Insights from the road (part three: Church and Partnership)
During October Jim and Christine Memory spent 18 days travelling 3758 miles through 16 European countries. Here are a few of their thoughts.
We observed in many places the enduring presence and influence of Christian churches across Europe. While secularisation has had a devastating effect on church attendance, churches continue to play a central part in the life of many European communities.
We saw many exciting signs of life: the vibrancy of international churches in Karlsruhe, Germany and Austria; new church plants in Poland; a beautiful new church in the outskirts of Budapest which is reaching out to the youth in its district; the long term commitment of Christian young people from different Austrian churches in Villach to the Teabus that is placed in the centre of the town 12 times a year; residential Christian communities in Maastricht, Netherlands...
Insight: Noticeable in these was the prominence of younger leaders, many of whom were very keen to talk and be mentored. The church continues to be God’s principal instrument to reach today’s Europeans and ECM has a part in that
As we travelled we met with ECM colleagues but also with workers from other agencies and churches. We met financial supporters. We met with representatives of partner agencies like Liebenzeller Mission in Germany. And at the church in Karlsruhe, we met with some who had participated actively in outreaches with us in Montilla when we were working in Spain. In Budapest we stayed with a young couple who had been on an ECM church planting course in Madrid.
Insight: ECM’s story has been one of partnership. Working together is one of our values. We are well placed to make more of this but need to equip and train our workers to do this better than we do at present.
One last thought
It was a huge privilege to take this trip, to see close-up some of the tremendous challenges of mission in Europe today, and to meet ECM colleagues who are facing those challenges with inspiring faith and missional creativity. We are more convinced than ever that God is “on the move” in Europe, that the gospel continues to be “good news” for today´s Europeans, and that ECM has a small, but vital, part in “sharing Christ's love in Europe”.
- June - 26 - 2018 - Meeting Jesus, Meeting Needs in Sweden
- June - 19 - 2018 - Christians must collaborate with each other to impact the world
- June - 12 - 2018 - Sport and Worship festival reaches the hopeless and disillusioned in Croatia
- June - 05 - 2018 - Bringing Students to Christ in Ukraine