Church-Planting in Germany - Q&A Part 1

From time to time questions are sent regarding cultural shifts for a cross-cultural ministry. Wouldn't it be great to be able to share a cup of coffee with someone living overseas and just chat?
In a four-part series, here are recent questions that have been submitted for my viewpoint. Possibly others might benefit from the dialogue.

You don't finish with whom you start

Playing tapsAs relational as we are, this one is probably going to hurt a little. Get this: Everything this side of eternity is temporal. Even relationships. Sure, we get that on some level, but then we are absolutely shocked when it affects us.

Church-planter, you need to hear this early on in your goal to see God do a work through your life. Workers, core team players, essential members, dedicated assistants, the list goes on - we have them for a limited time.

Bringing clarity to chaos

Under a onslaught of varied tasks and requests, have your ever felt overwhelmed? A term has been coined to convey the widespread condition: Burnout.

Wikipedia describes it as follows: "Problems related to life-management difficulty".

Further, the Maslach Burnout Inventory uses a three dimensional description of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy.

My latest read has been a book entitled: The Principle of Relevance, by Stefania Lucchetti. Here is what I have been able to glean from the book - making quick sense of information and experiences is a learned skill. Properly organizing everything into thoughts is what changes things from chaos to clarity. It is only when clarity comes that stress is reduced. Makes sense to me.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

Unless a person knows how to give order to his or her thoughts, attention will be attracted to what is most problematic at the moment: thoughts or memories linked to strong emotions, external sources of information, inputs and requests.

Without training, and without an object in the external world that demands attention, people are unable to focus their thoughts for more than a few minutes at a time. This leads to a sense of self-condemnation to notice and process irrelevant stimuli, to attend to everything at once and, as a result, not attend to anything at all.

The five main points towards clarity are these:

  • The clarity of purpose - This defines what something is about.
  • Situational awareness - Taking in data and excluding the unimportant.
  • Pattern discernment - Has this been experienced before?
  • Attention - Awareness of specific input.
  • Self-Knowledge - Working within your own limitations.

Keith Gandy - GermanyKeith Gandy - Germany

Keith, originally from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been planting a church in Aschaffenburg, Germany for over thirty years. Daughter churches have also been started and missionaries have been sent out of the congregation. Annually, he participates in encouraging other European church-planters and frequently travels to visit them in their respective field of service.

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