Update and Current Outcomes of the 2016 Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers

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Update and Current Outcomes of the 2016 Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers

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Update and Current Outcomes of the 2016 Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, in continuing the “training of pastors” worldwide 

by Dr. Ramesh Richard

Editor’s Note: For your reference, Dr. Richard’s article appeared originally on the Lausanne Movement website and was featured previously on Christianity Today. Since the original article appeared on the Lausanne website in September 2015, many developments have taken place. Below is an update since its first publishing. We invite you to check back via the GProCommission site for future updates. 

Date of last update: February 2018

The Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, held June 15 – 22, 2016, in Bangkok, Thailand, was a major step for better pastoral training of more pastoral leaders. Since trainers of pastors significantly influence the health of pastoral leaders who in turn affect the health of their congregations, our stated desire was to bring together up to 5,000 trainersof pastors reaching into 200 countries. RREACH, the convening organization, and many likeminded organizations sought to bring the right number and kinds of trainers of pastors (i.e., 500 good ones would be better than a bad 5,000) already engaged in pastoral training. This niche, specific, historic and task-focused platform witnessed 2,573 trainers of pastors from both the formal and non-formal pastoral training sectors representing 101 countries (with likely influence in all countries of the world). Together, they committed to aid in the GProCongress goal of seeing 100,000 better trained pastors and 20,000 pastoral trainers by the year 2020.

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The GProCommission follow-up team seeks to capture in statistical form the number of pastors being trained by various initiatives until 2020 and for strategic purposes: to shed light on and provide more wisdom for future training efforts individually or institutionally, personally or organizationally.

The objectives of the GProCongress were to: build community, explore opportunity, discover resources, and exchange encouragement. A four-year follow-up plan implemented after the eight-day event (in addition to a four-year build up) is creating a global pipeline for pastoral training that is sustainable, measurable and even renewable for local church leadership anywhere.

Since the GProCongress in mid-2016, training reports as of this update: February 2018, indicate that 55,800 pastors have been better trained by pastoral training initiatives around the world. This number applies an 80 percent attrition rate to what has actually been reported by individuals and organizations, to account for oversights, errors or duplicate reporting. As of February 2018, commitments were made to train an additional 22,000.

Two additional, exciting developments have transpired, also helping achieve the objectives of the GProCongress to explore opportunity and discover resources.

  • The Aqueduct Project, which provides majority world church pastors access to high-quality resources for evangelical theological education, has held an ongoing conference series to help create further dialogue on advancements in international pastoral training. For some time, they have been studying present day needs, current movements, and future initiatives in international pastoral education.
  • An online database called GProLearning recently launched. At GProLearning, pastoral leaders and pastoral trainers alike can access a library of over 5,300 (and growing) free, globally-sourced and biblically sound pastoral training resources, with materials in six languages, and oral resources forthcoming.

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We rejoice that ongoing encouragement and the building of community is being achieved through our GProCentral team, GProCommission newsletter, GProCommission website and GProConneXt community. Here are some updates as of February 2018:

 

  • The GProCentral team consists of eleven dedicated, biblically sound colleagues who speak a cumulative twenty languages and are located across eight time zones. They make an estimated 2,100 calls/emails/messages each month to encourage and support pastoral trainers in over 68 countries, as well as assist with the translation of GProCommission newsletters and interviews.
  • The GProCommission monthly email updates, now distributed in French and Spanish as well as English, are designed so that anyone can sign up to receive them. The updates feature pastoral training reports from around the world, as well as highlight various ministries that are developing free curriculum in various languages. Currently, we have had more than 2,100 downloads of various pastoral training courses, including multi-language resources.
  • The GProCommission website shares upcoming pastoral training events via our international online calendar. It also hosts over 96 articles, with eight additional articles curated monthly, specifically geared toward the encouragement and strengthening of pastoral trainers via our GProCommission blog. As of February 2018, the site has had 8,444 visitors from 140 countries.
  • GProConnext, our exclusive, secure social platform for pastoral trainers and pastoral leaders, continues to be a safe hub where ongoing encouragement is exchanged. It serves 3,788 pastoral trainers and leaders. To date, 13,000-plus connections have been made between users.

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We rejoice that the Lord continues to work through each pastoral trainer and pastoral leader for the strengthening of His bride worldwide. We are humbled at how much He has accomplished in a short time and how much more needs to be done, and grateful for our small but strategic part in it. To access any of the above-mentioned sites, click on the corresponding links. If you serve as a pastoral trainer,  are a pastoral leader interested in training pastors, or have other questions, please feel free to reach out to our team at connect@GProCommission.org to learn how you can pray and work in this vision of connecting, uniting and strengthening large numbers of pastoral trainers. It will help enhance pastoral health, improve church health, and accelerate the delivery of spiritual health worldwide.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Ramesh Richard serves as the founder and president of RREACH; general convener of the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers 2016; professor of Global Theological Engagement and Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary; and founder and chairman of Trainers of Pastors International Coalition. He holds a ThD in Systematic Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Delhi.

 

 

 

 

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