But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NLT)
What does collaboration in church planting look like among refugees in a war-torn area of the world? Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) has discovered the joy of partnership in a most unlikely region. Christ’s Commission Fellowship (a founding member of GACX) is a multi-church effort to spread the Word of God to every nation, focusing on initiating and sustaining church plants in places without knowledge of the Gospel. As a result, they have helped start thirty-seven thousand house churches and small groups worldwide.
Initially focused on Southeast Asia, collaboration has moved CCF’s efforts into Northeast Africa.
The region in Northeast Africa that CCF is working in is still experiencing violent conflict even after a war for independence. Casualties are rising, while more have been displaced in refugee camps. CCF is working with three of those camps by conducting MC^2, a biblical DMM/CPM process developed by Cru centered on making and multiplying disciples. Individuals trained return to their home villages to spread the Gospel and identify additional leaders.
There are nearly one-hundred tribes in the area, most of which have few or no known Christians. Early in their work, CCF began conversations with The Timothy Initiative (TTI) (another founding member of GACX) to coordinate church planting within Northeast Africa. By coordinating efforts with TTI and ensuring cooperation rather than competition, CCF’s partners have made disciples among over sixty different tribes and seen God begin more than fifteen-hundred small groups and house churches.
Jim Whelchel, Pastor at CCF, shares, “This story is a God-thing. We see many Muslims coming to know Christ, and house churches and small groups started. These efforts are what wake me up in the morning.”
In Northeast Africa, CCF collaborates with a coalition that includes GACX member organizations like Africa Inland Mission, E3 Partners, Vision 5:9, and the Jesus Film Project. The coalition coordinates with additional organizations working in Northeast Africa to physically and spiritually support civilians amidst the war.
“One of the cool things that GACX has done is help us highlight other organizations interested in doing DMM training in the area. When we work together, rather than in competition, we are more fruitful, and there is unity. We pray together, work together, are on the same team, and all do this for the Kingdom,” reflects Jim Whelchel.
Christ’s Commission Fellowship started its work in South Asia, and its partners have planted over twenty-nine thousand house churches and small groups. However, CCF has experienced disunity with other ministries in South Asia, with difficulties ranging from a lack of communication to a competitive spirit.
To help with these difficulties, the Coalition of the Willing (COTW) stepped in. In collaboration with TTI and CCF, the Coalition of the Willing is creating a map of ministries and organizations in South Asia. This map shows what village churches are in and where they are not, dividing the church planting efforts among the active organizations in the area. When organizations serving in a region know where others are serving, they can strategically discuss where each organization could go to establish a church. This collaboration minimizes competition and duplication and prioritizes the needs of the unreached.
“It’s helpful that we are building unity Biblically. That is a prerequisite for God to do something amazing,” says a hopeful Jim Whelchel.