Tanzania Best Practices Trip Report
Author: Dr. Tariku Fufa Gemechu
One of the main focuses of the Global Church Movement (GCM) is leadership development in various forms and levels. One way to develop leaders is through exposure to best practices and giving people lifetime relevant experiences. Accordingly, I took 11 leaders from eight countries (Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, Comoros, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania) to Nyamikoma village in Tanzania with the purpose of learning how they grew from one generation of a church plant to 27 generations of church multiplication in less than four years.
The objectives of the trip included visiting the best practices of the Tanzanian GCM 27 generations of church multiplication, practically and theoretically understanding the GCM in the field, getting inspiration and conviction to launch GCM in countries where we had none, enlarging leaders’ vision towards national scope and impact, building relationships, and listening to God to hear what He might say or show to us.
We took time to listen to everyone’s personal story and ministry status. This helped to get to know one another better. We attended church with leaders and members from 27 generations of church and faith groups multiplication. We worshiped, danced, heard from the word, and participated in offering giving, praying together, eating lunch together, and fellowshipping with the church. At Mwanza city, we shared our insights, lessons, observations and discussed them in great depth during and after the formal meetings. It was a great time to learn from one another.
We also took a half-day for coming up with our country-specific action plans. This was accompanied by raising SPQs and budgeting for their action plans. For most team members, such practice was either the first or only a second experience. Everyone loved it.
We visited the Tanzanian Life Ministry staff and volunteers, shared with them from our experiences, prayed together, and then ate lunch together.
Key Lessons Learned by the Team
- Ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Every disciple is a disciple-maker. Multiplication happens as people share their faith.
- The church is not a building but people. The simple gathering is easy to reproduce. Focus on building a healthy biblical church to save people’s souls and develop human beings, not so much on the physical aspect. Focus on decorating the heart — with love, forgiveness, humility, gentleness, and obedience than focusing on decorating the building.
- Obedience. Selfless commitment without expecting anything in return. Servant leadership! The Lord is calling us not into comfort but into obedience to Him. Obedience is key in church planting processes. Talking will not produce any results if action is not taken.
- Local empowerment is key to self-reproducing and sustainable churches.
- Unity and accountability– 27 generations but one body. Submission to authority. Knowing the flocks. Freedom, but with unity.
Outcomes (Immediate Results of the Field Visit)
- Reunion and Namibia NTLs decided to launch GCM in their countries. The NTLs decided to lead their country GCM for the next one year until they develop a leader and hand over. This came out of deep conviction from what they have seen God doing in Tanzania and the interactions afterward.
Comoros and Mauritius decided to trust God for something bigger than they were. Towards this, they came up with clear action plans.
- Uganda and South Africa decided to cover their whole scope in the country and came up with clear action steps towards those decisions.
- We all are inspired, motivated, and put in place clear action plans contextually.
- It was such a rich time spiritually, relationally, practically, and intellectually.
As Philip did to Nathanael (John 1:46), the invitation to come and see still stands! Seeing helps bring clarity and cast out doubts. There is a power in seeing! I am deeply thankful to the Lord who orchestrated this trip for us. I thank Bekele for giving me insight into the power of visiting best practices. I thank Keith for his regular support behind the scenes. I am grateful to Farai for blessing us all to travel. I also thank the national team leaders and GCM leaders who came. My special appreciation goes to Gideon, Dismas, and the Tanzanian staff, who made this trip meaningful and fruitful. Please keep praying for our team as they are going to implement their action plans in their unique contexts.
Author: Dr. Tariku Fufa Gemechu