Raising Leaders


One of World Outreach International’s five focuses is “raising leaders”. Consequently WOI is committed to the training, equipping and mobilisation of pastors and leaders across the majority world for ministry and mission.


Since 1978, World Outreach International (WOI) has conducted pastors and leaders’ seminars in the developing world. Well over 100,000 leaders have attended one or more of these training events in Asia, Africa, Indian sub-continent, Middle East and the South Pacific.


Firstly, pastors and leaders in the majority world are often untrained or have limited Bible knowledge or ministry skills to lead their local churches, however they love God deeply and are passionately committed to the Kingdom of God. The cry for relevant training from these leaders across the world is staggering in size and scale.

One of the foundational ways in which leaders can be developed is through intentional, focused and contextually-relevant leadership training.

Secondly, WOI recognises that conventional missionaries are not going to be able to accomplish the massive task of reaching the least-reached people (LRP) groups alone. The answer is to equip and mobilise the Church in the majority world to reach out to near neighbour people groups with whom they share an affinity of culture, ethnicity or language.

This, too, can only be accomplished through the ongoing development of leaders who will be equipped to mobilise their churches for mission.


David Borja

The Leadership Development Ministry of WOI is led by David Borja who has just replaced Bruce Hills (now our WOI International Director). David’s primary role is to oversee the team and direct the leadership development initiatives and events in strategic mission centres. David is Brazilian by birth and has been an ordained pastor with missionary engagement for over 30 years. His primary gifting is to preach and teach the Word of God in a biblical, practical, and culturally relevant way. In line with WOI vision, David’s passion is to see leaders of the majority Christian world trained and equipped for ministry so LRPs might be reached out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Andrew Mercer

Andrew serves in the training of leaders through the Leader of Leaders program as well as lecturing in Bible Colleges in the majority world. An ordained pastor with Apostolic Church Australia, Andrew’s heart is to equip, mentor and raise up the leaders of today and tomorrow to serve the Lord and help them reach out to LRP groups in their respective nations, with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Karen Pack

Karen is the Leader of Leaders Program Facilitator for World Outreach International, and an ordained pastor with Australian Christian Churches. She has been training leaders for over 25 years. Her focus with WOI is on equipping and mobilising the emerging generation, so that they are not merely great leaders in their own generation, but raise generations of leaders in the pattern of Christ who will impact our world for His glory for many generations to come.

The Leader of Leaders Program is a set curriculum, written by our International Director, Bruce Hills, and Karen Pack, the LOL Program Facilitator. It is a cumulative program run over four years. The first year focuses on Leadership Formation, the second year on Leadership Skills, and the third year on Ministry Skills. In the fourth year we run a Train the Trainer program for those who a) have completed the whole three year program; b) have incarnated the LOL teachings in their life and ministry; and c) have a recognised gift of teaching and leadership in their own life. The goal is to train and equip local, indigenous leaders to run and perpetuate the program themselves, thus making ourselves unnecessary in the long term, and allowing us to focus on other LRPs.


The seminars are run for two different demographics. The first is pastors and the second is emerging leaders (aged 18-35). In some countries, both groups are targets but in other places it is one or the other.

WOI is committed to go back and work with the same group of people for 3-5 years, depending on the context. 3-day seminars are run once a year in each location. This is why the partnership with key local leaders is crucial: it means the information shared at the seminar will have an ongoing application.

Does WOI do its own thing or does it work with existing ministries and/or movements?

WOI values partnership. In regard to leadership development, WOI partners with key leaders or missionaries in the respective nations. WOI seeks to serve what is already taking place in the nation without being aligned with any particular denomination.

How are the topics determined?

Wherever possible, an exploratory trip of potential nations is arranged before conducting a seminar. The purposes of the visit are to: meet WOI personnel and key national leaders, ascertain leadership training needs and set dates for future training seminars.

Is there a set curriculum?

Yes and No. YES, for the LOL (Leaders of Leaders) emerging leaders program, which is culturally adjusted. NO, every nation’s leadership training needs are different, so (after consultation with local leaders) the topics are tailored for the particular context.

Is there only a single seminar or is there ongoing development?

WOI is committed to go back and work with the same group of people for 3-5 years, depending on the context. 3-day seminars are run once a year in each location. This is why the partnership with key local leaders is crucial: it means the information shared at the seminar will have an ongoing application.

How are the target nations chosen?

WOI applies a number of criteria in determining which nations to target for leadership training seminars:

  • Large numbers of LRP groups in the nation or surrounding nations
  • WOI has a presence or a key partner in the nation
  • WOI has the expertise to be able to help the specific leadership training needs
  • The leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit (e.g. Macedonian call in Acts 16:9-10).

Or the nation has a strong church and has the potential to ‘send’ out missionaries.

What are the goals of the leadership training seminars?

  • To develop the emerging generation of leaders
  • To equip pastors and leaders with skills to develop their leadership and grow their churches
  • To develop ‘trainers’ in these strategic locations
  • To encourage, strengthen and minister to pastors and leaders
  • To inspire, equip and mobilise churches for cross-cultural ministry (especially to LRP’s).

The ultimate goal is to equip and mobilise the church to grow prevailing churches and mobilise them for effective cross-cultural missions.

How are the seminars funded?

In the majority of countries, the pastors and leaders who attend do not have the financial means to cover the costs, so WOI raises sponsorship to fund the seminars. The seminars operate because of the faithful and generous giving of people, churches and businesses. The sponsorship works out about an average of US$ 50-75 per leader, per seminar. This cost covers their transportation, meals, accommodation and notes. In addition, the costs for the Leadership Development Team’s flights and expenses also have to be raised.

Are the seminars exclusively for teaching or is there opportunity for ministry?

The seminars are primarily focussed on leadership development, but time is taken in every seminar to minister to each one by preaching and the laying on of hands.


Life in Christ Leadership Magazine
Christian Discipleship Centre (CDC)

Donate to Empower a Leader