Entrust Equipping Leaders
In our hurting world, why focus on leadership training?
July 27, 2022
Why focus on training Christian leaders?
Guest Chris Goree. If God calls certain people to leadership roles, why would they need training to serve in those roles? What’s at stake when church leaders haven’t received biblical training? How might leadership training impact needs in our world today? Listen in on this conversation with former Entrust CEO Chris Goree.

Chris Goree’s Equipping Christian Leaders article: https://www.entrust4.org/post/training-church-leaders

Information and statistics about pastoral training: https://lausanne.org/content/lga/2015-09/training-of-pastors

Speaker Name
 | Start Time  | Transcript
Intro/Outro (Todd)  | 00;00;03;16  | Welcome to Entrust Equipping Leaders. Our podcast aims to encourage you as a leader and as a and mentor of Christian leaders. Today you'll get a sense of why
Entrust exists. Host Laurie Lind has a wide-ranging conversation with Entrust CEO Chris Goree, including some of the whys and hows of church leadership training around the world.
Laurie Lind  | 00;00;28;07  | Thank you, Chris for joining us on Equipping Christian Leaders today. It's really wonderful to have you as a guest on this fledgling podcast.
Chris Goree  | 00;00;38;02  | Thanks. It's great to be here.
Laurie Lind  | 00;00;39;18  | So we'll just go right in. We're referring back to an article that you wrote for our blog on inclusive Christian leaders called Training Church Leaders to Meet the Great Need. It was published back in August of 2021. So I really want to invite our listeners to go back and read that article and find the interesting things that Chris had to say.
Laurie Lind  | 00;00;59;29  | The compelling case he built for why it's important to train leaders in the church today. And I would like to start by asking you, you had some really interesting statistics that seemed to kind of lay the case for why it is important to train leaders. You mentioned like that something like over 2 million pastoral leaders serve the church worldwide today, and only about 5% have had pastoral training and 50,000 newly baptized believers emerging every day.
Laurie Lind  | 00;01;30;13  | Where do we find some of those numbers?
Chris Goree  | 00;01;34;19  | Those particular numbers come from the world. Christian Alliance and I first heard those numbers at a conference from Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Ramesh Richard, does work literally around the globe, focusing mostly on India, and he has used those numbers from the World Christian Alliance to educate believers around the world. About the great need.
Laurie Lind  | 00;01;59;01  | Wow. I mean, that's just huge that 2 million people serving churches without any or adequate pastoral training. I mean, that's just overwhelming. Where is that? Most of that growth in newly baptized believers taking place.
Chris Goree  | 00;02;16;14  | That this in the majority of worlds, not in the West currently, although we do expect to see the Lord do great and amazing things in the West and revive that part of the world. South America, the Middle East, what's now commonly referred to as the Global South.
Laurie Lind  | 00;02;33;04  | So people are just coming to Christ in droves. And then they, of course, need to be in a church and they need good leadership. Even the fact of the baptizing them, who's baptizing one another in those worlds that you know.
Chris Goree  | 00;02;50;15  | Yes, I believe that would be probably the senior leader, you know, someone who came to faith more a longer period of time ago than the one being baptized. Really, a lot of people that are leaders in the church these days and is not there. It is not their vocation. You know, they're they're merchants, they're tailors, they're their workers.
Chris Goree  | 00;03;13;24  | And the Lord has raised them up to do great work as laymen, church leaders. Not everyone gets paid to do that job. And so someone who, as seen as a leader in the church, because they love Jesus, they love the scriptures and they feel called to invest in people, it's really an all hands on deck in the church around the world.
Chris Goree  | 00;03;33;22  | And I think that's a healthy a healthy thing. But we do need leaders trained and equipped.
Laurie Lind  | 00;03;39;05  | Exactly. Yeah. I was going to ask you, how do these people become leaders? And I think you kind of answered that, but is there more to that? Like, how does someone suddenly find themselves leading a congregation without having been to seminary? And all the things we think of in the West?
