In the past, we’ve shared how KidZ at Heart avoids creating dependency by not taking lots of stuff overseas, how we encourage local ownership of the ministry by not “putting on” VBS programs for them, and how we raise up local leaders by training them instead of undermining them by working directly with children. But it’s not enough to simply avoid unintended consequences. We also purposefully share training programs that can be replicated across cities, regions, and denominations.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Tim 2:2, NIV).
After each training event overseas, KidZ at Heart teams leave behind copies of the scripted materials that were used to train leaders. Those trained are challenged to share what they have learned with at least five other “reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
Continue reading or watch Gordon tell the story as he was training children’s leaders this past summer in Uganda:
Edwin Mutai is one such man. Edwin was a young single adult when he attended a one-week KidZ Ministry Equipping Conference in Kampala, Uganda. After hearing the 2 Timothy 2:2 challenge, he went back to the senior pastor of his church and told him about all he had learned.
His senior pastor responded by telling Edwin that he was not to share with just five others. He was to be in charge of training all the children’s workers in all 50 churches of their denomination spread throughout Uganda.
Edwin took this challenge and spent the following year walking from city to village to town and living on faith that in each place he would find a home to take him in and provide him food. He regularly reported to us his progress, as he spent one week with each church sharing what he had learned. His emails came from various Internet cafes in locations so small that the KidZ team couldn’t always find them on the map.
Edwin apologized that he didn’t use handouts, because he had no money for pencils or to make copies. The KidZ at Heart training he received was still transferable, even verbally, to each children’s leader he encountered. He faithfully impacted 50 churches and an entire denomination within his country. Today he is working fulltime in Northern Uganda with children displaced by previous terrorism campaigns. He is also a loving husband and father of his own two children.
KidZ at Heart avoids the unintended consequence of assuming we are the ones to do the work. Instead, we equip people to reach and teach kids for Christ within their own culture…and look how God multiplies!