Partner Spotlight | John & Natalie McLaughlin

July 26, 2022 | Written by John McLaughlin

Hello from John and Natalie,

I currently carry a VP of Operations role with BEE World, I entered the ministry with a teaching role. The wonderful structure of BEE World allows me to maintain both job descriptions where Natalie and I travel 2-3 times a year to Africa.

But back to how we first got involved. It was, in fact, Natalie who was able to first taste the beauty of BEE World and its ministry philosophy and practice. When she returned from her vision trip, she insisted I travel as she “knew” this was a ministry that matched our giftings, passions, and ministry experiences. Natalie also serves in a teaching role with BEE World. The wonderful blessing about BEE is that we can travel and teach together.

At the time of our introduction to BEE World, we were serving with Athletes in Action, the sports division of Cru, where I was the International Director for Baseball, and Natalie was a bit of a ministry utility player amidst our season of life at that time with family. The Lord had been loosening the soil, so to speak, for us those last few years with AIA. When the opportunity to connect with and serve in a ministry that emphasized biblical equipping in the context of indigenization along with a ministry of multiplication, it resonated with both of us on many levels, so we took it. Little by little, the Lord gently guided us to change ministries and move to Colorado Springs, where we almost immediately found Pulpit Rock Church and a small group community within the church.

 Coming alongside the workers of BEE World:

In terms of field ministry, we work towards an indigenized ministry that is locally governed, financed, and propagated. This involves not only the biblical and theological training that is constructed and implemented in a manner that is transferable but also mentorship and character development that extends to what we call BIBM (Building Indigenous BEE Ministries). This almost always involves partnerships. In fact, in Africa, we partner with a South African ministry that helps churches plant churches. We enter the picture coming behind their initial training by offering more long-term biblical and theological training. We also pursue strategic partnerships to help guide the locals to develop micro-business solutions and trainings that allow for a financial element with the goal of a sustainable ministry. It is a holistic approach to ministry training. Natalie and I serve as country directors for a specific country in Africa.

On the Operations side, I (John) work to ensure we serve the field ministry well. As the VPOM (Vice-President of Operational Ministries), I serve on the executive team, which includes a good portion of strategic planning and implementation amidst other organizational responsibilities.

Natalie serves as a volunteer with BEE, so her skills cover various ministry categories. Outside of her teaching role, her main responsibility involves organizing and implementing our weekly staff gatherings and prayer time that includes devotions, ministry highlights, ministry news, etc.

Projects that are happening now:

For Natalie and me, our passion is teaching. We absolutely love traveling to be with our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, studying God’s word as we process in community how to train and equip others for the sake and health of the church! In August, we will finish our Romans study, and then the next course is Bible Study Methods. What a joy it is to journey alongside our sisters and brothers as we develop the skills to handle Scripture in such a way that we grow in knowledge are transformed by its truth, and then are able to apply it for the edification of the church.

Ways to be praying?

There is an urgent need for building up and discipling of pastors and church leaders globally, especially in limited resource areas.

The Center for the Study Global Christianity estimates 5 million pastors/priests in all Christian traditions worldwide (Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, and Independents, including bi-vocational). Of these, the estimate is that only 5% (250,000) are likely to have formal theological training (undergraduate Bible degrees or Master’s degrees)! That means 4,750,000 pastors/priests have no formal theological training. Not to mention the vast majority live in regions of the world without access to this type of training.

This is where BEE World and partnering ministries come into the picture. We labor to establish a local network of biblical and theological training that becomes indigenized for the purpose of multiplication for the sake and health of the church!

For example, we serve in Africa, and Africa has overtaken Latin America in the growth of Christianity. By 2050 it will almost be double that of Latin America (Africa: 1,280,641,000 / Latin America: 685,870,000). How will the church fair if it is experiencing this kind of growth without training and equipping pastors and church leaders? The church will be even more theologically and biblically anemic than it is. The global church needs training that results in mature believers with biblical depth that results in healthy churches!

We need your help! Individuals who are passionate about teaching God’s Word and willing to travel internationally to limited-resource countries, come talk to us! You don’t have to change job occupations; you can volunteer or serve in a part-time capacity with our ministry. We would love to share more with you; just reach out!

Of course, prayer is significant as it continues to align each of us to God and others in grace and truth. We covet prayers first and foremost for our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, who are the pastors and church leaders who really are our heroes of the faith in many regards. Pray for them as they not only pastor their church but as they oversee the many churches they have panted over the years. Natalie and I have the privilege once again to travel to Africa from August 29th through September 2nd to work with our specific group of 19 pastors and church leaders to complete the seminar training for the Romans course book. All but one are part of the Harvesters Ministries church planting network, where they have planted over 5,000 churches in one Sub-Saharan country alone.

We have tons of stories and ministry highlights to share. If you would like to stay connected to them or even hear some of them in person, please reach out to us. We would love to grab some coffee or a bit to eat with you.

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