Lilongwe, Malawi. Three determined pastors and a working church planting strategy has resulted in one of the fastest growing church planting movements on the planet—this is Malawi in a nutshell. Harvesters International Ministries and Bibles for Believers under the direction of Field Director Herbie Venter (and other partners), have been planting churches in Malawi since 2000. God has been faithful and the fruit of this labour is evident. I was privileged to meet these men a few weeks ago as I listened to their stories and strategies in planting churches in Malawi. It was nothing but amazing to see their enthusiasm and zeal for God’s work.
As a result almost 18,000 new churches have been filled with new converts in the past ten years. These converts are all in discipleship and the transformation in their lives has become apparent. Study guides for training of new pastors have been translated, printed and delivered; and new leaders enter a practical, three year Pastoral Training course. Each new pastor has the responsibility to further plant three new congregations.
During a visit to Malawi in November 2014 a strategic training session was conducted with the three country leaders looking forward to 2020: Pastor Harvey (Central Malawi), Pastor Medson (Southern Malawi) and Pastor Antony (Northern Malawi) attended. The reporting excited the team as the latest statistics for 2014 were revealed … Across the whole of Malawi about 3,000 new churches have been planted in 2014 alone! In Central Malawi 632 new churches were planted. Southern Malawi added 900 new churches using the Harvesters Hub Church Planting Model © and Northern Malawi surprised everyone with more than 1,200 new churches planted this year.
The enthusiasm of these three mighty generals in God’s army was contagious. They declared with one voice that there is still much room for more churches. However it is the impact that these churches have in their communities and villages that astonishes all. Spiritual growth and transformation in communities is the result of churches that realize that they are bringing the hope for the world—and also the hope for Malawi.