Dave Furman and Scott Zeller on Raising Up Leaders from Every Tribe and Tongue in Dubai
Hey, everybody, and welcome to the unSeminary podcast. I’ve been looking forward to this podcast and am excited to share it with you all. Today we have Dave Furman and Scott Zeller from Redeemer Dubai.
Dave and his wife started Redeemer Dubai after praying for guidance on where to go to help lead people to Christ. They stopped in Dubai between ministries in China and Kenya and were fascinated by what they saw. Dubai is a fast growing city, but there was no healthy Christian church in downtown Dubai. They decided to put down roots there and arrived in August 2008 to plant a church in the center of the city. About eighteen months after arriving, they helped launched Redeemer Dubai. Meanwhile Scott and his wife moved to Dubai in 2014. After struggling with health issues for several years in India where they were helping to plant a church, they were praying for where the Lord would lead next. A meeting with Dave in Dubai during a layover started the conversation and soon after they moved to Dubai to help further build Redeemer Dubai.
Today Dave and Scott share a bit of their church’s story as well as how they are raising up leaders to serve the city.
- Get to know the people and the city. // Dave and his family moved suddenly into Dubai without really knowing the city and the people that lived there. So their first mission was to get to know the culture. They prayed that the Lord would lead them to be a blessing to the city. They started walking around the city and meeting the people and shopkeepers there. Instead of diving in immediately to launch the church, Dave took the time to get to know the people in the city. It was eighteen months before Redeemer Dubai was launched, but Dave remained confident in the Lord’s ability to lead him toward developing a relationship with the people there and reaching them.
- Develop partnerships. // When launching Redeemer, Dave partnered with a church on the outskirts of the city. This church sent them money and people to help develop the church and give them credibility within the city. Finding a core that will partner with the vision God has given you and support you in this difficult stage is critical in church planting. This support is especially important in areas or cultures you may not be familiar with. A partnership with another church or people in the community can give you wisdom on where to start to reach the people there.
- Find people with an interest in the church. // Reaching out toward people who are interested in or curious about the church is one of the key parts of starting a new church. Dave began by making a list of the people he had met and friends of friends who might be interested in joining Redeemer Dubai. From there, church planters started reaching out to interested individuals through lunches or visits. These people helped get the word out about the church among their friends.
- Get everyone engaged in the mission. // One of the missions of Redeemer Dubai is not just to have a place of fellowship, but also to reach out to others by sharing the gospel message. They do that by teaching all of their members how to reach out to their friends and people they meet, what it means to sit down with someone and read scriptures, to share with both believers and those unfamiliar with Christianity. They also use the church to build leaders through a program called Church Dependent Theological Education. It provides theological education on a higher level, but they don’t try to replicate a seminary. They focus on providing knowledge about theological development and hope to create leaders that can then go out and plant churches around the world.
To learn more about Redeemer Dubai, or to get in touch with Dave and Scott, visit the church’s website at redeemerdubai.com
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