Meet Chris Perrin
Chris Perrin and his wife, Kathryn, love using their home in a model of ministry that shows students how to live out the gospel. Now, many of his students follow that same model, using their residences and positions within the community to bring people to Christ. In his “I Am Every Nation” video, Chris tells us how he went from a life of meaninglessness to become a campus missionary that empowers students to actively make disciples wherever they are.
Watch his “I Am Every Nation” video to hear his story.
God has been faithful to bring more qualified leaders that would answer the call to plant churches in cities in need. As a result, we saw a record growth in our church-planter training program this summer.
Much of the strength of our campus ministries comes from having a church where new believers can further hear the Word and develop in community. Because of this, some of our partners join with church planters to help them get started in target cities where the impact on the universities can be greater. When those churches become self-sustaining, they often send leaders from their congregation to get trained to be the next campus missionaries and church planters. The Every Nation North American church-planting initiative evaluates, trains, and assists these new planters with the ABC3 program (Assessment Center, Boot Camp, Clusters, Coaching, and Consulting). So far, it’s had a 95% success rate.
For the first time in our history, we’ll be hosting two Assessment Centers in one year because of the large volume of qualified applicants. Here’s a report from Pastor David—the director of the initiative—on the possible reasons for the growth.
Director, Every Nation North American Church-Planting Initiative
This summer, thirty couples stepped forward with a vision to plant a church in North America. Reviewing the applications, recruiting two groups of qualified assessors, and generally doubling our administrative efforts has been a challenge. However, it’s one that has been a focus of our faith and prayers for several years. Since the founding of Every Nation, we’ve never had this many highly qualified candidates in one year step forward with a vision to plant churches in North America.
I can’t point to a single contributing factor, but several things seem to have added increasing momentum behind our mission—To honor God by establishing Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially responsible churches and campus ministries in every nation.
- Our churches are growing larger and stronger with larger congregations, more leaders, and more giving capacity.
- Our senior pastors are consistently promoting the vision of planting churches. They’re also taking the necessary steps of faith to send out their best leaders and support them financially.
- The quality of discipleship and leadership training in Every Nation Campus chapters is producing plenty of fully-funded campus missionaries—many who eventually become church planters. We’ve consolidated our School of Campus Ministry curriculum to include church-planting basics.
- Every Nation’s ABC3 process is gaining a lot of credibility. Over 95% of our church plants have been quite successful—several times larger in the first two years than the average North American church plant. When potential leaders see the success of others who go through the ABC3 process, their faith to go is emboldened.
- Every Nation churches and members continue to partner with the North American Church Planting Initiative, helping each qualifying church plant begin with a solid financial footing.
The Assessment Center standards have not been lowered. If anything, they are higher and we’ve become even more selective. Nevertheless, the applications seem to be increasing. I think all the factors above (along with the grace of God empowering our efforts) together contribute to increased momentum. Contributions to the North American Church-Planting Initiative are having an ever-increasing impact for Christ on our communities and campuses.
As a partner, you send out missionaries like Mike and Myra Watkins, who have served as Every Nation leaders for years in some of the most difficult places across Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. This month, Myra shares a success story from our churches in Ternopil, Ukraine, that launched rehabilitation centers to combat the widespread drug and alcohol addiction affecting the population since the collapse of communism. This is a prime example of what it means to establish Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, and socially responsible ministries in every nation.
Sergey, an outgoing athlete with many friends, started his descent towards the abyss of drug addiction in his twenties. One day he would inject to release tension and the next day because of depression. Day after day he went deeper. ‘Tomorrow,’ he would tell himself, ‘I will not use drugs.’ After he became involved in fraud and theft, he was caught and sent to prison. When he finally returned home, no one except his mother welcomed him because he lost his family and friends. Looking back, he saw wasted years. Ahead, he saw cops, prison, or the cemetery.
His outlook was about to change. ‘In Ternopil,’ he said, ‘addicts know about the Christian Rehabilitation Center.’ In desperation, Sergey went to the center where former drug addicts prayed for his release from addiction and led him through a faith-based, twelve-step program. ‘The miracle that happened to me was simply stunning,’ Sergey said. “I am a changed man, free! Now my life is filled with meaning. I want to help others take the same road to recovery through knowing the reality of God’s salvation and restoration.”
Sergey is one of more than a thousand rehabilitants who graduated from the center since it started in 2001. In response to the epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction in Ukraine, Every Nation’s churches in Ternopil and Novodnistrovsk started four rehabilitation centers. They plan to expand to other cities and to start churches through rehabilitation centers.
According to official statistics, about 1.5 million people in Ukraine use drugs. ‘But according to unofficial data,’ said Pastor Oleg of our Ternopil church, ‘the number is far greater.’ Three-quarters of the population abuse alcohol, and around one hundred thousand people die from alcohol and drugs each year. Addicts frequently share needles, leading to the spread of HIV, another common epidemic in Ukraine. Drug and alcohol addiction contribute to the cycle of poverty and bring disaster to families as addiction, disease, and poverty are often passed on to the next generation. Alcohol consumption among children and youth is very high. ‘Government centers for drug addicts exist. We have a good relationship with the government center in our city where we openly minister to people. However, if there were no faith-based rehabilitation centers, there would be no real, lasting help.
Pastor Oleg said that he and his team view the rehabilitation centers as part of their discipleship process. One hundred rehabilitants complete the program each year. During the first two weeks of the program, the leaders work intensely with them as they go through withdrawal. If they make it through the critical period of the first month, they begin to make friends and enjoy it. ‘We create a friendly, warm, loving atmosphere where they feel embraced,’ said Pastor Oleg.
Around seventy-five percent of the people stay in the program and come to church. Many who come begin to serve, and over eighty have become leaders in the church. They become functional members of society, marry, start families, businesses, and go to university. Some return to work in the rehabilitation centers.
A few years ago, church members and rehabilitants built a new men’s facility near Ternopil. Former addicts who went through the center and are part of the church’s leadership team donated their own money to help build it. ‘This is a testimony to their changed lives and their commitment to helping others break free from addiction,’ said Pastor Oleg.
Your partnership changes lives.
Thank you for being a world changer and helping Every Nation establish Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially responsible churches and campus ministries in every nation.