This October, over 150 leaders gathered in north India and Nepal for ServLife’s annual pastors’ conference. The conference, planned around 2 Timothy 4:5 and the theme of “Fulfill Your Ministry”, was meant to equip and encourage pastors working throughout Nepal and northern India, two of the most difficult church planting environments in the world. Often, church planters face tremendous persecution from their society and even their own families. The pastors’ conference is essential in sustaining these men and women in the midst of trials.
The conference was held in two locations, Kathmandu, Nepal and Raxaul, India. Each location featured a variety of speakers from India, Nepal and the United States. A team from Indiana and Texas made the trip, which included conference speakers Todd Fisher, pastor of Trinity Church in Indianapolis and Kyle Pierce, youth and missions pastor at Vista Community Church in Temple, Texas.
While the conference is in its tenth year, this year’s meeting in Kathmandu was the first time a portion of the conference was geared specifically toward pastors’ wives. Thirty women from all over Nepal made the journey to be equipped for ministry in partnership with their husbands. One session was geared specifically toward empowering women in ministry and featured a variety of female speakers, including Wendy Lemmons, who works with her husband in Nepal to oversee ServLife’s HOPE Fund. Women are often the most effective ministers in Nepal, as Director Lazarus Thulung points out, “A lot of times we focus on the husband, but neglect the wives, who have a bigger role in rural church growth.”
In addition to encouraging and equipping, the conference is meant to build unity within the church in India and Nepal. Director Albert Das noted, “We want [pastors] to come here and…to build a network…so that every person can know each other and in time of crisis contact each other.” The three days of fellowship allowed pastors to share success stories, offer advice and leave with new ways to share the hope of Christ in their communities.
After ten years of strengthening the church through the conference, ServLife leaders in India and Nepal have no intention of slowing down. They see their regions as fertile ground for the gospel and the pastors’ conference as an essential part of spreading that hope. In the coming years, they plan on equipping even more pastors. Lazarus Thulung is counting on God to raise up new leaders. “Pray,” he said, “that the Lord sends more workers for the harvest.”
Be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:5 (NET)