Area: 945,037 sq km
Comprising mainland Tanganyika and the offshore islands of Zanzibar and Pemba (2,460 sq km).
Population: 45,039,573 Annual Growth: 2.92%
Capital: Dodoma (official); Dar es Salaam (de facto)
Official language: Swahili, English; 2% speak only Swahili and no local African language Languages: 127 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Leadership development and theological training must become top priorities in churches. There is a critical lack of trained, mature leaders, and many pastors must care for 10 or more congregations, often miles apart.
a) Theological schools. Facilities and funding are dwarfed by the need. Pray for the many Bible schools, colleges and seminaries as well as the Christian universities run by Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans. Many need upgrading to higher standards to prepare leaders for an increasingly literate population.
b) Short-term and modular training courses, TEE, Bible Training Centre for Pastors and cassette Bible schools are all vital for training local leaders, given the size and poverty of the country. Every denomination of note has institutions and programmes for furthering these modes of training.
c) Pray for those already in leadership positions to have opportunities for personal development and further training amid their demanding ministries. Pray for the release of resources to fund these many programmes.
National initiatives for reaching the country took root in the 1990s and 2000s with research and mobilizing initiatives focusing on the unevangelized.
a) Excellent research on Tanzanias ethnic groups, through Pioneer Bible Translators and others, established the need. Thirty-five peoples are estimated to be less than 5% Christian many of these are still unreached and with very few known believers.
b) National church planting strategies have been used by God to unite churches for evangelism. Remaining Task Mission has undertaken extensive research and sets ambitious goals for national churches to plant enough new churches to represent 1 church for every 1,000 urban, and every 500 rural, Tanzanians 40,000 villages and towns are still without a single church. Any national strategy must take into account that 75% of Tanzanias population is rural.
c) Indigenous missions have been formed to address these challenges. With minor assistance from expatriate agencies, exciting new ministries, such as Horn of Africa Mission and Christian Mission Fellowship, train and send Tanzanians as cross-cultural church planting missionaries. Hundreds of pastors and church planters are already trained and sent, even as the movement grows.
For an additional 9 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Tanzania.