More than one million men in Indonesia have been discipled in the Christian faith over the past 20 years through a curriculum taught in churches, small groups and retreats.
The Christian Men's Network (CMN), founded by Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, celebrated 20 years of ministry in Indonesia on Feb. 20. The global movement of pastors and leaders is dedicated to helping families and changing the hearts of men.
Leaders from dozens of denominations in more than 100 regions of Indonesia attended events in Jakarta hosted by national CMN leaders and the ministry's international president, Dr. Paul Louis Cole.
"My father, Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, who founded Christian Men's Network, first visited Indonesia in 1997 and met with local church leaders," Paul Cole said. "Those leaders started a CMN movement and pledged to Ed Cole that they were committed to discipling one million men. This movement has swept across Indonesia, and this week's events are the continuing fulfillment of those two decades of ministry."
A former drug dealer who was facing divorce said the ministry's "Maximized Manhood" curriculum changed his life.
"A friend invited me to this group. I don't know why, but I went," said Armon Limbong, who is now a successful businessman. "After that meeting, I went again and again. Then, my life was changed. My wife said, 'You are so different, maybe I will stay.' That was twelve years ago, and we are so happy. We have a 21-year-old daughter and two young children."
"Maximized Manhood" teaches men to take responsibility for their homes and their nation and to live by biblical principles. The book and teaching materials are taught in more than 100 men's centers throughout Indonesia in partnership with local churches and, in some cases, local governments.
The curriculum was created to be adapted to other cultures and the work in Indonesia has spilled over to surrounding nations.
"Edwin Louis Cole is the greatest man I've ever met. Although I was building a business, I jumped at his invitation to join him in 26 different nations, including Indonesia in August 1997," states Dallas businessman John Binkley. "Dr. Cole always told leaders to conduct ministry according to their own culture, rather than trying to copy what was done in the States or elsewhere. The leaders in Indonesia caught the message and have accomplished what they set out to do, which is remarkable, and is one more extension of Dr. Cole's legacy around the world."
One million disciples is just the beginning of CMN's ministry, Paul Cole declares.
"The Indonesia leadership intends to reach the next million men within 10 years this time, instead of 20. We are looking forward to partnering with them here," he said.