CSLI Needs your Support!


 

God has opened up possibilities for exciting new ministry partnerships for the C.S. Lewis Institute (CSLI) that are without precedent in our 42 year history.

Over the past six months, without any prompting from us, international leaders with established, reputable ministries have approached the C. S. Lewis Institute and asked us this question,

 

“Will you bring your expertise in discipleship programs and resources and share the C.S. Lewis Institute’s approach to heart and mind discipleship with ministries in our country?” 

 

The word has gotten out internationally about the impact of the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program on working professionals in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and these leaders  believe that CSLI has what they have been praying for to reach leaders in their countries.

Christian leaders from India, South Africa, South Korea, Europe, and Japan have visited CSLI’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and invited us to come alongside them in discipleship ministry. 

I believe that God is calling the C.S. Lewis Institute to respond to these requests from our brothers and sisters in countries around the world.  It is truly exciting to envision the greater impact this discipleship ministry of heart and mind will have around the world as the Holy Spirit uses it for His purposes!

Yet, these God-sized opportunities come with new challenges. As CSLI’s ministry continues to grow both in the United States and internationally, we need more prayer, more workers and more finances to accomplish the mission.  

We hope to develop new discipleship software, enhance our already effective website, build a small video and audio recording studio, continue to grow the CSLI Fellows Program and provide international ministries with heart and mind discipleship training.

I’ll share later about a year-end matching gift opportunity presented to us by some generous donors that will double your gift so that, together with God’s help, CSLI will have the financial resources necessary for this expanding ministry.

 

The Need to Equip Christian Professionals in the Developing World

As in the early church, the poor and needy in society are often the first to respond to the Gospel message as they are more aware of their need for a Savior.  However, if the church is to reach a broader audience and have influence over a culture or nation it also needs to reach the leaders in society who are involved in government, business, law, medicine and education.

The natural means to reach national leaders today with the Gospel is to develop mature disciples of Jesus Christ within the college-educated, professional groups within a society. 

This happened in the early church as people within Caesar’s household, Roman Centurions, Pharisees like Nicodemus, and the scholarly apostle Paul came to saving faith in Jesus Christ and then used their education, connections and skills for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Young church movements in the developing world have developed a foothold among the lower socio-economic classes within their countries, yet they have struggled to disciple the leaders in their countries. 

The C.S. Lewis Institute has been presented with opportunities to fill this need, as we have been asked to help disciple those with access to the leading institutions in these countries.

Many indigenous ministries have developed some form of seminary training for pastors which is surely needed.  However, they realize that the working professionals in their national churches have not been provided with the kind of discipleship training needed to shape the culture and reach the leaders of their nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and use their influence to help the poor and needy. 

 

Equipping Indigenous Christian Leaders in India

One exciting new partner for the C.S. Lewis Institute is Reaching Indians Ministries International (RIMI) led by the Rev. Dr. Saji Lukos.

Over the past 25 years, RIMI has helped plant 10,000 house churches with over 100,000 believers, established a brick and mortar seminary, and set up 30 Bible Colleges throughout India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.  They have developed compassion ministries to the poor and needy and are training indigenous pastors and ministry leaders. 

This is explosive ministry growth in a country where less than 6% of the population is Christian. 

Dr. Lukos, however, realizes the need for the kind of robust discipleship training offered by the C.S. Lewis Institute to train the educated Christian professionals of India, most of whom are English speakers. And they have reached out to CSLI and asked us to bring the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program to India.

These Indian Christian professionals have been trained in top universities in India and abroad. God has placed many of them within spheres of influence that provide the opportunity to share the Gospel with business and government leaders.

By the time you receive this letter in November, I will be in India visiting a number of the RIMI churches, the seminary and some Bible colleges. 

I will be asking questions and gleaning information to determine the best means of sharing the discipleship tools, coaching, and resources of the C.S. Lewis Institute with our brothers and sisters in India so that Christian professionals can receive a similar kind of discipleship training to what we offer in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

This is just one example of the kind of opportunities being presented to the C.S. Lewis Institute at this time.  Ministries and churches in South Africa, Europe, China, South Korea and Japan are also interested in partnering with the C.S. Lewis Institute in the area of discipleship ministry.  As I mentioned at the beginning of the letter, the opportunities to equip fellow believers to further God’s kingdom are unprecedented.

 

New Technology Harnessed for the Purpose of Discipleship

Thomas Friedman, in his 2005 book, The World Is Flat, correctly predicted that the impact of globalization and the internet world would create a new set of opportunities and challenges.

The good news for the spread of the Gospel is that Christian ministries and churches have the opportunity of using new technologies to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

A new initiative of the C.S. Lewis Institute is to develop a digital platform by which we can deliver the content of the C.S. Lewis Fellows program, while still maintaining a relational, high-touch, discipleship approach.

CSLI has just begun working with a learning management software company to design a means for delivering the C.S. Lewis Fellows program internationally in a manner tailored for each country’s cultural context.

This new software would enable the Institute to provide its discipleship resources and content to International ministries like RIMI through a digital platform.  CSLI would also provide on-site training to Indian ministry leaders and coaching throughout the year via video conferencing.

This kind of partnership between an indigenous ministry and the C.S. Lewis Institute creates a win-win situation for the kingdom of God.  CSLI provides the discipleship tools and training while the local ministry provides the ministry network and helps with contextualizing the discipleship approach. 

I believe that this kingdom partnership between the C.S. Lewis Institute and indigenous ministries in countries like India will multiply the number of people impacted by this ministry by the thousands! 

It also enables us to be more effective in our existing ministries in the United States which have grown consistently every year.

