This week, we will finish a sponsorship season where we paired 22 leaders in Africa with 22 leaders in the US. It is good to remember how it all started, and to see it actually happening today!
by Dwayne Moore
“I’m just one guy, Lord. How can I help these leaders? I don’t have the time or money to make umpteen trips to Africa to lead conferences and work with worship leaders. I know they need help; I know they need resources and teaching, but, really, what can I do? I’m just one guy!“
Those words kept going through my head over and over for much of my return flights from Zambia two years ago. We had just finished training 400 leaders in 4 regions of that country. Yet, I couldn’t shake the burden I now felt for the worship leaders I’d met. They love the Lord and are very talented, but they need training and resources. There is not even a school of worship in Zambia. At the conferences we led, worship leaders, worship teams and pastors alike packed into every venue. Clearly, they were hungry to learn and grow.
The Birthing of a Dream
The simple idea that came to me on the plane was to connect US worship leaders with African worship leaders. Imagine US leaders sponsoring leaders, providing them with resources and building friendships with them over time. [perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The simple idea that came to me on the plane was to connect US worship leaders with African worship leaders.[/perfectpullquote]
The thought of leaders helping leaders immediately arrested me. That’s a biblical idea! Even Jesus didn’t try to teach every person himself; he poured into a few reliable men who then trained many others. Paul did the same thing in his ministry. In fact, he told Timothy, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT, italics added).
I was so exhilarated by the idea of US/African sponsorships that I typed out almost the entire plan of how to go about it before I got off the plane! When I got home, I immediately emailed my trusted friend in Zambia, Donald, to ask him what he thought of the sponsorship idea. Donald is a tremendous worship leader whom I’ve had the privilege to coach and mentor over the past couple of years, and he is now our Zambia Director. Donald loved the idea and began to help us move this God-sized dream forward. Donald took on the responsibility to direct the program from the Zambian side, while our office directs the US leaders and overall program.
From Dream to Reality
[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]And now, two years later, we are so excited to be finishing another round with 22 sponsorships![/perfectpullquote]
On the 13th of November, 2015, we launched our worship leader sponsorship program with 10 trusted US sponsors paired with 10 eager Zambian leaders, and quickly started to get great feedback of the personal friendships that were being made! And now, two years later, we are so excited to be finishing another round with 22 sponsorships!
How It Works
The Zambian leaders receive a “Care Package” of training resources. The resources include books like Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin, Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders and Pure Praise by yours truly. The US leaders begin using the resources with their sponsored leader, advising and encouraging the Zambian leaders as they walk through the resources together.
Each sponsor and his or her sponsored leader must sign a covenant committing to 6 months of quality interaction with each other. We can see how the Lord is already using this sponsorship approach to raise up strong, grounded leaders in Africa. It’s also helping to build community among the US sponsors and among the sponsored Zambian leaders. What a great God we serve! All glory to Him!
What Is Next
In less than 2 weeks, NLW is sending a 6 person team to Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa on the Africa Training Tour. We’re going to have opportunities to teach hundreds of worship leaders, praise team members, and pastors about Biblical worship. While there, we will meet leaders with a hunger to go deeper, and we will prayerfully consider who to sponsor. The next season of sponsorships will get started this fall! We are praying that God would work to help us pair great US leaders with great African leaders to encourage each other and grow together.