Bekele Shanko, President of the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication, on Planting a Healthy Church for Every 1000 People Globally

The Finish Line Podcast
Episode 51

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What We’ll Cover

Bekele Shanko leads the Global Church Movements division of Cru and is the President of GACX, the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication.

Bekele’s life started out in a small Ethiopian village without a school, clinic, or running water in a family dedicated to animism. By age 5, he was already an apprentice to a witchdoctor.

When Bekele’s family miraculously came to Christ, they became a powerful conduit for God’s saving power and grace to Ethiopia and the rest of the world. Bekele’s people group, the Kambaata tribe, was completely unreached when he was young. That same people group of 1.5 million people today consists of 97% born again believers.

As Bekele continued working to reach the unreached, he eventually came to found Cru’s global church planting division in 2011. That same division today is now working in 152 countries and has 2500 full time staff leading church planting movements.

Bekele also leads GACX, a global collaboration of church planting ministries, now with over 115 partners, with the focused goal of planting a healthy multiplying church for every 1000 people distributed worldwide.

And they want to do it by 2033.

Since it’s founding in 2011, GACX partners have planted 2.4 million churches globally. And according to Bekele, the level of collaboration and resource sharing between ministries today is unparalleled in history. There are some incredible things going on in the missions frontier and you will not want to miss this episode.

Quotes to Remember

  • “I’ve experienced the power of God. The Gospel has transformed me. And that’s why I’m so passionate about reaching people who are lost without Christ and sharing the good news that has the power to transform lives.”
  • “Missiologists believe that the center of Christianity has shifted from the global north (the western church) to the global south (Africa, Asia, and Latin America).”
  • “There is a sense of lukewarmness in the church, a sense of spiritual apathy. We have many Christians, but not many committed disciples.”
  • “I had this faith in God that I can ask God for anything as long as it is in His will.”
  • “I asked God what he wanted me to do for him and God just opened my eyes to trust him for what we would call impossible.”
  • “Whatever you ask God to do for His glory and for the advancement of His kingdom, He is able and faithful to do it. But sometimes we limit what God will do because we don’t believe and we aren’t asking God for great things. So I always encourage people to ask God for something bigger than themselves, for something they cannot do themselves.” 
  • “When there is clear vision, people are attracted to that vision.”
  • “We want every planted church to become a great grandmother church, giving birth to a new church which gives birth to a new church.”
  • “How can we help the 2 billion self-identified Christians to be part of God’s vision?” 
  • “We all believe that there is one church, one body, one kingdom, and one King.”
  • “How can we work together for the glory of God, so God’s glory is at the center, and fulfilling the Great Commission is our motivation? One kingdom, one body is our philosophy.”
  • “We are closer to the end times than yesterday.”
  • “Prayer is so powerful. When we pray, we are aligned with God’s heart.”
  • “Write down what you are praying and see if God answers those prayers.”
  • “God is calling you to fulfill his purpose, and there is limited time.”

Links from the Show

Bible References from the Show

Revelation 7:9 | Every Tribe and Nation

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 

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