Beginning a New Anglican Work in Europe

How would NAMS begin a new church in Europe if God opened the door? Our answer to that question is really the same as it would be for any place in the world.

First, we would pray earnestly to the Lord of the Harvest to raise up the right laborers to go into the harvest. When he had revealed them, and they were clear where God was asking them to go, we would begin to pray with them and resource them until they, and we, believed the time had come for them to relocate to the field the Lord was opening (if they were not already living in that field).

What would they need to begin? Our experience has taught us this answer is varied, but we know this: the Lord needs very little beyond the heart of well-discipled servants willing to “go.” If two or three people understand the disciple-making principles of the kingdom, they know most of what is necessary to begin. They must live in the new environment as disciples are meant to live. If they can raise up a small team to go with them in the beginning, so much the better.

And once they arrive? Probably, some of them would need to be engaged in a form of gainful employment in the new place if allowed by law. If not, the wider fellowship of Christian people would have to support the initial work financially. The team would make friends with their neighbors. The believers would pray together every day, and begin to share their vision for a new community of faith with all they meet, as the Spirit gave them voice. They would organize a home meeting for prayer and teaching, and begin to invite interested people to attend. They would follow up with those who seemed interested. There would be many small gatherings to discuss the dream with those who are attracted. Most of all, they would be looking for the man or woman of peace, whom God had prepared to welcome them (c.f. Luke 10:6).

On the Lord’s Day, the team would gather for prayer and corporate worship, no matter how few they were. This would not be an advertised service, but would be for all the believers who were part of making the new start. All whom they were meeting would of course be welcome.

Some of those who began to be involved would almost certainly be Christians, who for one reason or another are being added to the new work. These people would generally need to be “retooled” as disciple-making disciples by members of the team with these gifts. Others coming would not yet be Christians, and they would need to be gently and lovingly “gospeled” until they are ready for the step of faith and baptism. They must be “born again” if they are “to enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

When the time was ripe, more public worship would be announced, and the work of building the new community up in grace and truth would continue. As God added to their number, NAMS, and those ecclesiastical authorities we were partnering with, would support and help them until they were fully self-sustaining, and ready to help the kingdom expand by sending out another team. The new church would be pregnant.

— Jon Shuler

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Beginning a New Anglican Work in Europe

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