After serving as a Pastor of Youth at several churches while attending college and seminary, Walt met Sharon while serving in his last position in youth ministry at Chevy Chase Baptist Church in Glendale, CA. Sharon and Walt were married at this church and have now been married for over forty-seven years.
One day, while in a community called Highland Park in Northeast Los Angeles, Walt and Sharon saw many needy children and youth in the neighborhood. Many came from single parent families, predominantly Hispanic and Asian, that were living in abject poverty. They saw the need to mobilize and train churches in the area to minister to those in the culture of poverty. This became the first mission field of these newlyweds! Christian Challenge Ministries was born in the living room of their very small triplex in Highland Park.
They opened up their home for community prayer, and for the next twenty-five years the Beckers’ mobilized and trained hundreds of believers from scores of churches to minister cross-culturally to thousands of the poor and oppressed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Cruz. Many came to Christ and involved in local Bible teaching churches.
Walt was then called to be the Associate Pastor at Grace Church of Napa Valley where he and his wife continued to serve for over twelve years. In his role at the church, Walt and Sharon found themselves in the midst of ministry with people from many diverse backgrounds. They naturally gravated towards a ministry to the “have nots” in their own backyard. While overseeing Missions, he and Sharon took many trips abroad to Mexico and Russia, teaching pastors the precious Word of God.
Our Sovereign God was uniquely preparing this couple for their next assignment. In April 2010 Walt and Sharon were appointed as full time missionaries with ACTION International, ministering to needy pastors worldwide through Pastoral Leadership Development Working from their home in Eugene, Oregon, the Beckers’ make contact with Christian Leaders all over the world through Skype, email and all the latest technological opportunities that that Lord has given them. Pastors from North America are also contacted and recruited to serve on the North American Coalition. Mentoring relationships are developed, and the Lord is using this technology to advance the Kingdom of God in a mighty way.
Walt was involved in beginning a unique opportunity through PLD called ACTION Coalition, through which North American pastors partner together with a given group of national pastors from another country and region to train and encourage them for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Within a period of about three years, the goal of the Coalition is to train these pastors in every major doctrinal and practical area so that they wiill be fully equipped to train others (2 Timothy 2:2). Then this coalition will have the opportunity to decrease to the point where all of the training is being done by national pastors, “freeing them up” to do the same thing in another country and region.
As Chairman of the North American Coalition, Walt helps establish the vision and plan for future training trips by leading regular meetings via teleconference and Skype with the North American pastors who are on the coalition. All of the pastors involved in the coalition, including Walt, make as many teaching trips per year as possible to a given area and region to equip the pastors and establish ongoing mentor groups.
Right now there are two Coalitions established in Orissa and the Himalayan Region (West Bengal, Indiia, Nepal and (name of country withheld for security reasons). Nepal may be having its own Coalition in the Fall 2014 and a new Coalition is also scheduled to begin in Myanmar about the same time. For more information about the ACTION Coalition, please visit our Coalition website at www.equippastors.org.
There are well over five million untrained or undertrained pastors in the world. Most of them live in horrific conditions with their families, but joyfully serve the Lord. Many live in places where you are persecuted for your faith. Please pray for these dear brothers and their families. Pray for their safety. Pray that God uses them to fulfill the Great Commission. Pray for Walt and Sharon, that their work would continue to bear much fruit for the glory of God.