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Passion for church planting

At 17 years of age, I knew that I desired to plant churches in Europe. Some 40 years have passed and that is still my greatest joy.

Many different skill-sets are required to reach out and adopt another culture - a few of which are flexibility, humor and a never-give-up attitude.

Within these pages you will find some of our stories, see some of the sites that we enjoy as we travel to encourage those in the task of planting churches in Europe, plus visit those that our church has sent out around the world. May you also be inspired to be passionate about serving Jesus and others.

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Fishing strategies in ministry

Photocredit: Pixabay

The one thing that Jesus said he would make us would not make us wise, not make us dedicated followers, not make us holy, he said he would make us fishers of men.

In our church planting experience evangelism will play a major role. And since Jesus made use of the metaphor of fishing we can extrapolate concepts, principles guidelines for our ministries.

I was taught to fish as a child - my father would put me in an environment with a high probability of catching fish and I came to find find is an early age that even if you put no bait on the hook in certain surroundings you can catch fish no matter what, if you just keep at it long enough you will catch something.

But then when you're not in a high probability setting then you have to become more specific - To increase your chances of catching fish you use a strategy. 

This will include determining when they feed what they feed on and what tackle you need to to take with you in order to catch them you do not take fly fishing rods to catch deep water fish.

i understand after three decades of European church planting, the challenges are uniquely different than in the USA, but I am repeatedly shocked at how many planters do not have even a rudimentary strategy to reach their audience and assist them to become a new Testament Assembly. It is the "fish long enough you are almost assured to catch something" approach. All too often discouragement sets in when no real traction is experienced and commitment wanes.

Here are some questions that could help you to find that strategy

Do you know who you're fishing for? Are you targeting singles are you targeting families, are you targeting children?

What is the general income level? This will determine the social settings quite possibly even the time that you'll need to invest.

What is the worldview of your target audience in order to be able to speak to them effectively and bring conviction we must understand how they view life the three general cultural types or the fear-peace cultures, the shame/honor cultures, the guilt/innocence cultures there is helpful information online to be able to to understand and grasp the culture you're addressing.

In the mid 90s our church had plateaued and I questioned our strategy we did begin to discover the society had evolved and was not postmodern I found that the my communication techniques were not speaking to hearts. When we tweak those and by understanding my audience we began to see a noticeable increase in evangelistic effectiveness and church growth.

The apostle Paul spoke to this directly in first Corinthians 9 what he said that to those that are under the law I am as one under the law to those that are without the law I am as one of them that might all means we might be able to reach some for the Gospel in other words he understood his audience he had a strategy and that did not change the content of the message the Gospel remains the same but the methods were used to actually address our audience does change.