• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

The art of sacrifice in a region (Europe)

The Mission¹⁴: Vision Forward Europe conference was the final Area conference in 2014.  The conference focused on personal and leader development with presentations by Albert, Steve and Mark, and  was furthered through small group interaction. One highlight was the number of new workers partnering with WT Europe since the last Area conference.  About 15-20 workers have joined WT Europe within the last three years and a number of those workers come from partnerships with other like minded agencies.2014 Europe Conference Picture 2

As I wrote in the previous post, “I shared a number of challenges with each region or Area.  The purpose was to affirm and celebrate what God has done through us over the past few years as well as to challenge Area members to “excel still more” in their work and ministry for Jesus.”

During the WT Europe conference, I shared the following challenges.

First challenge: give away the ministry. Though our drive may be to hold on to the ministry, we must allow, empower, and give others the responsibility to carry out spiritual ministry.  This calls for a strong grasp of the Gospel which reminds us that our ultimate value is not to be found in our work, but in Him.  Multiplication then is a natural outgrowth of a heart that is centred in the Gospel.

Second challenge: choose afresh apostolic rather than pastoral.  A cross cultural worker is by nature someone who is concerned with the spiritual state of others; he/she has a pastoral stance towards others in the sense of wanting those apart from Christ to come into a personal relationship with Him.  However, our calling is to be starters and equippers; our calling is an apostolic one.  We can easily fall into a pastoral stance and inhibit the development of nationals to build and shape the ministry. From the start of any new work, our approach needs to be apostolic.

Third challenge: live in and out of community.  Our values can make great sound bites.  However, for our values to become the compass by which our work and ministry is directed, we must work out those values in the context of community.  The TC4u challenge was a reminder to the WT community of our need as workers to find and build a community where we can speak into others lives as well as allow others to speak into our lives.

Fourth challenge: learn to measure progress.  Numbers are important, but stories tell so much more.  The challenge is to do both well.  Metrics is not a pleasant word for many, but we are called to give an account of what we have done with the resources God has placed at our disposal.  However, accountability is not just about counting disciples or churches, but also about demonstrating the progress and growth that has occurred.   Both are needed and that is the challenge that faces all of us.

I share these challenges given to the WT Europe workers with all of us both as a reminder of the challenges given, but also as a motivation to pray for one another as we seek to learn the further change and growth to which God is calling us.

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