a vision to reach Africa for Christ through the expansion of the Calvary Chapel movement by bruce zachary
During the recent Re:Engage intensive in Nairobi, Kenya I had the opportunity to meet with several leaders in the CC movement in Africa to discuss a vision for reaching the continent of Africa for Christ through the expansion of the CC movement. There is a great need to establish more healthy Bible teaching, Spirit-filled churches throughout Africa.
Presently, there are about fifty-five (55) countries in Africa, and there are Calvary Chapels in ten to fifteen (10-15) of the countries. Some countries are friendly to the gospel (essentially Christian), some are essentially neutral to the gospel, and unfortunately some are clearly hostile to the gospel (fundamental Islamic states). Another relevant dynamic on the continent is the displaced resident aliens. Essentially, people are displaced from their ancestral homeland as a result of famine, economic hardship, military turmoil, political tension, and religious persecution. The situation is reminiscent of the persecution of the church and the edict expelling Christians from Rome. God used the circumstances to draw people to Ephesus as a hub in Asia Minor where Paul could mentor them at the School of Tyrannus [Ac.19:9], and then send them out to support the churches of Asia Minor and ultimately return many to Rome once circumstances allowed [Rom.16].
Presently, there are about fifty-five (55) countries in Africa, and there are Calvary Chapels in ten to fifteen (10-15) of the countries.
In light of the present circumstances, how can we effectively expand the gospel and CC presence on the continent? Here is one proposed part of the solution:
1) Utilize the several existing healthy “larger” CC churches in Africa as training centers. These churches provide a model for “catching” the core values (philosophy of ministry and theology) of CC plus provide a location where prospective church planters can serve in internship program.
2) Establish intentional training through Schools of Ministry [SoM] and Church Planter Training classes, as well as Bible Colleges where feasible.
3) Share the vision to reach the nations of Africa [nation states, and people groups] through the African CC churches, the CCPN site, and calvarychapelafrica.com.
4) Send called men: those with a burden for areas without a CC presence including, but not limited to, men seeking to return to their ancestral homeland to plant. Encourage planting in cities of influence [e.g. Ephesus] while not limiting or discouraging those called to rural or remote areas.
5) Establish church plants with the DNA to establish their own SoM and church planting training classes as they mature. In essence, the church plants have the core value [DNA] to replicate. It would be most be beneficial to encourage missionaries who are mature in their faith, and very familiar with Calvary Chapel core values to support the church plants. Missionaries with these skills would be a great benefit to the core team and would likely be capable of assisting in leadership development including teaching curriculum such as SoM or church planting classes.
6) The new healthy church plants will thus become hubs in previously unreached countries and areas to expand the gospel and the influence of the CC movement throughout the continent of Africa. Keep the training biblical, relational, and Calvary-centric.
7) Therefore, leverage healthy CC churches in Africa as training and sending churches to expand the CC influence in Africa and help reach the continent for Christ.