The need for Equip and Empower
We live in a generation which is born into a world of instant gratification. Waiting upon the fulfillment of a need, and preparing an assignment with foundational teachings are not part of the daily vocabulary of this generation. Such a malady has crept into the Christian world where ministry is often viewed as a result-oriented corporate activity or performance as opposed to sacrificial, process-oriented, Christ-centered, prayer-led, and Holy Spirit driven vocation. Equip and Empower (E2) focuses on providing a much-needed paradigm shift to the next generation of leadership who will return to the Biblical basis of Servant Leadership.
The primary goals include but are not limited to:
- Develop qualified student leaders to provide leadership to the ‘Ignite; program.
- Equip and Empower trainees to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in their colleges.
- Create opportunities for trainees to go to other countries for training and development of student leaders during mission trips conducted by ICPF International Missions.
- Provide encouragement and guidance to trainees to systematically learn God’s word and pursue theological studies in preparation for ministry.
- Train and encourage students to take spiritual leadership roles in local churches such as youth leaders, Sunday school teachers and small group leaders.
The Fruits of Equip and Empower
Equip and Empower in other countries
Equip and Empower started in 2012 in the USA in the Dallas Metroplex area but soon flourished to many other countries including Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Efforts are under way to start these programs in the Middle East, Europe, Pakistan, Laos and many other regions of the world including various states within the USA.
Ignite was conceived in 2016 as an expansion of the Equip and Empower camps. It began as a simple webinar series and blossomed into a multifaceted ministry. During the 2017 AWAKE camp held in Dallas, TX, the ministry of Ignite broke new ground as it implemented new ideas in how to reach middle school children through focused meetings. The responses were overwhelming.In partnership with families, Ignite exists as an intergenerational program to train students to be true servant leaders, and to send them out as individuals of integrity who will transform their homes, schools, churches, communities and the world for Christ. Ignite is primarily led by student leaders who have completed leadership training through Empower and Equip under a strong pastoral leadership. The vision of IGNITE is to reach the children at a young age and ignite a fire in them.
One of the biggest success stories of the Equip and Empower camps held in the USA was the birth of young missionaries who are sold out for Christ. Many of them, barely into college or in the middle of their undergraduate and graduate studies, set apart at least ten days from their annual vacation time to choose a country like Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka to go on a short-term mission trip with the purpose of an impartation ministry. Led by senior leadership and seasoned missionaries, these young ‘Equipped and Empowered’ missionaries have been going to these countries for the past five years and conducting similar camps in training indigenous student and graduate leaders at the grassroots levels in those countries.
Their repeated trips to the countries they visited previously provide an opportunity for continuous learning as well as establishing an unbreakable bond of fellowship between the student leaders. Many of the young missionaries worked part-time, conducted bake sales, harvest auctions and adopted similar means to raise funds for these extended trips which cost them thousands of dollars especially due to very high airfares to these far-off nations.
Future goals of Equip and Empower
Equip and Empower leadership is currently engaged in preparing a five-year curriculum which can be used across the world as part of the training process. However, the process is very time consuming and financially cumbersome due to the variables involved in developing a uniform learning tool. Linguistic barriers requiring translation work, cultural barriers requiring feasibility studies as well as technological challenges such as lack of computers and LCD projectors in some of these underdeveloped nations continue stand in the way of fulfillment of these goals in a time sensitive manner.