 1,000’s of Titus’s who are new believers.
Annually, about 1 million books are distributed to these disciplemakers.
Since 2008, about 2.4 million new disciples have been made,
86,378 widows and orphans cared for by the new local churches, and
1,392 UPG (unreached people groups ministered to by TTI UPG defined as a distinct cultural group with less that 2% followers of Jesus.
Converge and The Timothy Initiative formed a partnership in 2014.
To date, TTI reports that Converge has funded 7,394 churches in Africa and Asia, in just 8 years!
In addition, there are several Converge churches that keep their own records of churches planted with TTI; when those newly planted churches are added to the total, the number of churches exceeds 23,000!
For more information about how your church can partner, see the Converge webpage called Global Church Multiplication: https://converge.org/giving-campaign/global-church-multiplication
Please contact me with any questions: Jerry Schommer, Director of Church Planting Partnerships, with Converge, at https://converge.org/missionary/jerry-schommer
For more information about The Timothy Initiative, see their website: https://www.ttionline.org/
Jerry Schommer, Director of Church Planting Partnerships
In January 2016, Jerry became Converge's International Director of Church Planting Partnerships. Now in his 7th year in this role, he works closely with The Timothy Initiative, mobilizing Converge churches into a fruitful partnership to plant churches in the least-reached regions of the world. Jerry also serves on the U.S. Engagement Team for Converge International Ministries