Chris Goree  | 00;03;57;07  | Yeah, I think for a there are a couple of ways to answer that question. One, I truly believe is just calling the Lord calls people, equips people. And then because we're supposed to be salt and light Lord, what happens is then the people around them see this person has the hand of the Lord on them to serve and to bless and to care for and to train and to teach.
Chris Goree  | 00;04;18;14  | So I think that the community really should be aware of the Lord's work in a person's life. We in fact have a seminary that is an international seminary in South Africa, and it's international because many nations across the continent of Africa send their best and brightest from their countries to ICBM and South Africa. And I think that the reason that happens is because the community realizes the Lord is with this person.
Chris Goree  | 00;04;48;11  | The Lord is choosing to bless us through this person. And then they're sent for equipping.
Laurie Lind  | 00;04;53;02  | And in a way, thinking about that, one could think, Well, that's fantastic. The Lord has called them. He's given these people certain gifts. The community kind of affirms this why would we need to enter in and provide training for these people?
Chris Goree  | 00;05;10;04  | Then you yeah, there is still in the world a disparity of resources. And the West has been gifted with tremendous theologians with seminaries and with structures and just finances to honestly. And so giving back globally I think is a critical for the advancement of the kingdom as we humbly serve and invest.
Laurie Lind  | 00;05;37;05  | You also said in your article that one of the dangers of having not adequately adequately equipped pastors would be this kind of like syncretism or non biblical philosophy. Can you talk more about that? How does that develop? What does that really mean?
Chris Goree  | 00;05;53;18  | It's a, it's a it's a blending. It is a blending of old beliefs or beliefs from another religion beliefs from theology outside of scripture that they didn't take and then blend those concepts with the with the scripture And not healthy for anyone involved Yes.
Laurie Lind  | 00;06;16;18  | I think maybe we've heard of that. Like in certain cultures where there's a traditional faith and it gets a little bit mixed up with Christianity and some of the practices are a little bit of both. And it becomes a little unclear what's truly biblical and what isn't. I wonder, though, I'm just thinking now, does that happen in the West as well?
Laurie Lind  | 00;06;37;07  | Those of us from the West might mix up a bit of our cultural understandings with biblical things too, and need correction I'm just wondering.
Chris Goree  | 00;06;47;15  | I'm sure that happens in every place around the world. That's one of the beautiful things about how the Spirit of God leads us is through sanctification. The more we know the Lord, we know more we know the Scriptures. He leads us to loving him more, worshiping him more, and then gently correcting attitudes, correcting concepts, correcting behaviors so literally around the globe.
Chris Goree  | 00;07;12;02  | The plan is for the Lord to draw us more and more closely to Him that we might more accurately reflect Christ. And is that true in the West? Yes, absolutely.
Laurie Lind  | 00;07;21;15  | Mm hmm. So therefore, I love what you said about that. Generally, even as interest comes alongside existing leaders or potential leaders in different parts of the world. I'm guessing, then, that the desire is to be gentle, to not be that here we are, we have all the answers and we are right and you are wrong. But how do we kind of achieve that, helping a person who is really shepherding a church and thinks they're doing quite well?
Laurie Lind  | 00;07;52;20  | What's how does that process even work in a in a kind of loving way?
Chris Goree  | 00;07;57;00  | Mm hmm. Yeah, that's a very, very nuanced question. I hope to give an answer that's palatable to me. The first thing is just humility coming in and realizing what an honor it is to serve. What an honor it is to serve the Lord and to serve people. But then relationships, building a relationship. It's it's when I need advice, when I need help or training, I go to friends I go to people that I know.
Chris Goree  | 00;08;24;24  | I go to people that I trust. If that if that's not possible, then who did my friends know that they can bring in to help me with what things we all want to be lifelong learners. My attitude, I want to be a lifelong learner. I desperately want that. And so hoping that other people wish that as well. You build a relationship you build trust.
