Church Planting Vision Transforming the Subcontinent of India
Leading Like Christ Series By David Witt
This series has been my delight to share our global directors’ Christ-like leadership insights and styles. Today, I reflect on the SOM International Director of India. He is passionate about growing the church in India. I see these qualities of Jesus in this leader:
- Mighty visionary
- Empowering leader
- Humble servant
- Christ-centered follower
- Faithful steward
- Courageous warrior.
As an entrusted vessel of the Holy Spirit, he is an inspiring evangelist who shares Christ with anybody, anytime, anywhere. He has a unique God-given gift of speaking many languages in the most diverse country on earth.
The SOM International Director of India has been asked a few times before, “What is the most common ground you have with the other SOM global directors?” He answers, “We all have a spirit of martyrdom, and every one of the directors daily lays their life down for the Gospel and teaches others to do the same.”
Bold Vision for Church Planting in Order to Grow the Church in India
The year 2012 was my first visit to India with this SOM director. He told me how God put it upon his heart to pray to plant 100,000 churches in unreached villages. At first, I thought he was a dreamer or out of his mind. Today, in the twelfth year of his network, there are over 53,000 churches established, and I believe wholeheartedly in the work.
This director now has his network praying for one million new congregations because there are many lost people in India with many needs. The SOM International Director of India is a mighty man of vision, as Jesus was a radical visionary!
Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 ESV). The SOM International Director of India teaches all of us to think big and believe bigger. My favorite quote from him is, “If something is believable, it is man-made. When it becomes unbelievable, it is God-made.”
Communicating the Precious Word of God to the Church in India
There is one other unique Holy-Spirit-like characteristic of this brother that I want to illuminate. Four translators with our team on stand stage at the church planting graduations. The church planters come from dozens of states and represent many tribal and trade languages. These events are truly multi-national. As I preach, the SOM International Director of India will translate my English into Hindi. Representatives will then translate it down the line into Telegu, Bengali, and Odia (those from the Indian state of Odisha).
On many occasions, I have heard my friend correct the translator for accuracy in each of those languages because he is fluent. He tells me that he is fluent in seven languages but knows many other tribal languages’ vocabulary. He once said to me that during his twelve years of traveling by faith to every region of India, he hated using a translator “who might not understand the precious Word of God.” His passion has been so great to relate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in clear communication that he would stay in an area for months until he got a grasp of the language, and then he would preach to the people in their tongue.
The Word to All Nations
Jesus tells us that He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort us (John 14:26) and guide us into all truth (John 16:13). In addition, the Holy Spirit interprets all our prayers to the Father (Romans 8:27). There are over 17,000 world languages, and the Holy Spirit interprets them. On Pentecost, the disciples miraculously spoke in many known languages that non-believers heard in their hearts tongue (Acts 2). Likewise, I believe the SOM International Director of India exemplifies the gift of the Holy Spirit of languages to proclaim God’s Word throughout the nations.
Please Continue to Pray for the Church in India
Please continue to pray for this director’s leadership, his family, encouragement, and continuing vision with needed provision. May we all continue to receive inspiration from our brother in India and other God-honoring leaders like him. Prayerfully, may we grow in the full maturity of our Christ-like leaders in vision and proclamation of the Gospel to many languages.