Jim Barnett, Indonesia Partnership leader
In part 1 of this 2-part blog, Jim Barnett offered an overview of early church-planting trainings and how they began to raise up leaders in the Indonesia Partnership.
Patris was one of the people in our first church planting school. After he completed this training he and his family were asked to go plant somewhere they really didn’t want to go. It was a hard area of Indonesia, but they went anyway. The fruit that has come out of their self-sacrificing obedience has been beautiful! Patris and his family planted a farm that is now a hub for church planters and Christians in the surrounding area, and they are producing physical and spiritual fruit. This is the kind of deep, self-sacrificing character coming from those in our initial church-planting training.
Participating in a move of God in a nation is never smooth sailing. We grow personally in our character and integrity while overcoming obstacles. As individual leaders on both the U.S. and national side develop these characteristics, it becomes a model for people all around our spheres of influence.
A huge obstacle presented itself in Indonesia when the man functioning as a national leader, Loudy, took a serious rooftop fall in 2013. He suffered physically, including having to deal with a serious concussion and some brain damage. He was unable to lead while he recovered, and the extent of recovery was an unknown outcome. But because Loudy and the partnership had invested in tiers of leadership who were already trained and functioning, the leadership team stepped in to help lead the movement in Indonesia.
The U.S. partnership churches were very concerned about Loudy. During his long recovery process, while working within the established line of the Indo leadership team, we found that our part of helping with recovery was prayer and more prayer. Many checked up on Loudy during his recovery with calls and visits. God has been faithful, and Loudy has made a full recovery from this accident.
Releasing a new Association of Vineyard Churches (AVC)
Interesting dynamics are always at play when a new AVC is released because Vineyard always wants to celebrate all the great things the Lord is doing in a nation and among a national team. In that heart of celebration, some people wanted to release Indonesia as an AVC earlier than maybe it should have been.
Two years later I can say with confidence that Loudy was wise in putting the stops on that. He could see that self-sustainability was an issue the national leadership team wanted to address first. Loudy also saw geographic challenges for Indonesia to resolve. He wanted to wait until there was more of a Vineyard presence in each of the many provinces.
Loudy and others have been at work since then to raise up regional leaders. Loudy points to the time he got to spend with other AVC national directors and leaders as one of the primary factors that gave him the confidence to wait to release Indonesia to become its own AVC. Loudy has been able to observe what has gone well and not-so-well as other AVCs around the world have been released. He has factored their experiences into the current development of the movement in Indonesia and being released as an AVC.
When a partnership’s work in a nation gets to this level, they may wonder what’s next. In the Indonesia Partnership we want to listen well to what the Indonesian leadership say their areas of need are and share the strategies and experiences that may help develop leaders and care for pastors. So we are setting some bullet-point goals to work through together over the next two years.
- Establishment of micro and macro business opportunities for church planters and pastors to foster self-sustainability
- Regional leader development emphasis with coaching and DMM training for church planters, pastors, and leaders
- Development of a hub church in Jakarta that will serve as a modeling, training, and sending center for church planters and pastors
- “Both-and” ways to train leaders - formal and informal
- Continued emphasis on raising up children and youth as future leaders in Vineyard Indonesia
Training and releasing a leader is a Holy Spirit moment that when done well does not occur prematurely or late. It comes right on time, in unity and agreement with all involved, where we are able to see what God is doing in individual lives and on a national level to write the next chapter of His story of redemption in a nation He loves.