In reaching the last 3,000 unengaged, unreached tribes, Saddleback is sharing church health principles with other churches around the world. This mighty step equips churches to balance the five purposes, so that they can then engage their communities in a vibrant and healthy way as they share it with others.
Exemplifying this multiplication effort is Saddleback’s Global PEACE partnering church located in the suburbs of Moscow, Russia. Our GPC partner gathered over 240 pastors and leaders to collaborate and take next steps toward implementing church health principles discussed at the first ever, locally-hosted Purpose Driven Church (PDC) Conference from April 25–27.
To help pave the way for the April conference, one of Saddleback’s PEACE Teams met with our Global PEACE Partnering Church in Moscow earlier this year. The PEACE team was invited to assist three Russian pastors from Moscow teaching a PDC conference in Siberia. The two-day training was attended by 25 local pastors from 10 different churches. The focus of the conference was to teach the foundations of healthy small groups and SHAPE.
“PEACE team leader, Dave McKee says, “It’s almost been five years since we made the first trip to Russia, a time when the Purpose Driven Church book was widely distributed yet not widely implemented. Now, it’s awesome to see the changes taking place and so many pastors gathering to learn more.”
Today, PDC is a movement spreading across Russia with training, translation, resources, and coaching. Local churches that have adopted PDC are experiencing an increase in attendance, spiritual maturity, small groups, and are even taking steps to share PDC with other Russian churches.
“This growth of PDC in Russia has crossed denominational lines,” says Dave. “It has extended to churches throughout Russia all the way to Siberia! It is so encouraging to see churches effectively applying PDC within their culture and traditions.”
“Some people came from as far as eight-hours by train,” explains Dave. “The attendees had read the Purpose Driven Church and the Purpose Driven Life, so the format of the conference was a Q & A, answering all questions related to PDC, small groups, and SHAPE. It was inspiring to see their enthusiasm for taking the next steps to making their churches healthy.” Dave says a major turning point was seeing our partnering Russian church sharing PDC principles with another Russian church of a different denomination.
“It is awesome to see the seeds starting to bear fruit in the growth of healthy evangelical churches across Russia,” says Dave. “The growth of these churches is bringing the Gospel one step closer to reaching the UUPG’s in a country where less than .02% of the people are evangelical believers.”