What do you need? How can the One Mission Society Theological Education (TE) team best support and assist you in your ministry? These were the key questions I asked the OMS national and missionary leaders from Across Europe early in 2016. Their answers: 1) training in discipleship and 2) opportunities for fellowship with OMS European colleagues.
Armed with that information, we planned a special conference in the fall of 2016. With a starting budget of “two fish and five loaves” and the assurance that God had given the vision, plans were put in motion to invite a team from the Inspire Movement to lead a seminar on discipleship in Manchester, UK in May 2017.
And God provided over and over.
From November through May, those attending took turns calling one another to prayer through weekly emails that went out in English, Spanish, and French. Conference attendees came from Russia, Israel, Spain, Estonia, Ukraine, France, Hungary, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, and the U.S.
From May 8-11, along with the team from the Inspire Movement, we learned, practiced, and experienced discipleship. We discussed how we could contextualize the concepts and practices in our unique ministry contexts, and we fellowshipped, worshiped, and prayed together.
Here are a few of the take aways:
I think that the greatest blessing to me was spending time with fellow coworkers in the region.
I was blessed by being part of a team.
Meeting up with my European colleagues for the first time was just wonderful.
I loved the prayer time on the last night where we prayed as a group for one another's prayer concerns.
During the conference, God helped me to see the answers to some questions about my further ministry to him.
The theme of the seminar was very important for me. I think that the principles of deep communication in threes are applicable in our ministry to pastors of Blagovest Association and to members of the churches.
For me personally, having the affirmation from Inspire to focus on discipleship was very affirming and encouraged me that we're heading in the right direction.
The necessity, practicality, and simplicity of joining together as disciples in the name of Jesus.
I need to be a disciple before I can hope to make any.
Sometimes, the members of the body longing to be equipped for ministry are those who are already serving in leadership. The OMS Theological Education team desires to serve and support both those who are in leadership, as well as those who are in the beginning stages of their ministry leadership journey. Resources are needed to bring or send qualified instructors and practitioners, to purchase transportation tickets, and to provide lodging so that Christian workers come away for a time of refreshment, renewal, and mutual care for one another. Reading the take aways, we give thanks to God for the opportunity to ministry to the expressed needs of these precious men and women serving Christ in Europe.
By Colleen Fitch, OMS Regional Consultant for Europe, Theological Education Department
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