At the beginning of any BUILD training-of-trainers course, participants are asked to write down and share a thumbnail of their vision for equipping others. Not surprisingly, these can vary dramatically. One participant from a course that started in 2014, David Kiryankusa, produced a sketch that combined simplicity, integrity and clarity. David is a ‘typical’ parish priest in many ways, serving in the Church of Uganda’s Mityana Diocese, in Uganda’s lush, fertile and productive Buganda region. This is what he wrote:
“I look after ten daughter churches with ten lay readers. I have the opportunity to train the lay readers in my parish. Those ten lay readers would start groups in their churches and train them also. I would also supervise the lay readers while these trainings take place and help them where necessary.”
Fifteen months later, not only has David met his target, but the impact has gone much further. The workshops he organised at regular intervals throughout last year were consistently attended by eighteen lay readers, and there have been a range of other outputs. For example, as he explained on the phone yesterday, “the Lord is great because we have now mobilised 78 children for Sunday school”. And last week he mobilised a youth conference to which 227 young people came. Of those, 67 gave their lives to Christ and 92 renewed their faith, an extraordinary response by any standards. And he has other plans for growth: “as Module 4 Unit 13 teaches about leading small groups, I am now expecting to start a number of Bible Study groups”.
Given his vision and his ability to implement it, it is no surprise that this month he was put in charge of overseeing more churches. As he reported, “Praise God, BUILD has empowered me! Surely the programme has improved my leadership skills; most especially in the areas of preaching, stewardship, counselling and strategic leadership, the building of God’s people. Because of BUILD’s prayers, encouragement and support my Bishop has considered me trustworthy and promoted me to be an Archdeacon. I have now moved from having one parish to overseeing six with about 75 congregations.”
And David longs for more of an impact asking for prayer and partnership “so that I may become God’s tool to do his will in this large ministry, and prayer is needed to get capable leaders for this great mission. Let us join together and build the body of Christ that is the Church.”