Chris Goree  | 00;08;45;04  | There's care and compassion. And we're supposed to have the mind of Christ and the attitude of Christ. And we know that our Jesus, our Savior and our Lord is has come as a meek and humble servant. So as we build those relationships and come in with meekness and humbleness, with the attitude of how can we help and how can we learn?
Laurie Lind  | 00;09;05;02  | I like that. Yeah, we talk a lot in trust. Of course, our key versus second Timothy. Two, two words. Paul having learned things that he has entrusted to Timothy. I'm just thinking about I wonder if Paul ever picked up some things from Timothy in reverse to and there was a bit of mutual learning and discovery between them.
Chris Goree  | 00;09;26;13  | I would certainly think so.
Laurie Lind  | 00;09;28;02  | Back to what what Entrust  is all about again. How does Entrust determine when we enter into a new culture, a new people group, what are some of the ways that in trust does this or ways that other ministries just determine who needs training and what kind of equipping or training do they need that isn't currently there.
Chris Goree  | 00;09;51;29  | Yes, it's based on relationships and starting by asking good questions, what do people need? How might we help? And spending time with them, walking with them, and then knowing knowing people that are that are local and trust does not have the attitude of the West to the rest where we're going to come in with all the answers. We work with people locally on the ground.
Chris Goree  | 00;10;16;04  | We find out what their needs are. We help contextualize training but then just realizing that everyone needs to know the Lord better. We all want to know the Scriptures better, and how we might help with that takes a relationship and it takes time. Then as we come in and then building again, as I mentioned before, the attitude of humble service along the way and who might need the training, I'm sorry to say, much of the world does not have access to training where they might know the Scriptures and know the Lord better.
Chris Goree  | 00;10;49;11  | So we look for parts of the world that have limited access to the Scriptures that might be due to economics, it might be due to culture, it might be due to geography. Politics there are many things that can be a hindrance to systems and structures of training. So we go we go to places that then were wanted or needed.
Chris Goree  | 00;11;13;11  | We build the relationship. It's a beautiful thing, actually. We're well, we are well received and we always leave feeling mutually blessed.
Laurie Lind  | 00;11;22;04  | It's kind of a unique calling in a way. Most, not most, but a lot of ministries that we hear of are focused on evangelism or scripture translation or caring for orphans and various things like that. And trust doesn't as such, that's not our primary focus at trust. How do you answer people who say, Well, what about those things?
Laurie Lind  | 00;11;46;03  | Aren't those things important?
Chris Goree  | 00;11;48;24  | Yeah, that's actually that's a pretty exciting question for me with an answer. I love to love to talk about our calling is second Timothy to two. As you said, you know, we're training leaders to invest in others. And I love to hear the story where we've invested in a minister, we've invested in a senior church leader, and then they then go and start orphanages.
Chris Goree  | 00;12;14;25  | They then go rescue women who are caught in human trafficking. They then go and are feeding the poor. They then go and are sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. It is literally a multiplicative ministry. And it's it's thrilling to me to hear the stories as the the general ones of believers are investing globally so that we don't have to be everything.
Chris Goree  | 00;12;41;02  | We're not we don't pretend to be. We literally are educators and we want people to know the scriptures and we want them to know the Lord. And then we launch them into their own calling where they can then live out how the Lord has called them to invest in those communities.
Laurie Lind  | 00;12;59;06  | And then there's the element of the local church, our tagline, multiplying leaders from multiplying churches. So meeting the great need for leaders around the world. And how does that that sense of just the body of Christ, the local church, fit into that calling in that task?
Chris Goree  | 00;13;17;08  | Mm hmm. I love I love the church and Jesus loves the church. You know, as believers, we're supposed to love the things that Jesus loves Jesus absolutely loves and equips and blesses the church, and so should we. So we love working within the church, within the church body, within the church. Structure. There's a quote I heard. I don't know who to attribute it to, but the quote is that the church is the bride of Christ and organizations like and Trust.
