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Global Congress to Address Need for Pastoral Training
Contact: Brian Considine, 972-302-1302

DALLAS, June 1, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Recently in Uganda, a small school of theology was approached by a denominational leader to inquire if they could train their pastors. The president of the school naturally asked how many pastors needed training. The response – "30,000!" An impossible task for this small seminary that trains 15 students a year.

In China, house churches are flourishing, Christianity is growing and with it the need for trained pastors. However, reports indicate that there are more than 100 house churches for every trained local pastor and local congregations may see their pastor only once or twice per year.

In Brazil, it is reported that five new churches are started each week, necessitating the need for five new pastors to be trained each week. Access to training is lacking however.

These accounts, among numerous others like them, tell a story about the health of the church worldwide. While we celebrate the growth of global Christianity, we should not be so focused on expansion that we neglect the training of pastoral leaders for long-term sustainability of local churches.

Today, demand for training of pastors is outpacing the supply, as only 5% of pastoral leaders are trained for pastoral ministry. Pastors are in dire need of training worldwide. There are thousands of sheep without a shepherd and multitudes of churches without equipped and maturing pastoral leadership.

The Lord is using a small Dallas based ministry, RREACH, to raise awareness about this global issue. Dr. Ramesh Richard, president of RREACH, has been a leader in pastoral training for nearly 30 years. In 1998, recognizing the need to address this global training deficit, Dr. Richard helped launch Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC) as a collaborative to train pastors internationally.

Now, together with global advocates such at the World Evangelical Alliance and Lausanne Movement, RREACH is mobilizing pastoral trainers across the globe for a once-in-a-generation congress: the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, also known as the GProCongress. The purpose of this global congress is to connect, unite and strengthen pastoral trainers into a cooperative to better deliver pastoral training to more pastors where the church is growing.

Those involved in pastoral training (a 2012 Gordon Conwell study commissioned by RREACH found over 7,000 organizations and institutions) are being invited to participate in this historic congress, June 15-22, 2016. Up to 5,000 pastoral trainers, from 200 nations, are expected to converge on Bangkok, Thailand for the 2016 GProCongress for Pastoral Trainers.

More than an event, the GProCongress is being developed as a catalyst for what follows. Plans are in development to create a pipeline for delivery of pastoral training worldwide. The mission is 100,000 better trained pastors and 20,000 more pastoral trainers globally by 2020.

If you are a practitioner, resource provider, strategist, theorist or funder of pastoral training, learn more and plan to attend the 2016 GProCongress for Pastoral Trainer. For more information go to www.GProCongress.org or email info@GProCongress.org.