Co-authors Galen Burkholder and Brother Tefera have invested most of their lives in equipping people to be influential, mission-minded disciples of Jesus Christ. Despite radically different backgrounds, Tefera and Galen share a common passion to see disciples of Jesus engaged in making disciples who will make disciples, until the knowledge of God’s glory covers the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
Growing up in Ethiopia, Brother Tefera embraced atheism and chaired the Young Communists Party in high school, before coming to faith in Christ at university. His math degree earned him a teaching position in an unreached area in northern Ethiopia. While teaching high school math, he helped to plant 27 new fellowships of believers in eleven years and was imprisoned three times.
Galen was captain of Fellowship of Christian Athletes for his high school in eastern Pennsylvania, started in youth ministry in college and, unlike Tefera, tried to avoid math class. He invested 17 years in youth and young adult ministry, discipleship-mission training, and sending teams cross-culturally, before launching Global Disciples in 1996. Both Galen and Tefera have graduate degrees in evangelism and church planting.
Tefera and Galen have worked side by side as leaders in Global Disciples since 2007. With the Global Disciples team, they serve over 1,450 clusters of churches in 62 countries and have helped launch more than 2,000 training programs. In the past decade, these training programs added over 400,000 new believers to the Kingdom, most of whom now worship in 19,000 new fellowships, planted mainly among people least-reached with the gospel.