Global Advance is announcing new leadership this week as the Dallas-based missions ministry marks its 20th anniversary.
Jonathan Shibley, son of founder David Shibley, was named president and CEO of the global leadership training organization during a commissioning ceremony Thursday night. Former President David Shibley will serve as chairman of the charismatic ministry, and continue to lead conferences internationally and mentor younger leaders.
"This is really the culminating of a long and happy process that's a pretty seamless transition," David Shibley said. "In many ways functionally the transition has already taken place, but it will culminate officially this week."
Jonathan Shibley, 36, who graduated from Baylor University with a degree in business, has been active in the ministry since 2000. He founded Marketplace Missions, an initiative of Global Advance that has trained thousands of Christian business leaders in developing nations to help fulfill the Great Commission.
"I take this new position with all humility and know that this is the Lord's organization and we just want to be great stewards of His work," Jonathan Shibley said.
David Shibley said he began to sense in 2005 that he was to shift the ministry into new leadership within the next five years while he was still able to advise and mentor his successor. He said he and the ministry's board of directors soon believed God had called Jonathan to fill the post.
"To serve the Lord alongside him through Global Advance is one of the greatest honors and joys of my life," David Shibley said. "He is the right man, not because he is my son but because he is clearly God's choice to lead Global Advance."
Founded in 1990, Global Advance trains pastors, and business and apostolic leaders in developing nations to help fulfill the great commission globally. In the last 20 years the ministry has worked in 75 nations, including hard-to-reach areas such as the Middle East, Cuba, Vietnam and China, where the Shibleys are networking with several house church movements to support leadership training and evangelism campaigns.
Jonathan Shibley said that while growing up he had no aspirations to follow in his father's footsteps. But that began to change in 1998 when he accompanied his father to the Democratic Republic of Congo and experienced Global Advance's work firsthand.
"I literally could see impartation take place into those men and some women that were there," he said. "I saw how fervently they took notes and that they were going to take what was given to them and multiply it to other leaders."
Back home, he sensed God telling him that He had a place for him at Global Advance. He started working with the organization two years later and says God gave him a "vision within the vision" that he believed would take the ministry to "another level."
"When I came here, there was no presumption of any kind," Jonathan Shibley said. "I honestly came to serve in whatever area I could add value, trying to be the first one here and the last one to leave and really try to set an example."
As president, Jonathan Shibley plans to implement a five-part vision that includes mentoring church leaders, mobilizing marketplace ministers and engaging new technology to train leaders worldwide via the Internet and mobile Bible schools.
David Shibley said in the last 20 years, Christians worldwide have started taking ownership of the Great Commission.
"God has raised up these outstanding believers both in the church and in the marketplace to really lead the charge," David Shibley said. "And I believe the great apostolic leaders, the great evangelists, certainly the pastors of the greatest churches in the world are going to come from non-Western nations in the 21st century."
"That does not mean we have failed," he added. "That means Western missions over the last 200 years has succeeded and the gospel has successfully been planted in the nations of the earth."
But he said the need for ministry training is as great as ever, with only 8 percent of church leaders in the developing world having received ministry training.
Jonathan Shibley expects the future to bring an even greater demand for education and resources if missiologists' predictions are true that as many as a billion people will respond to the gospel in the next decade.
"That even places a greater need for making disciples, raising up leaders within the church and within the marketplace, and the need for millions, literally, of new churches," he said. "There's going to be a massive effort needed just to accommodate the harvest of souls that's coming in."
Clarification: This article previously stated that David Shibley named Jonathan Shibley president and CEO. The younger Shibley was appointed by Global Advance's board of directors.
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