Chris Goree  | 00;13;47;29  | We are the bridesmaid, and our job is to make the bride look beautiful. So however, we can equip the bride, love the bride, present. Present the bride. You know, it's it's it's humbling and an exciting opportunity. And so as we work with churches literally around the world, they invite us back. We have long term relationships with people. And I think that really shows the trust that they have based on healthy relationships and mutual appreciation for many, many years.
Chris Goree  | 00;14;19;06  | And trust has been around for about 41 years now. And we have relationships with people dating back from the very beginning, even though.
Laurie Lind  | 00;14;28;23  | That's true. In fact, maybe I don't know if you'd like to speak into this. You're about to go to Romania as we record this interview, which is one place where and trust has quite a long history. What are you looking forward to about that trip, or how do you see interests history developing there with Romanian Christians?
Chris Goree  | 00;14;51;13  | It's exciting. There's lots of work to be done in eastern south Eastern Europe and church there is growing. The leaders are hungry, they are wanting to know the scripture. They're willing to serve the Lord, they're willing to serve in their particular areas. And so on this trip, it's kind of a trip of goodwill. I'm going to meet them.
Chris Goree  | 00;15;12;03  | I have not met these particular leaders yet. We have an institute there that goes for about three years and we are starting a new three year cycle and I want to meet I'm humbled to meet the new attendees that are there. I want to shake hands. I want to pray for and with the people that are there and helped launch them even further into their service of the Lord.
Laurie Lind  | 00;15;36;28  | Yes, that institute, if I'm not sure I know it's your first trip there, I've not met those people at that institute either. But how has that worked? I believe it's all Romanian led, and that's really directed at this point where in the earliest days it was Westerners. How does that kind of work and what type of people are they training and where are those people heading?
Chris Goree  | 00;16;01;15  | Yeah, many times when I travel, I am a teacher or a facilitator of the scriptures and for this trip going but not being the up front teacher makes me realize that are calling the second Timothy two is actually working in that we have been training and equipping for many many years in Romania and the people there, they're brilliant, they're intelligent, they're gifted, they're well-educated, they're serving the Lord.
Chris Goree  | 00;16;28;24  | And so they're bringing in young ministers that want to be more fully equipped in the scriptures so that they can reach their churches and people in that country of Romania with the gospel and with this with the scriptures. And so it's it's a humbling experience and quite a thrilling experience for me to be there. And again, being invited to come and watch, listen, learn, and then, you know, hopefully, you know, empower people that are just coming in.
Chris Goree  | 00;17;00;28  | It's is tremendous.
Laurie Lind  | 00;17;02;29  | And I trust that's going to be a wonderful opportunity for you, a great chance to meet some amazing people you know, back to the idea about coming into a culture or a country and being humble and ready to help and equip. I know you recently were on a trip to the Middle East, and I remember hearing a quote about some of the people who are emerging as pastors of little house churches who haven't had a lot of training or any training.
Laurie Lind  | 00;17;33;09  | One of our local staff has said those those people his quote was, they think they know everything their culture is that if I'm leading a church, I know everything. Whether and they don't even know if they really do or do not know where we think, how do you approach a person like that would that might be more that could be helpful to you in your ministry?
Chris Goree  | 00;17;55;13  | I would say you approach them as you would everyone with meekness and truth, getting them in the scriptures and then ask really pointed questions about practical applications of ministry because people, Lorri, are very organic and people do not stay in the box. Well, so anyone who wants to serve people that think that they know everything they just need to be around people for a short amount of time.
Chris Goree  | 00;18;21;04  | And I think then I think we can all, all agree that we don't know everything. We don't always know the best plan, and we want to know the Lord and serve Him well and, and ascertain what's the Lord's plan. You know what, how, how do I need to be, you know, where do I need to be? What do I need to know to come in as a humble servant and invest in people?
Chris Goree  | 00;18;42;04  | And I think honestly, one of the few good questions about practical application of ministry and who they're investing in and how they're investing, I think you could probably get past some of the facade a little bit. And not everyone has that facade that's true. But getting past that a little bit, I think is really helpful as well. A second answer to that I really do believe is asking someone what is their vision?
