Around the world there are hundreds of thousands of men preparing for the ministry. Most will study for years in a Bible College before ever going out into the world to actually minister. This is the model of discipleship that has been used in the “church” for centuries but is quite different to the model given us by Paul and Christ himself. They taught their disciples (whom we call Timothys) ministry at the same time they taught doctrine. There are far fewer students in the world who are actually serving in ministry while still studying for ministry. And there are precious few who are literally starting churches and training other men while still a student themselves.
Truthfully, they already meet our qualifications to be supported as a church planter except for the fact they are yet to be commissioned or ordained by their church. These are the men for whom we have created the Timothy Project.
These are men who may have very little Biblical training but are making much out of the little they have. In their heart is a desire to study the Word and be better than they already are. We provide the mentor/school with the funds to feed and teach such young men. Their only commitment to us is that during the training, they plant at least one new church.
The following is the testimony of such a young man who planted one church while a student and immediately after graduation, went out and planted a second. Just this month his support began from the David and Lisa McHan family of Tennessee. Already they have “fruit that abounds to their account”.
Support of a “Timothy” is only $10 a month. While a student they will study daily, work around campus and do ministry. Once graduated, we will find them a regular sponsor for $35 a month which will help them to continue to do on a career basis, what they have already done as a student. There is no guessing, no wondering if they are able; they have already proven themselves while still students. Such a man is Kallappa Laxman Upphar of Karnataka India.
His testimony …
I was a devotee of a Hindu god known as “Krishna” and would visit different towns wherever the temple is located, I also became very popular among the priest and spent so much of my hard earned money in visiting temples.
On the advice of my priest I did a special pooja (worship) for which I should wake up early in the morning before sunrise, take a cold shower and fall prostrate before the idol of Krishna with a bare body for two weeks. During the day time I would wrap a white cloth over my body and apply incense powder on my forehead; by this people in my village adored me but internally I felt empty and sensed that all my efforts to appease this god brought me no good at all. I ended up miserable. I began to think as to what did I gain from visiting so many different temples. I felt cheated by the “priest and Krishna god” whom I adored so much. I did not know where to go, whom to seek.
Through God’s providence one of my far relatives invited me to attend a Bible study in a village where the pastor belonged to my cast. When I went, he was teaching on 1 Corinthians 3:16, that all those who trust in Christ , their bodies become the temple of the living God. This is what I needed, this is what I had sought and failed to find in my own gods.
The Pastor invited me to stay at his house for two days during which he counseled and taught me many truths from the Bible and at the end of the third day, I received Christ as my personal savior and went home with great happiness.
My parents would not welcome me as a Christian, instead they brought in the priest to brainwash me, but the Lord gave me wisdom to answer to all his questions. He himself could not disprove the Bible, so he tried to persuade me to abstain from reading the Bible. I refused to heed his suggestion, for which he called the village elders to question me and warned me that they would throw me out of the village.
Through the day they enquired and investigated whether I was coerced by missionaries, they could not find any fault on my side but I did not give up my new found faith and chose to walk out of my village. As I was being cast out, my parents threw footwear at me and my aunt spit on my face to dishonor me for leaving the gods of my fathers. I reached the city of Hubli and found Pastor Solomon Bijja and joined the Bible college for training,
After my completion I returned back to a new village where I had planted a church as a student. It was near my ancestral village. I began ministering and a few people who came to know Christ were actually people who had moved there from my own community. They embraced me and called on my parents who came down to where I stayed and took me to their home. Praise the Lord I am ministering the Word of God in a place where I was once beaten and thrown out.
I used to go to church before I got saved, but one day when a preacher was preaching from the book of John 14:1-6, I came to realize that my life had no meaning without Jesus Christ so on that day I committed my life to Jesus Christ as my Savior. From that time, I started to get actively involved in church activities, especially in youth programs. After serving for three years, I had a call from God to join a Bible college to be trained as a pastor. After finishing four years in Bible School, I came back to my home church where I served as a pastor. Now I am overseeing a number of local churches that have grown from my work.