At a time when education is rapidly becoming a prerequisite for human survival, nearly one billion people have entered the 21st century unable to read their own names; 544 million of them are women. This fact is an atrocity considering that less than 1% of the money spent internationally on weapons of war each year could educate every child on earth.
Education is one of the most effective ways to access hard to reach people groups and communicate the written Word of God to them; specifically, teaching English as a second language. Nearly every indigenous group on earth welcomes the opportunity to educate their children and youth, even when the gospel is attached. As we attempt to plant churches around the globe our vision must be long range, realizing that many of our future pastors and leaders are presently children and youth who need to learn to read and write. Education not only is a means to elevate the condition of living among the poor, but a means to build long-term meaningful relationships that are based in Christ.
The i-61 churches are those that see the need to improve the condition of life and set captives free from the hopelessness of illiteracy. This work must not be reserved for the developing world only but should begin at home, especially among refugee populations who have been relocated from the developing world into societies where education is a prerequisite for functional integration.