Since 2003 Antioch Institute has trained more than 5,000 leaders across Cambodia. There are more than 3,000 graduates now among more than fifty different denominations in every province of Cambodia.
What is our secret for training this many people?
When we first felt God was leading us into training leaders we came to a quick understanding: Expecting hundreds of students to come to a few leaders for training seems selfish. How much better would it be if we traveled to where the student are!
So now, where only a few dozen students could afford to travel to Phnom Penh (the capital of Cambodia) we travel to where hundreds of leaders are located. They can easily come to meet us near their congregations. So, by moving around province by province, we are able to train hundreds of leaders. Then, a few years ago, we started mentoring trainers (not hired trainers, but leaders passionate about discipleship). We don’t hire people to do God’s work. We partner with leaders to fulfill the vision that God has given them. As a result we now have 250 full-time Antioch Institute trainers and centers across Cambodia. We don’t have to build any permanent buildings. We use local churches (they are mostly vacant 6 days out of the week).
Currently, 3,900 students are being training in 220 training centers across Cambodia. These students represent multiple denominations and in so doing we help unite believers across Cambodia.
What about quality of education? Our publishing arm “Words of Life Ministries” is the largest supplier of Christian books, videos and training resources in Cambodia. We currently have 200 books in print. All these resources are for training leaders. We have developed more than 70 Bible courses, complete with written materials. In fact, many Bibles Schools also use our materials. We continue to publish 5-10 new books a year. We also just completed translating a new Khmer New Testament, complete with Concordance and Bible Dictionary from Greek!
In a few weeks time we will be offering a training course on how we train thousands of leaders on a low budget. Leaders will be coming from several different countries (like Nepal, Indonesia, Ethiopia. . .) to see first hand and learn how we are training leaders. We look forward to this training to help enlarge the vision of leaders in other countries.
One of my favorite stories I heard about our school I heard from a Philippine Bible School leader. After graduating 6 graduates at his residential school, he asked me how we could possible afford to train so many leaders. I explained that we didn’t try to build campuses but funneled all of our financial resources into actual training and assistance to leaders. I volunteered information on our annual budget which resulted in more than 120 graduates and more than 300 new churches planted in the same area which his Bible School is located. He sadly looked at me and told me, “What Antioch Institute spends is similar to my facilities maintenance budget, and I only graduate 6 to 8 leaders per year.”
Our strategy is actually no secret. We build lives, not institutions. Jesus did the same thing!