Sometimes it can be a challenge recruiting the right leaders for Global Action's training (Global Church Foundations, GCF). Often the temptation is to have clear parameters about who we will and will not accept. And often these parameters are based on vision, commitment and ability, i.e. those able to commit to and understand the training. And those who will go on and do something with the training.
The problem with this is sometimes it means we overlook those who God has called, but who don’t “fit the mould”. Gloria Fernandez, our national director in Honduras experienced this situation recently.
Last year, Gloria, along with the Global Action team attended a conference in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, organised by Rick Warren’s Church, Saddleback Community Church. During the conference, Gloria was given the opportunity to showcase GLOMOS – Global Action’s leadership training.
At the end of her ‘plug’ twenty leaders rushed up to Gloria enquiring about training. She was delighted about the response. However, as she explained to them the sacrifices they’d have to make – financial commitment, time commitment, travelling to the training centre – one by one they walked away, shaking their heads in disappointment. Finally, Gloria was left with three pastors. They were badly dressed, illiterate peasants from impoverished villages many miles from the city. But they insisted they wanted to be trained.
Gloria thought to herself, “how are they going to afford the training?”, “will they make the standard?” She repeated to them all the difficulties they would encounter. And yet they said again they wanted to be trained. She knew they would struggle with the training, but she prayed, asking God whether she should accept them. He then told her very clearly that she should. And so she accepted them on the course.
The training was hard for them. In fact, their low education levels meant Gloria had to assign them intense tutors who walked them through each module. Come exam time, they needed someone standing behind them, helping them find the correct answers.
But Gloria was amazed by their commitment. They worked hard and demonstrated a real passion for ministry. When they prayed during training sessions, the whole room fell quiet, amazed by their passion for God.
During one of the modules, one of them couldn’t hand in an assignment on time ‘because his last candle burned out’. This was the poverty they were from! But they were passionate and committed to their training. And although they struggled with most of the concepts, back in their villages they were preaching and discipling and evangelising.
GLOMOS is a programme. And when we carry out programmes, sometimes we can be hindered by the many things we build into the programmes to make them a success – like recruitment strategies. However, it is important to be sensitive to God’s leading, and to look for the people He is sending our way, rather than those we think are the right ones.