Two years ago I had the privilege to travel to Chennai India and meet Dr R (Bobby) Gupta, the President of "Hindustan Bible Institute".
26 years ago I first met Bobby Gupta at a church planting forum in London. I remember that day well. He spoke about His "Hindustan Bible Institute" (HBI), training leaders to begin new churches. (HBI began in 1952). The students fully graduate when they have planted a church, or are part of the team that plant. It was so exciting when I first heard about it and I’ve remembered the meeting ever since. My dream is to see Bible College’s in Europe do the same!!
So now, fast forward 26 years to February 2013 in Chennai and I meet him again at the HBI. We end up talking non stop for a few hours...You guessed it, church planting, movements... it was so inspiring to hear what has happened. In the last 28 years over 7000 churches have been planted! Now I'm not discrediting this number, but even if it is half of this it's absolutely amazing!! Included in this are new movements, that are self sustaining and multiplying. Of course as we were speaking I was imagining a few 'Church Planting Training Centres for Western Europe', (CPTC for WE). Then I begin to dream ... what would it feel like to see whole new movements / networks begin in Europe. Some would have 30-50 churches, some would have 100's of new churches...I must admit I began to feel somewhat emotional. It was a wonderful God moment...
Bobby Gupta gives a very clear call to the church; 'Unless the church focuses on the task of making disciples & planting churches, we will not fulfill the mission of God for our generation'. He goes on to say, 'God's mission for the church is to make disciples of the nations, and God insists on accomplishing that mission through us'.
As I left the building I noticed the huge board in the foyer which reads, I quote:
"To give every Indian an opportunity to hear, understand & respond to the Gospel and be discipled into communities of believers, so that we will see a dynamic transformational church in every village, colony, town and city of India & beyond. Building Transformational Leaders to disciple the Nations."
Now that's one Heaven of a mission statement...and it's happening!!