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Leadership Training

Update to the Following Article on Leadership Training

The article below was added to our website in 2015 and still provides a good summary of CPI’s vision for leadership training. At that time CPI was conducting leadership training by means of conferences, personal discipleship, and the distribution of quality books to pastors. CPI began conducting training conferences in the Amazon jungles in 1999, and in 2002 began conducting depth theological conferences in Lima, Peru. Since that time, CPI has continued to offer seminars, workshops, and conferences in three countries: Peru, Mexico, and Uganda. CPI has also started two Bible Institutes or training centers in Peru. In 2017, the Word of Grace Bible Institute was established in the Amazon jungle city of Pucallpa. Almost all of our students are members of the nearby Shipibo tribe, though we have also had students from two other tribal groups. Then in 2020, Word of Grace was launched in the capital city of Lima. The purpose of both Bible institutes is to equip church planters, pastors, and Christian workers with key biblical and ministerial foundations, and then send them forth into the harvest fields.

In In Pucallpa, we offer the following courses: 1) Attributes of God, 2) Doctrine of Salvation, 3) Sermon Preparation and Preaching, 4) Doctrine of Sanctification, 5) The Christian Family, 6) Old Testament Survey, 7) New Testament Survey, 8) The Church, Ministry, and Mission, 9) Church History, 10) Book of John, 11) Book of Romans, and 12) Apologetics. In Lima we have added six additional courses in biblical studies.

– Steven Shepard, July 2020


In keeping with the priority of strengthening leadership, Church Planting International has offered teaching conferences in various cities to pastors and church leaders. A variety of gifted teachers have been utilized as speakers for these conferences. Quality literature and books are also made available. Since 1999, other conferences (lasting two to three days each) have been held for tribal leaders deep in the Amazon jungles of Peru. Because of the great need for quality leaders and the many doors open to us, CPI plans to expand this ministry to more locations.

The need

The success of the Great Commission and of church planting depends upon called and trained leaders. In fact, fruitful and enduring local churches will be planted in proportion to the number of called and trained leaders in existence. Only God can do the calling, but He has chosen to use human instruments in helping to prepare His leaders for the work that He has called them to do.

There is a great need throughout the world for sound biblical teaching. Too many pastors have had little or no formal training. Instead of emphasizing the biblical Gospel, pastors often preach unbalanced fad teachings which emphasize man-centered subjective experience or forms of legalism. While partial truths may be imparted, little attention is devoted to understanding clearly the foundational truths of the Gospel. Consequently, many churches remain in bondage, and their ministries are unfruitful. CPI is being used to call churches and pastors back to the foundations of the Gospel. While other teachings are important, they must always have their roots in the proper understanding of the Gospel and Christ’s finished work. The message of the Gospel is God’s method not only for the salvation of the lost but for the spiritual growth of His people. If we can reach the pastors, they will reach their congregations and their nations.

Many of the pastors who have attended CPI’s conferences in Lima have been powerfully impacted by the teachings. They have continued to study the books and literature that we left behind and have begun to teach these truths to their congregations. Some even organized their own conference to a mountain province, using the same session titles and notes. These pastors keep asking us to return. They have e-mailed CPI repeatedly and have called us, often asking for more books, more visits and more teachings. Even though materially very poor (living on as little as $100 a month), they are not asking for finances but instead are asking for the spiritual riches of God’s Word. One pastor recently sent an e-mail saying, “Please send me teachings on the fundamentals. I need it urgently.” Pastors from the Andes Mountains to the coastal deserts have urged us to bring our conferences to their local communities. We have now gone to the cities, the mountains and the jungles. As resources allow, we desire to extend the pastors’ conferences to still more communities in Mexico, Peru, and wherever God would lead. We believe there are many open doors.

Pastors conference in a Peru jungle


To offer conferences for the training and equipping of pastors and church leaders in essential biblical truth and practical ministry.

Examples of conference themes

• The Power of the Biblical Gospel: Biblical foundations of the atonement, justification, grace, faith, repentance, true conversion, and perseverance.

• The Christ-Centered Church: The importance of having a God-centered approach to worship, church life, evangelism, Christian living, and family.

• Preaching the Word: The power, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture, proper biblical exegesis, hermeneutics, and expository preaching.

• The Attributes of God: Knowing God through His various attributes.


Each conference will be organized by a national leader or a missionary on the field who will serve as coordinator. These coordinators often have many local contacts and are leaders in an association or network of churches. Such connections enable many more churches to be reached. The national coordinator will choose a location, decide on a format, arrange for meals and lodging, organize the promotion, etc. The CPI team will be responsible for the content of the conference sessions and the speakers. CPI will provide, whenever possible, session notes and quality literature and books. These books will either be given away or sold at a much reduced price. Conferences will last 2-4 days. Usually 50-200 will be in attendance. A registration price should be charged appropriate to the resources of to those who attend, in order to help with expenses and to place an economic value on the conference itself. If conference costs cannot be covered by host churches and by those who attend the conference, then CPI will consider covering the remaining costs.

Steven preaching at a conference
Pastors’ Comments

“Until now, I did not comprehend that I have eternal security through the work Jesus has done on the cross of Calvary. I am happy and my life has changed. I have peace and security…We want to thank you for the seminar for leaders and pastors, ‘The Gospel is the Power of God’, which is a great blessing and full of power and wisdom for our ministers. Everything was excellent. We still have the written material, and we are using it.” – Pastor Angel Yguia

“I am really moved by all that happened at the conference, ‘The Power of the Gospel.’ The expounded word was like an explosion in my life. I felt the need to examine the Scriptures, and the emphasis in my messages has changed. Now I speak more about the Gospel and what Christ has done for us.” – Pastor Fernando Zulueta

“The message of the work of Christ is what most moved me. Christ Jesus came to save sinners. This I understood in its true dimension. All that we teach and preach ought to have a connection to the work of Christ. This is what I understood, and that is sufficient for me. Thank you!” – Pastor Francisco Vilchez

Samuel and Angel