Photo br Chris Karr
Scotland (MNN) ― Brian Marable with Greater Europe Mission says, "One of the areas that we, as Greater Europe Mission, have a heart for is church planting. We believe that God brings forth His Gospel through the church."
Why Europe? According to statistics noted on GEM's Web site, there are 821 million people in Europe, Silk Road nations, and the former Soviet Union--a region known as the 40/70 Window. That means Europe is the crossroads of influence for millions of immigrants.
However, cross-cultural mission is difficult. There are dangers to over-romanticizing the field and unintentionally undermining the indigenous church. These pitfalls have created difficulties that make ministry inefficient, as well as a source of misunderstanding.
Marable says GEM has been looking for ways to grow in Scotland. Rather than re-invent the "wheel," their job as a missions-minded agency was to collaborate with the indigenous church. How does that look?
A partnership is defined as a relationship between people characterized by cooperation, respect and mutual responsibility toward a common goal. In this case, the common goal is the Great Commission.
Years of relationship building with the national church has laid the foundation for open communication about needs and dreams.
Marable says now's the time to build the "house." "We have an invitation from the Scottish. People are looking for nationals to say, 'We want you to come over and partner with us in this work.' We have a lot to bring to the table, and nationals have a lot to bring to the table because they know their culture, they know the needs of their country...they know the history of the Gospel in their country."
Marable is headed to Scotland next February to help establish new churches and train missionary partners. He says initially, "I will be working with a church in discipleship ministries and coming in sort of an associate youth pastoral role."
Taking that role will give him time to work with the church in Irvine and time to adjust to the culture, while getting to know the people and their needs. They're working with a church in Edinburgh to build the foundation for new ministry while at the same time looking for young people who have a passion for the homeless and the outcast in that region.
Other church leaders have alerted Marable to a new community going up in Wallyford. There are 10,000 new homes being built, but there is no church presence. They're trying to attract the young professional, and the field is ripe.
Marable says they're looking for someone to assist a Scottish couple in church planting there, as well as a couple to help a ministry in Glasgow reaching out to unmarried pregnant teenagers. If you can help, click here.