I've been traveling with Pastor Roman and Elena and just returned from Hereford, Texas this evening.
It's been amazing to spend time with Roman and Elena. Their story of how they came to faith and of what God has been doing in their lives is truly awesome.
Roman and Elena came to know Christ in the early 90's. Since then, God has used the ministry and the testimony of these two people to start up three churches and they are working on their fourth. Roman became the pastor of his first church because he and his wife led more than 30 people to Christ. And they all looked at him and said, "You led us to Christ, you are our pastor." And before he ever went to the seminary, God used him to build up two churches!
One of the criteria for being ordained in the Russian Presbyterian Church is that the seminary graduates must be able to demonstrate they can lead at least 60 people to Christ. After they graduate from the seminary, they must go into an unchurched area and build up three bible studies of at least 20 new believers. Once they demonstrate that they are able to lead people to Christ, the seminary ordains them and purchases the land and a building for the ordained graduates.
I wonder what would happen to the church in America if that was our criteria for ordaining our ministers?!
The presbyterian church in Russia is less than 20 years old, and in that short span of time, there are now over 110 Presbyterian churches. There are over 10,000 new believers who are members of the Russian Presbyterian Church!
The way I see it, we are the ones who ought to be learning from the Russians how to do evangelism.