 

Video and Audio Recording Studio

In order to better serve believers around the world, the C.S. Lewis Institute is praying for the funding to build a small recording studio as part of our existing offices.  This would make it possible to produce podcasts, video recordings for multiple contexts, and program materials to be used by discipleship ministry partners around the world.

 

Enhanced Website for Discipleship Resource Distribution

In 2018 over 200,000 people visited the website of the C.S. Lewis Institute from over 200 countries as reported by Google Analytics. Many of the visits to our website came from countries which are officially closed to the Gospel. 

This is exciting news as it means the discipleship resources of CSLI are being used by men and women in the underground church and in countries in which access to Christian resources is limited.

A new and enhanced website is currently under construction with the hope that a million people from all around the world will visit the CSLI website by 2020.  With new search engine capabilities, a more attractive design and even more resources available on the website, this is not a pipedream, but a realistic prayer request.

 

C.S. Lewis Fellows Program Growth

The flagship program of CSLI is still the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program. Since 1999 when the first group of eleven fellows went through the program, over 3,500 men and women have participated in this high challenge, high yield discipleship journey.

This current year over 500 Fellows throughout our network are growing in their walk with the Lord and becoming more effective and intentional disciple makers. We continue to receive encouraging reports from our City Directors of the differences both past and present Fellows are making in their churches, their homes, their own ministries, and their places of employment, as a direct result of their participation in the Fellows Program

In the next few years, through our planned learning management digital platform, the C.S. Lewis Institute plans on partnering with indigenous ministries in India and other developing countries to disciple Christian leaders through the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program. 

This could result in an exponential increase in the number of followers of Jesus Christ around the world, many of whom are leaders, who are able to effectively articulate, defend, share and live their faith in personal and public life. 

Just imagine if 1,000 or more Fellows annually were prayerfully developing an intentional disciple making plan to reach their workplace, home, neighborhood and church for Jesus Christ! May God let it be!

 

Consider the Fruit--The C.S. Lewis Institute…

•           Has grown C. S. Lewis Institute programs from 3 cities to 16 cities in 8 years. This is an increase of over 500%. Our newest cities are Greenville, SC and Charlotte, NC.

•           Has ministry locations in 4 countries including:  the United States, Canada, Northern Ireland, and England.

•           Is discipling over 500 people this year in the high challenge/high yield, year-long CSLI Fellows Program.  We are not a seminary, and yet we are training lay people to minister effectively in many different places and spheres of society.

•           Has trained over 3,500 lay people to be effective disciple-makers through the CSLI Fellows Program since its inception. These men and women are doing good all over the world and come from 100’s of churches and dozens of different denominational backgrounds.

•           Encourages hundreds of pastors in CSLI cities through the C.S. Lewis Institute’s Pastors’ Networks to pray together, develop relationships, and seek ways to reach their cities for Christ.

•           Reaches over 200,000 people from over 200 countries of the world through the CSLI website.

 

Please Give Generously to the Ministry of the C.S. Lewis Institute

Please prayerfully consider joining this ministry through your prayers and giving. We do not receive any funding from the C.S. Lewis estate.  We are not funded by a few wealthy people but by a lot of people like yourself giving out of a generous heart.

We offer the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows Program tuition-free so that many young leaders in their 20’s and 30’s can participate in our intentional disciple-making program. Most of these young leaders are strapped with debt from student loans and would be unable to go through the Fellows program were it not for this tuition-free policy and the donations of hundreds of donors.

We also offer many of our discipleship resources free of charge through our website so that they can be accessed globally.

So far, the vast majority of our support has come from individual believers with a heart for discipleship. We have continued to trust the Lord year by year for His provision through His people, and He has been faithful as the Institute has faithfully followed God’s leading for 42 years.

 

We Need Greater Financial Resources for This Growing Ministry

It is exciting to see God’s blessing on the ministry of the C.S. Lewis Institute as He is opening doors to provide this thoughtful and robust discipleship ministry to men and women throughout the world as partnerships are formed with indigenous ministries like RIMI in India and beyond.

However, we need additional financial resources and increased prayer support as the Institute continues to grow and make a greater national and global impact for the Kingdom.

If you have been a faithful giver and partner with CSLI in the past, we sincerely thank you, and we would ask you to prayerfully consider increasing your support in this unprecedented time of ministry opportunity.  If you have never given before, would you ask the Lord whether now is the time for you to partner to deliver CSLI’s discipleship tools to people around the world.

 

Year-End Matching Gift Opportunity

I am grateful to announce that a team of donors has come together to create a Matching Gift Fund which will double any year-end gifts to the C.S. Lewis Institute up to $89,500 if given before midnight of December 31, 2018. 

This year-end is a wonderful time to maximize your financial gifts to CSLI by taking advantage of this matching gift fund opportunity.

 

Partner With Us As We Partner With Others to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ

From its inception, the C.S. Lewis Institute has been focused on equipping working professionals who will articulate, defend, share and live their faith in Jesus Christ in personal and public life.

Our co-founder Dr. James Houston summed up the mission of CSLI well when he stated, “We’re not a fan club of C.S. Lewis, but we’d like to raise up 10,000 like him.”

Never before in the past 42 years of the ministry of the C.S. Lewis Institute has the opportunity been greater to raise up thousands, if not tens of thousands of disciples of Jesus Christ, who like C.S. Lewis can reach hundreds of thousands with the good news of the Gospel.

Your prayers for this ministry are clearly being answered.

I ask you to partner with us as we are partnering in ministry with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world and in the United States.   

Please continue to pray for this growing discipleship ministry and prayerfully consider making a generous year-end financial gift in support of God’s work through the C.S. Lewis Institute.

 

Your Partner in Ministry,
Dr. Joel S. Woodruff
President

P.S. Remember, the matching grant will double your year-end gift as long as it is given by midnight, December 31, 2018.

 
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