It has been about five months since I shared “A Preliminary Analysis of the Central and Eastern Europe GCPN Region,” an executive summary of the opportunities and challenges for making disciples in Central and Eastern Europe. (See the notes at the end for more details). Since writing this report, I’ve been privileged to speak with a number of mission leaders who focus on this region. As I’ve listened to them tell their stories, I’ve noted three encouraging themes.
New Prayer Initiatives
If a breakthrough is to happen in Central and Eastern Europe, it is agreed that prayer is key. More united, focused, prevailing prayer is needed. Several shared what they are doing to mobilize others to pray. A worker in Budapest has started a 24/7 prayer room. A Brazilian missionary couple produced a booklet to guide their prayer partners to intercede for 30 different topics. The Balkans had a prayer day May 4. A pastor in Kosovo sends out e-mail updates. There are numerous national prayer networks. Workers in Bulgaria produced a “virtual prayer walk” and a 30 day guide to mobilize prayer (pray4bulgaria.wordpress.com/virtual-prayer-walks). Another has prepared a guide to pray for a city based on the Lord’s Prayer (udmms.com/cityprayer). And I’ve heard of a woman prayer walking in Romania from Timisoara to Bucharest. It is encouraging to see such creative ways to motivate and guide people to pray. May their numbers increase!
So what are you doing to encourage others to pray for your country?
New Disciple Making Initiatives
I’ve heard stories of new disciple making initiatives in the region that are popping up in the last 18-24 months. Good things happening in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and the Balkans – and likely other countries as well. (A short article in Mission Frontiers (www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/breakthroughs ) documents some of these new initiatives. People are implementing M4 training out of Norway, the Discovery Bible Study method developed by David Watson (disciplemakinginitiative.org) and T4T (short for Training for Trainers – T4Tonline.org ) principles being implemented by Greater Europe Mission and E3 Partners. From what I understand, these approaches are similar in their emphasis to teach people to obey Jesus’ commands. Good things always happen when people obey Jesus commands!
So what are you doing to teach people to obey Jesus commands?
Coaching Disciple Makers
A third theme I’ve heard is that coaching front line practitioners as one way to help accelerate disciple making. A coach helps disciple makers glean insights from what they are doing, implement the “next step” and overcome obstacles. Coaches with whom I have spoken often use Skype to overcome geographical barriers. One is experimenting with training via Skype.
Several of us have been pondering the idea of whether it would be profitable to form a peer learning community that would bring together disciple making catalysts and local champions to consider “best practices” for developing disciple making movements in Eastern and Central Europe. This learning community would likely connect once a month for an hour monthly using Skype or Go to Meeting.
Since 2010 I’ve been a part of a similar peer learning group within OC International. This is a moderated discussion where six to eight people normally participate. We have a time to share what we are thankful for and pray for one another. It is encouraging to hear stories of what God is doing around the world. Usually we discuss on one aspect of developing disciple making movements. I never fail to glean an important insight from other practitioners.
Would a peer learning group for Disciple Making Movement Catalysts interest you?
If you would like to participate in peer learning community focused on initiating Disciple Making Movements in Central and Eastern Europe, let me know. Perhaps we can start several groups.
Prayer, New Disciple Making Initiatives, Coaching. Could these be signs of God’s work in the region? If so, we have reasons to be encouraged.
This report was prepared for the Global Church Planting Network (GCPN) in conjunction with OC International (www.onechallenge.org).
The purpose of the Global Church Planting Network (GCPN) is to connect people and resources to accelerate church planting among all the peoples, languages, nations, cities, and villages of the world, with the expectation of communities being transformed to the Glory of God. More about GCPN can be found at www.GCPN.info.
The report, ”A Preliminary Analysis of the Central and Eastern Europe GCPN Region”, can be found at www.gcpn.info/regions/Analysis_of_GCPN_Eastern_European_Region.pdf .