MANSFIELD, Ohio — Local nonprofit Global Youth Ministry Network recently underwent an organizational rebranding, changing its name to globalLead. But it was a personal expanding in thinking that served as impetus for a change.
“My thinking expanded. It was a natural progression,” said Executive Director Chris Davis.
The globally charged organization, which is located on Park Avenue across the street from the First Merit bank, first started operations out of Davis’ basement in Mansfield. When he started, the ministry was aimed at equipping evangelical youth ministry leaders in foreign countries.
“I went to Mexico on a training (seminar) in 1996 for a school project. I thought, eh, ‘I’m doing this for credits,’ you know? But I went back to my room at night and it was like God was impressing on me, ‘Hey, there’s a huge need, these people are very hungry.’ And there weren’t resources,” said Davis.
Davis started his organization in January 1997. Since then, globalLead has trained 15,000 ministry leaders from 50 countries on five continents.
“The beauty of what we offer is that it’s transferable. Because we don’t tell how to do it. From a Christian viewpoint, we just look at the life of Jesus. That’s worked for 2,000 years,” said Davis.
Davis said the training he offers church leaders from around the world focuses on principles set by Jesus in the Bible. Then he, and his team, ask them to plan a ministry around those principles.
But the ultimate goal, said Davis, is to encourage the trainees to train — to multiply.
“I basically want to work myself out of a job. When they don’t need me for training anymore, that’s success,” he said.
Davis said 120 evangelical leaders from around the world have entered into the “multiplication” phase — they are at the point where Davis does not need to help them anymore. They are, essentially, doing what he does.
The group of 120 globalLead trained evangelical leaders include three hubs — one in Nepal, one in the Philippines and one in Kenya.
“Interestingly, the population of the world, that’s where most of the population is. And where the world is young and growing,” said Davis.
Davis is working to make more of these hubs all around the world. The organization currently has ties in 50 countries.
Davis takes approximately five trips per year, each one to two weeks long, and he tries to visit at least two countries per trip. These trips are meant to connect with new church leaders, check in with old acquaintances and train.
“I’ve just met incredible people in other countries, just passionate for Christ and the gospel. And it’s like, do they really need all that we’re teaching in our notebook? Probably not. But what they really need is someone to say, ‘You can really do this,’” Davis said.
When asked if he is ever afraid of traveling overseas, especially in light of recent terrorist attacks, he said, plainly, “no.”
“I don’t fear,” he elaborated. “My wife says, ‘God called us to do this, He’s going to protect us.’”
He cited Luke 2:8, a verse he looks to often when traveling and working for globalLead. He said it is a good reminder:
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
For more information on globalLead, visit their website or call 419-756-4433.
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