“Why do we so often exaggerate our ministry ‘results’? And why do we so often hear about pastors mishandling finances?” Pastor Bobby Cherian (below, right) put these questions to a group of pastors from North India. They were together for the sixth of their eight gatherings as part of Asian Access’ North Indian 2012-13 cohort.
These are tough questions. I’ve heard them asked before in India, but usually as a private aside, in a low voice, with averted eyes. Yet Bobby put these questions straight to the group in a discussion regarding the role of integrity in the ministry of church multiplication. It was a testament to the deep level of trust these pastors have developed in their time together. They’re not just a class… they’re a community.
“So why do these problems so often plague us?” Bobby repeated. The answers came quickly:
- “We each worry about protecting our territory.”
- “We feel pressure to produce dramatic results, especially from Western donors. It’s tempting to tell them what they want to hear.”
- Several leaders responded, “Pastors too often act as ‘Lone Rangers’. There is no collaboration—and thus, no accountability.”
“That is the core problem,” Bobby said. “When we act and minister alone, we are vulnerable to pressures and temptations. But together, we can flourish. Just look at what this community has done for each of our lives and ministries.” Heads nodded in agreement.
One pastor spoke up: “So what is keeping us from networking together? Why don’t we agree to join together in mutual support and accountability—right now?” Everyone looked at one another. After a pause, Bobby replied, “Nothing! Let us declare, here and now, the formation of the NCR (National Capitol Region) Pastors Network.”
And so it was declared. 14 pastors and leaders from North India joined hands and hearts in a pledge to minister together, in collaboration. A dramatic, radical, wonderful commitment in an environment where pastors too often function alone, and vulnerable.
I know these pastors would appreciate your prayers as they seek to establish, solidify, and grow this pastoral network. Thank you for your prayers and your support for the groundbreaking ministry Asian Access is supporting in India… and throughout Asia.