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.
What steps did you take to get the church started?
Initial contacts: two methods were used - street evangelism (unfruitful) and personal relationships.
First gatherings: an informal bible study in our living room. At grew to a core group of 20 people.
First Sunday services: 18 months after starting initial gatherings in our living room, we launched Sunday meetings with five others, plus our family.
Meetings were basically focussed on two things: develop a relationship to Christ and build a relationship to others.
How long did this process take before the church was autonomous?
Classically, three metrics are used for measuring autonomous church status:
Self supporting: achieved from about 15 months in the plant, with the exception of paying salaries
Self propagating: evangelizing others was a core principle that people embraced early on
Self governing: leadership is in place in many ministries, the Alpha Male Pastor is still to be inserted. The church is now searching for a pastor, which can be financially supported out of the giving base. The church is 27 years old.
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.