Nearly 65 percent of the world’s unreached people groups live in India (1.2 billion people) and the 11 countries surrounding it—comprising nearly 50 percent of the world’s population. This is where Central India Christian Mission (CICM) has planted more than 1,400 churches and where 400,000 people worship on a given Sunday. In the post below, CICM leaders Dr. Ajai Lall (founder) and Josh Howard share three of the five “big things” they write about in their eBook, Igniting Movements: Multiplying Churches in Dark Places. If we truly want to see a movement, regardless of our context, Lall and Howard say we must not forget these things.
1—Prayer is key.
We know this is fairly obvious, but too often it’s forgotten. Our leaders in India know firsthand how important prayer is to overcome the tensions we face. If we truly want to see a movement take place in our communities, we must be on the same page with the Spirit of God. Without oxygen, a fire can’t survive. In the same way, without the Holy Spirit, nothing we do will amount to anything. But if the Spirit of God moves, no one can stop it.
2—Children’s ministry must be taken seriously.
I’ve (Ajai) learned from an early age the importance of ministering to children. This is why Central India Christian Mission now has four children’s homes in different parts of India that are all taking care of orphan children. Who knows how God will use these children? Who knows what their children and grandchildren will accomplish for the Kingdom?
Many years ago, a young Hindu woman was teaching in a Christian day school in India. Though the woman’s husband and family were incredibly strong in their Hindu faith, they were okay with her teaching at the school as long as she didn’t learn too much about Jesus.
After several months of working alongside Christians, the woman began to fall in love with Jesus. Without telling her family, she made a decision to follow Christ and become a Christian. A few weeks later, her family found out about her decision and was outraged! They told her to leave the house immediately and that she was no longer welcome. They even threatened to kill her.
She grabbed her infant baby boy and ran out of the house. She wasn’t even able to put on her shoes. After running for what seemed like hours and with many cuts and bruises on her feet, this young woman found her way to a Christian orphanage and gave her son to an American missionary, hoping she would keep her son safe. The cuts on her feet became horribly infected and the infection found its way into her bloodstream. A few weeks later, the young woman died.
The American missionary raised the little boy with Christian principles. He grew up knowing Jesus and loving Him deeply. Upon his high school graduation, this little boy saved by the American missionary became a teacher like his mother and began sharing the love of Jesus with other children.
That little baby boy’s name was Samuel. And Samuel was my (Ajai’s) grandfather. Because one American missionary heard the call of God, left her home, and came to an impoverished village in India to take care of orphan children, I can now say I’m a Christian leader.
Just like John and Charles Wesley’s mother, maybe the biggest impact we will make for the Kingdom of God is not necessarily the great things we do, but the amazing children we raise.
We cannot forget about the children. If we’re going to see a move of God that lasts for generations, we must not only focus on adults, but also on children.
Children are the sparks of future fires!
3—Never forget: it’s all about Jesus.
This last principle is incredibly close to my (Josh’s) heart. Over the last six years, I have focused deeply on making disciples and igniting movements in India, but I got so focused on the process and the programs that I completely forgot whom I was doing this for. It became a job instead of a mission. So I write this now to remind all of us that the Kingdom work we do is first and foremost for the King! His love is unfailing! His grace is amazing! It’s Him that we worship, and it’s Him that we follow. It’s all about Him—as we plant churches and multiply leaders, as we make disciples and evangelize, as we preach and teach. It’s by Jesus that we live; it’s by Him that we receive grace. It’s by Jesus that we receive forgiveness. And we are doing this all for Him.
He’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is God and He is King. He is coming back to rule and to reign, and we will follow Him forever.
With Jesus at the forefront, with our eyes fixed on Him, may we all ignite the world with His love and grace.
Dr. Ajai Lall and his wife, Indu, founded Central India Christian Mission (CICM) more than 30 years ago. The primary focus of CICM is evangelism, church planting and leadership training. The Mission has grown from two to more than 6oo full-time workers and has planted 1,400-plus churches in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Lall has written many books for Hindi-speaking people and has a passion to preach the Word of God.
Josh Howard has been living in India for the past five years and has a passion to see the Kingdom of God spread throughout the world. He desires to raise up disciples who make disciples, leaders who create leaders, and churches that plant churches. Howard is overseeing the Bible college at Central India Christian Mission, which prepares church planters to go to unreached areas in India and the surrounding countries. In addition to God’s grace through Jesus, he is most thankful for his wife Lashi and his two sons, Josiah and Jeremiah.