As a child growing up in Haiti, Jacki Sincere remembers missionaries introducing themselves to his church and explaining they were from a far-away land called Kansas.
In early December, Sincere got the chance to make one of several return trips to Kansas, this time as a seminary student wanting to learn about how churches in the Great Plains Conference try to make disciples.
Sincere, 37, is currently studying for his masters of divinity degree at a seminary in Jamaica.
“Great Plains is one of my partners in journey in Jamaica,” he said.
His trip to the Great Plains included preaching several sermons on the weekend of Dec. 3, as well as visiting several churches.
One of them was the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the largest church in the denomination.
“I asked them how they have so many people in one church and what they do to keep them in the church,” Sincere said.
The answer was in active small groups, he discovered.
Haiti, Sincere said, is also in need of making disciples through small groups, but there is not enough education for its leaders.
“We need to train them,” he said.
Sincere grew up in the La Gonave Circuit in Haiti, a network of 15 churches where lay ministers lead the congregations. It is a longtime partner with the former Kansas conferences and the Great Plains Conference. That partnership, he said, has made a significant impact in education and public health issues.
He said the networks are effective, more education is needed for both the pastoral leadership and lay leadership.
“I fear the church is not making disciples,” Sincere said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have church members, but comparing the population in Haiti, about 10 million, and the number of Christians we have, I believe the church can do more.”
Contact David Burke, communications coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.