Overland Leadership Network
Building relationships with pastors in rural areas, empowering them in their indigenous denominations,and in mentoring them in Christian doctrine and ethics
Philip Smethurst, founder of Overland Missions, has been working in third world countries worldwide for 17 years. With his leadership, Overland is involved in short-term evangelistic expeditions, long-term establishment of missions, political relationship cultivation, infrastructure development, and creating networks that become a resource reservoir to needy people. In 2003, Overland began compiling a database from various sources and requests from pastors who needed discipleship, mentoring and networking. From this, the Overland Leadership Network (OLN) was born; to build relationships with pastors in rural areas, empower them in their indigenous denominations, and in mentor them in Christian doctrine and ethics.
To become a member of the OLN, rural pastors need to be participating members of an existing rural denomination. The network is essentially a “watering point” (i.e. an oasis) where leaders from third world countries can receive sound teaching, doctrine, and encouragement in their tasks of reaching their nation for Christ. The existing framework of leaders is fragmented throughout the world, where breakdown in communication often creates ultra-simplistic Christianity, which can result in a dwarfing of the Kingdom of God worldwide. Overland Missions plans to pool all of these relationships into the scaffolding of the OLN and bring edifying literature as well as teachable materials to the pastors’ hands for their own mentoring and the church’s increase into a functioning and whole, mature Christianity.
Overland Missions receives applications from pastors to be a part of the network, places them within a regional director’s sector, and implements training seminars. A two-year training course, licensed from The Global Ministries and Relief (http://www.gmrinc.org) to Overland Missions, Inc., is distributed among all pastors in the network. The training course is a 20-book series that teaches fundamental information, from the basics of Christianity through functioning as a mature body. The course is designed to be completed within a two-year period, meeting one night per week.
The geographical boundaries of the OLN are not limited to anywhere in the world, but Overland Missions is currently focusing on the hands-on discipleship of leaders in the established sectors that have been identified as focus points. All other pastors will be mentored through our website until they are able to be reached by long-term partnerships on the ground.