Chris Goree  | 00;19;07;19  | What are they excited about? Where would they like to see this body of believers or the people that they're investing in? Where would they be in five years? In ten years, 15, 20 years, 50 years? Where do they see it going? And I think honestly, Lori, most of us know that we are not equipped by ourselves to get there.
Chris Goree  | 00;19;28;28  | If you have a big vision for serving the Lord, we need to walk in the Spirit. We need to know the Scriptures, we need to follow the Lord's leading and we need help. It is very much an all hands on deck team. It's the way the Lord created the church. So asking good questions and then finding out what the mission and the vision is and then finding out where people might need some help along the way.
Chris Goree  | 00;19;48;25  | There's a phrase that I like to use sometimes for people say they are delightfully aggressive and I've just seen the Lord really work in powerful ways through people that have a vision. They know their mission, they're aggressively they want to storm the castle. They just need to know the best way to do that and how to be a humble servant leader as they're being aggressive.
Chris Goree  | 00;20;12;25  | And, you know, Jesus our Lord and savior is quite aggressive and yet humble and our savior who loves us. So we really we want to reflect those things.
Laurie Lind  | 00;20;23;21  | You know, I liked your last statement in your article when you just you concluded with saying why train leaders? And then you said, because well trained leaders can effectively equip the saints to carry on our responsibilities to fulfill the great commission and the great commandment until our Lord returns. I mean, that pretty much says it all. Wondering if you have any additional thoughts on this whole topic of why train leaders value the effectiveness, any or anything else you'd like to just add to what you said there.
Chris Goree  | 00;20;55;27  | Mm hmm. Well, it's the Lord's calling it. It's the Lord's mandate. We're supposed to invest in people. We're supposed to advance the kingdom you know, as Jesus talking about loving our neighbor. This is a global world that we're living in, in now. And the reach is tremendous with air travel, with the Internet, we're really able to be in many places.
Chris Goree  | 00;21;18;19  | And I think that our neighbor literally used to be right next door. But I think now our neighbor, our neighbor is literally the entire world, and we're supposed to love them and care for them. And Jesus is talking to us and we're the he's the vine, we're the branches. And as Jesus said that he's the vine, we're the branches, we're supposed to be in him and then bear much fruit.
Chris Goree  | 00;21;41;22  | And that's what we're talking about. When a trust talks about training, investing, seminars, conferences, Bible institutes, what we're talking about, Laurie, we're talking about fruit. We're talking about being in the vine, about being healthy branches and bearing fruit. And by the grace of God, he's called us to bear fruit literally around the world. It's very humbling. It's really exciting.
Chris Goree  | 00;22;06;24  | It was our Lord Jesus who said that when we prayed, we should pray to the father to raise up new laborers for the harvest. The fields are white. And if someone's listening to this and they sing, that does sound thrilling to reach the world for Christ. It does sound amazing to be a humble servant. They should contact us.
Chris Goree  | 00;22;25;26  | We do have openings. We are literally praying constantly for more laborers. For the harvest. And it could be that people hearing the sound of my voice or reading a transcript of this later might feel a calling from the Lord, whether they're a young person just out of a seminary or a Bible college, or have training an older person nearing retirement, someone in their middle age that feel like they have been equipped, but that the world is calling to them.
Chris Goree  | 00;22;54;26  | We would love for them to contact us at our website, and we'd love to talk with them because the needs are great, and by great I mean huge. We really do want to reach people. There is a sense of urgency right now in the ministry which is exciting, but that this will not be solved in a day. And so we need generations of workers to enter into the harvest.
Intro/Outro (Todd)  | 00;23;21;01  | You've been listening to Entrust CEO Chris Goree describing Entrust, its history and philosophy of ministry. Keep checking back right here for upcoming episodes of Entrust Equipping Leaders about equipping women in ministry, training leaders online and contextualization in leadership training and as always, visit our website to learn more about us. Entrust4.org.