And I thought I was busy being involved with four different mission organizations!
But during the past couple of days, I learned it would be impossible to match the output of one particular Nigerian mission leader, especially one with the ambitions of Timothy Olonade.
|With Timothy Olonade in Nigeria|
This past Saturday and Sunday, I agreed to participate in a pastor’s conference that Timothy was presenting in the capital city of Abuja. I’ve known Tim for some time, meeting up with him here and there in various global consultation over the past twenty years. However, this is the first time I’ve had the privilege of seeing him in action—on his own turf. Passionate about getting local pastors to fully use the Bible in their own preaching, his practical workshop has taught them to use such resources as the Preacher’s Outline Bible. By the end of the conference, I was impressed how both pastors and their wives were capable of taking any passage and present a five minute mini-sermon complete with three or four points.
But this is just the beginning of Timothy’s impressive list of involvements. Summarizing all of it under the label of M2414 (for Mathew 24:14) here are just SOME of his activities:
· BLM – Bible for Life & Ministry Workshop
· Kairos: Connecting God, the Church and the World
· GIST: Global Impact Strategic Training
· EWI: Encountering the World of Islam Seminars
· MDN: Mentor Development Network
· PIN: Professionals into the Nations
· EEG: Engagement with Elders at the Gate (encouraging senior leaders)
If that isn't enough, Timothy is also the Africa rep for Global Mapping International besides serving on the steering committees of the Lausanne Movement and the Ethne-To-Ethne consultation. Even his wife, Hannah has followed his example launching Women of God International and the SMILES Initiative, a ministry to widows and orphans.
I’ve learned that articulate national mission leaders like Timothy are usually in high demand on the international speaking circuit. That has certainly been true of him in the past. But what I really appreciate most about these two days of working together is seeing how Timothy is living out his new commitment to turn down international invitations and focus his remaining years on mentoring the next generation of pastors and leaders right here in his own country.
Overachievers or not, I'm praying that Africa can produce a lot more key leaders with that same kind of commitment!