Dear ITEM Friends,

The casual days are ending. Between now and when I get home on the 25th, things will be busy. This last casual day did have an exciting moment or two that could significantly impact the future of ITEM in a couple of different ways.


Steven Mzungu came by again and had two other pastors scheduled to be interviewed on video with the intent of finding several quality sound bites that we can use at the ITEM Banquet September 22. The interviews were conducted in a garden setting (kind of). You can see the setting in the new pictures I uploaded today.



In between the interviews, Steven wanted to ask me about his “crazy idea.” I made sure I was seated and told him to go ahead. As it turned out, his idea was not that crazy. In fact it was quite in step with the modern world.

Steven’s idea was as follows. “What do you think about picking out 5 pastors who have gone through our training, who want to become competent expositors, who can be mentored an hour a week for six months using internet video calling (like Skype) then using them to train others?” I loved the idea. The only hitch was that I needed him to be the “ramrod” in the project. He agreed.

Then I asked the question, “Does it need to be me only? Finding time to mentor 5 guys for one hour a week, each, would be a major time-challenge.” Answer: “No.” As the discussion went on we envisioned pastors from around the country mentoring a pastor with his preaching over the internet.

We concluded that we’ll get started. Test the idea. See how it works. Then once perfected, I’ll start recruiting pastors who can invest one hour a week mentoring a pastor in the area of sermon prep and preaching.


Then it was my turn to pose a crazy idea. Steven Mzungu has a heart for the next generation of leaders and is already ministering to them. For example, he will soon be leading a meeting of some 240 youth from 80 churches located throughout Nairobi then challengingthem to bring youth leaders to a follow up meeting. (I think I got that right.) Regardless of the exact details, Steven is doing it!

The crazy idea of mine that I wanted to discuss was to investigate ways that Steven could expand his ministry by becoming ITEM’s official “Next Generation Leadership Developer,” or something crazy like that.

For years we (ITEM leadership) have kicked around the need for some kind of youth ministry to help train the next generation of church leaders. The younger generation in Africa is more in tune with the outside world through the internet than most of the older church leaders. And in many cases, the education level of the youth surpasses that of their pastor. That causes problems. Steven and I had a serious discussion about this and will keep the dialogue going until God makes the future more clear.

I’ll cut it off there. I need to start focusing on my 4:45am departure from the guest house here to catch my 7:45am flight, Wed morning, to South Africa. I’ve been to South Africa once before; 12-14 years ago.


Praise for the quality of leadership for ITEM that God has and is raising up on the continent of Africa and especially (today) for Steven Mzungu who is passionate about the same things ITEM stands for and who comes up with crazy ideas!

Pray . . . for my flight tomorrow to South Africa (safety and on time).

. . . for the conference/summit in South Africa where I’ll be participating with reps from various ministries that were birthed out of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA.

. . . for Steven Mzungu as he ministers to youth around Kenya and rallies pastors to the mission of ITEM.

. . . for the launch of Steven’s crazy idea of mentoring pastors here using internet video chat.

. . . for direction from the Lord on how to use Steven to help build a “Next Generation Leadership” ministry under ITEM.

Thanks for praying and giving. More from South Africa.

By His grace,











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