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A recent EBF Mission Partnership conference in Georgia sought to ‘encourage, and inspire in ministry’ a group of indigenous church planters from Eastern Europe.
Are believers forming exclusively Romanian mono-cultural churches? Are they integrating into existing British churches? Are they joining in with multicultural churches that reflect Britain’s cultural and ethnic diversity?
Today’s multicultural European society seeks to integrate the foreigner yet often fails because of the differences that exist between cultures. We believe that this is a challenge that God is putting in front of the churches of today.
“You need unity in leadership, a clear vision, and people to see a church growing”, says church planter Oivind Augland, in an interview about church planting and growth.
If the current situation has encouraged mission agencies in Europe to ask questions again about their core business and the values of service, radical availability, and sacrifice, then God will continue to be glorified, even in the midst of political turmoil and uncertainty.
Some of the ways that evangelical organisations are taking up the global challenge of implementing creation care as a mission task.
Every church should “identify what are the principal challenges in your city or town, for your neighbours, and for the young people down your street”, says church planter Jim Memory.
One of the marks of the Reformation was the impulse to translate the Bible into the vernacular languages of Europe, so that the ploughboy could sing its words as he followed the plough.
Ninety European evangelical leaders from 16 different countries joined in Madrid to share and explore better ways to develop church planting in Europe.
Augland is a church planter in Norway and trains others through the M4 network. “Calling needs to be confirmed from both inside and outside.”
This strategy does not seek out either receptive target groups, or the reproduction of a given church model or denomination; it does not try to impose a common methodology on the churches who adopt it.
Church planters must resist the temptation of assuming that growing churches provide generalizable models for growth elsewhere, and that the absence of apparent success in the present is a sign that God is not working.
Do we demonstrate in our thinking, our words, and our actions that the formation of new communities of Jesus followers is God’s business in which we are privileged to participate, rather than something that we do on his behalf?
Too often church planters focus on the things that they can count easily, even when it blinds them to the more important transformative measures that correlate more closely with the biblical concepts of repentance and discipleship.