Friday, June 17, 2016

Let's Talk Empowerment!

Empowering People

While I’m still quite new at this Sowers 4 Pastors blogging stuff, I have already learned a very important lesson. Are you ready for it? I’ve learned a phone call with Allen Sowers is like a phone call with a professional motivational speaker. It leaves you wanting to get off your duff and put your money where his mouth is! You leave the conversation feeling empowered. No, that’s not quite right. You leave the conversation feeling EMPOWERED in an all caps, shout-it-from-the-mountaintops sort of way. (I can say that. I’m not a relative.) In fact, Allen has quite a bit to say about empowering people. And he says it really fast!

Empowering Pastors

We’ve all heard the platitude about offering people a hand up instead of a handout. That pretty much sums up Sowers 4 Pastors ministry philosophy. The Sowers are often asked if they are involved in planting a new church. To that, Allen responds, “Why would we plant one church when we could be helping indigenous pastors plant fifty churches?” This is the thought behind Pastors Training School. The pastors are putting forth the time and effort to become better equipped to operate a church and spread the Gospel.

What giving a hand up means is that much of the Sowers’ time is spent getting U.S. donations into the hands of indigenous pastors where it will do the most good. They seek to support the “go-getter” pastors--the ones who are already out there doing the work. Those are the pastors the ministry empowers by providing motorcycles or horses, making it possible for them to reach even more people in more remote areas. In a country where only 5% of the population owns a vehicle, a motorcycle or horse can expand a pastor’s reach exponentially.

Those go-getters are also the pastors the ministry supports by assisting with such practical things as getting a new roof on a church building and starting a feeding center ministry out of their churches. Again, it’s not about someone going in and doing all of the work for the pastors. It’s about empowering them to, in turn, empower their congregations!

Empowering Communities

When Russell and Allen recently spent time in Haiti, it wasn’t because they wanted a change of scenery. It was because they knew that assisting a community in a bridge building project would empower a Haitian community for years to come. It wasn’t about swooping in to build a bridge for a community; it was about building a bridge with a community.  Of course there are plenty of other examples of empowering communities, but we’ll save those for another day.

Empowering MKs

Rachel is the director of the MK Youth Retreat and MK Camp and does an excellent job at planning, organizing, and connecting with the kids, but Russell and Allen are hard at work, too. Is it nepotism if
you’re putting someone to work? Probably not! But Rachel definitely knows how to utilize her brother and dad. Russell heads up games, chaperones in the boys dorm, loads and unloads vehicles full of supplies, hooks up shower heads, and generally serves where needed. Allen takes on such glamorous tasks as helping with the logistics, helping to raise funds, making phone calls concerning speakers, and doing shopping. When last we spoke, he was about to run out for butter. A very noble task, indeed!

We've heard that around 50% of kids who grow up in missions work in ministry as adults, and this time spent connecting with other MKs is more empowering than we can imagine. We’ll be sharing more about the MK Youth Retreat and MK Camp soon, so stay tuned!

- posted by Christi

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