BILD’s goal is to accelerate the multiplication of churches and equip them to be solidly grounded in truth through the development of strong leaders. In order to focus on those leaders, we developed a program we call Executive Education for key leaders in each civilization. We organized leaders into the following groups and developed similar but specific programs for each: Global, China, Latin America, India, South East Asia, and Europe and Mediterranean. The purpose of this program was for all leaders to: understand the essential components of Jesus’ instructions for fulfilling the great commission, understand the entire BILD University system and all the curriculum resources that are available to them, and to build trust and relationships among the leadership teams in each civilization and around the world.
As the series of meetings progressed, we saw our initial purposes being met. Leaders were recognizing gaps in their own theological understanding of the great commission. They began to see that the work of making disciples stretched all the way from leading individuals to believing in the gospel message into the development of complex apostolic networks that create connection and support among churches. This created a recognition and desire to make changes in their lives and brought them into closer alignment with biblical teaching. Some of these leaders had been introduced to these ideas, but were now at a point in their ministry to truly be able to grasp the concepts on a new level.
Along with the intentional purposes being achieved, we recognized unintended outcomes. Several of the church networks involved asked for input on building a network like we see in Acts in order to accommodate the needs of their churches and church leaders as their networks grew in size. They had a desire to model these networks after Paul’s network in Acts and avoid falling into a denominational pattern. The outcome of these discussions was a recognition of the need for: framework documents on building networks like that seen in Acts, another Executive Education program to address this issue more specifically, and collaboration on a recognition system that can span all civilizations and the technology to back it.
Another unintended outcome was seeing these leaders turn around and replicate this program in their own context. They experienced the impact in their own lives and felt the need to share that impact with other leaders in their networks. We realized that this program was simple, repeatable, and transferable, and we look forward to seeing these networks develop as a result.
The work that went into executing these Executive Education sessions was intense. It required extensive preparation on both the BILD side as well as for the international leaders. Extended meetings on Zoom at times to accommodate time zones all over the world made for some very long days and nights, but it was well worth the effort. It was rewarding to see the life choices being made by these leaders to focus their work on bringing others along in order to better develop church networks that are biblically aligned and thriving.
As we reflect on our time with these dedicated leaders, our mind is drawn again to Paul’s prayer in Ephesians… God wants us to have a full understanding of His plan with all the saints, with all the leaders of the church before and after us, across all time. We pray that you will join us in the work of equipping all of Christ’s leaders so that we can attain full maturity and unity of the faith, and that God can turn his face towards us in the final days and say well done.