Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Global Advance: Missions that Make Sense

(ROCKWALL/HEATH, TX – June 5, 2017) There’s a non-descript office complex perched on the east side of Ridge Road in Rockwall with a view toward Lake Ray Hubbard. For passers-by, a street-facing signboard suggests a missions or ministry office: Global Advance.

Curiosity about the organization sent me online, where I found a world of good: Christian outreach through equipping national leaders—in 98 countries so far. I discovered much more when the Global Advance staff welcomed me to come visit.

Sharing the Platform

The father-son ministry at Global Advance includes founder David Shibley (left) and current president, Jonathan Shibley. Courtesy photo.

My appointed meeting with Jonathan Shibley, President of Global Advance, had a slight delay after I knocked on the wrong door. Instead, his father, David, founder and world representative of the ministry, greeted me with a kind smile.

The elder Mr. Shibley, as Jonathan explained, brought their family to live in the area in 1980, after completing his studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Through the 90’s, David Shibley served as a mission pastor of the now-former Church on the Rock in Rockwall. In his dual role of staff evangelist, he travelled internationally to developing nations, meeting pastors with vision for ministry but without resources.

Jonathan says his father’s “aha” moment came during a 1987 evangelistic crusade in Nigeria, when 20 indigenous pastors stood behind him on the platform. David Shibley’s compelling thought would be life-changing for him and countless others: Why don’t you put those men where you are standing?

In 1990, David Shibley established Global Advance because of that desire to give pastors in poor countries the tools to reach their own people.

Father-Son Ministry Duo

During those first years of his father’s new global ministry, Jonathan attended and played basketball at Rockwall High School, where he graduated in 1992. Jonathan recalls feeling a bit scared knowing his family’s support would now rely on donations. “I knew that airline tickets weren’t free,” he said.

But financial commitments from Christian friends here and around the country continued to grow. And churches, including several local ones, also began to contribute.

The younger Shibley gained a business degree from Baylor University and worked with a men’s ministry before making his first mission trip with his dad. He attended a conference in the war-torn country of Congo, where Global Advance sponsored the attendance of some 2,000 pastors.  After witnessing the fervent prayers of these church leaders, Jonathan desired to join his father’s work. “It made sense to me to invest in these men,” he said.

With no expectation of a leadership role, Jonathan joined the Global Advance staff in the year 2000. His early training included taking out trash and cleaning toilets. But his ministry contributions since then have included the launch of Marketplace Missions, an initiative to encourage Christian business leaders around the globe to use their influence to share their faith in Christ.

The work of Global Advance is cost-effective according to Jonathan, who says “nationals are there; they get things done.”

A Wide View

Global Advance equips business leaders and owners like this Indonesian man to share Christ with those in their sphere of influence. Courtesy photo.

Over the years, the Global Advance staff has developed a clear strategy to train and equip indigenous believers—men, women, and young adults—to share the gospel with every unreached group of people on earth.

That sounds like a lofty goal for one small organization in a lakeside community. However, the scope of their accomplishments speaks for itself:

  • Facilitating 42,000 leaders from 32 nations
  • Offering 92 training events
  • Creating and distributing more than 6,000 ministry books
  • Training over 2,000 church planters
  • Printing a church-planting manual in 9 languages
  • Providing around 328 tons of relief aid to the persecuted church
  • Distributing over 1,600 Bibles to persecuted Christians
  • Helping launch a satellite TV signal in Pakistan to transmit the Gospel to Islamic nations

A current ministry focus is an eight-nation region of South Asia where more than two billion people remain unreached by the Gospel. Persecution of believers here is prevalent.

In March, 2017, Global Advance held a three-day training event for around 90 church leaders in a secluded location in Bhutan, a Buddhist country near the Himalayas. Ken Janke, who directs ministry partnerships, made the trip and reports that attendees went away encouraged, joyful, and better equipped to plant churches and evangelize people groups in their nation.

According to Jonathan, Global Advance is on pace with the goal to plant 10,000 churches in a decade. However, with a smile he admits this ministry can still scare him a bit: “We’re in over our heads.”

Find out ways to get involved at: globaladvance.org.

By Blue Ribbon News faith columnist and special contributor Patti Richter of Heath.  

Our monthly print edition is delivered free to 19,000+ homes in Rockwall and Heath, TX.

To share your good news and events, email .

Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Advertising: 214-342-8000 or .