(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
Mongolia (MNN) ― Did you know Mongolia has one of the world's fastest growing economies? It had a growth rate of 17% in 2011 and 16.7% in 2012, according to BBC News.
The Church there is growing too.
"It's not only growing in numbers, but it's also growing in quality," says Chinzorig Jigjidsuren, the founding overseer of Emanuel Fellowship in Ulan Baatar. (Click here to read about his Mongolian approach to discipleship.)
Jigjidsuren partners with Asian Access (A2) in Mongolia and says they have their hands full training church leaders. But the results speak for themselves.
He states, "We already have seen great transformation in our nation."
Mongolia was the first Asian country to indicate interest in using A2's training model to develop church leaders; the program gained initial success in Japan. God's Word entered Mongolia only after the country abandoned its Communism rule in 1990.
"It was God's timing, because He opened all the channels [through which] we could get [an] idea about the world. And then the Gospel was introduced," Jigjidsuren recalls.
Key to the effectiveness of A2's program in Mongolia is the careful selection of between 12 and 15 emerging leaders. These leaders are then invited to join a class that meets quarterly for a week at a time; the entire program spans two years.
A curriculum established by A2 accelerates students' growth as spiritual leaders, as well as organization leaders. They become more aware of their individual strengths, as well as the unique gifts of their congregation. They're also taught how to determine the needs of the communities they serve and the context in which they live and minister.
During their training, Jigjidsuren says the leaders form strong bonds.
"Uniting the key leaders means uniting the Church of Mongolia itself. We all consider the Church of Mongolia as one church.... There's a great sense of unity, and A2 [plays] a huge role in uniting the pastors," he says.
Jigjidsuren was part of Mongolia's first class to graduate A2's program in October 2001. He says they recently graduated their fifth group of leaders, and the bonds between each group remain strong.
"We [are] still like one big community, so we fellowship with each other and we keep each other accountable," says Jigjidsuren.
Pray that this unity would remain strong and that pastors-in-training would draw closer to God. Ask God to bring spiritual mentors alongside young leaders to help deepen their faith.
"One of our core values is a love relationship with God, so we want the pastors [to] continue growing in their relationship with Christ."
Click here to see how you can support God's Work in Mongolia.