2017-06-05 7:37 AM
The Challenge of Secularism
Judith McKeown & Stephen McQuoid
Reflections on a decade in Peru
Richard & Pam Harknett
The Challenge of a new Location Patrizio Zucchetto
Tilsley College - Rising to the Challenge of a third-year
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elcome once again to e-vision magazine, the shop window into GLO and all our activities. In this edition, we want to focus on some of the great challenges we face as a ministry as we try and serve God in this most needy of continents. Most of us are aware of what a spiritually difficult place Europe is, but in this edition we are beginning a new series of articles that will examine why this is the case. We look at secularism, that suffocating blanket that squeezes out religious faith and shoves it to the margins of society. In subsequent editions we will examine materialism, the ‘new morality’ and Islam, explaining why they all conspire to make Europe a very difficult place in which to do evangelism. Clearly this is of concern to GLO because our central purpose is to spread of the gospel throughout Europe. We will also look at some of the specific challenges that different GLO workers
London. They are doing this while at the same time continuing to offer training to churches throughout the South of England and Wales. The sheer volume of work is a challenge and they also need others to join the team and serve God in this vital ministry. This edition also contains good news that should be celebrated. Richard and Pam Harknett have spent the last 11 years as GLO missionaries in Peru working with their colleagues Luis and AnneLaure Mostacero. Both couples have now moved
are facing around Europe. Patrizio and Jennifer Zucchetto are moving with their family to a new location this summer after spending many years in church planting and church leadership in the city of Naples. As you will see, they are heading to the Avellino region, not far from Naples where there are literally dozens of towns and villages with no Christian witness. They would value your prayers as they try to get to know people, settle in to their new home and reach out to this dark and spiritually needy area. Mark and Shirley Davies are likewise facing a significant challenge, but in their case it is trying to regrow a church in a key part of
and the Harknetts have returned to England to continue in Christian ministry. Their time in Peru was very worthwhile and they were able to achieve what they intended – and more. Richard and Pam tell the story of the challenges they faced and how they, with God’s help, established an effective ministry that had indigenised and keeps going even though they are no longer in Peru. The other achievement we want to celebrate is the commencement of the third-year course at Tilsley College which has now been granted candidate status with the European Evangelical Accrediting Association. Our move towards a third year came about partly because of requests from students themselves, but also for a desire to be able to offer the best and fullest possible training for people wanting to enter Christian ministry. Simon Marshall, the college principal, outlines some of the challenges involved in this significant move. Summer teams have always been an important part of the GLO strategy. They have been a great blessing to many team members as well as an effective way of getting the gospel out to a wide range of people. Recruitment has always been a challenge, something we will remind you of and we also have a report on one of our Easter teams that took place in Sligo. As you read about the summer team programme for 2017 I hope that you will not only pray for us but also consider signing up for one of our teams if you have not already done so. Prayer is so important to us. We are conscious of our limitations and weaknesses, but also of God’s strength. We rely of God for everything we do, this is a spiritual work and we do not believe we can rise to the challenge of reaching Europe for Christ without God being our strength and filling us with his Spirit. Please pray for us that we will be empowered for service and pray also that the strongholds of this dark continent will be broken down.
“Prayer is so important to us. We are conscious of our limitations and weaknesses, but also of God’s strength. We rely of God for everything we do”
by Stephen McQuoid
on, the Mostaceros to the USA for further study
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by Judith McKeown & Stephen McQuoid
urope has witnessed many changes over the years and one of the biggest has been the change in worldview. Despite Europeâ€™s great Christian heritage, it can no longer claim to be a Christian continent. Indeed it is increasingly difficult to interest people with the gospel and often attempts to do evangelism are greeted by resentment as well as apathy. Undoubtedly this due to a variety of factors not least secularism, materialism and a new morality which pervades much of European society. Add to this the changing face of the religious landscape caused in large measure by the growth of Islam and you have a very different continent than the one we knew fifty years ago. Over the next few editions of e-vision we intend to explore each of these challenges in turn so as to try and understand how we reach out to this most needy of continents. We begin with Secularism which stems from the era of the Enlightenment and Renaissance humanism. Key thinkers such as Voltaire and Kant promoted a worldview of rationalism suggesting that we can make sense of this world without reference to God. Their goal was not to convince people of atheism, but rather to enthrone human reason and encourage a way of living life that did not require God to be central. Faith in the Margins Today secularists aim to side-line religious belief, especially Christianity, by removing its influence from all areas of public life. Secularists claim that they believe in religious freedom,
but they want to confine all religious belief to the private realm. They believe it is acceptable for an individual to have a religious belief, but this should not be talked about publicly and no religious person should have the right to propagate their belief or even allow space for it in the public arena. This means no faith in schools, universities or any other national institutions. They also argue that the values that religious people live by should remain private and should not be imposed on society at large and should certainly not find expression on the laws and customs of the nation. The effect of secularism can now clearly be seen across Europe including in the United Kingdom. A poll carried out by YouGov in 2012 found that 67% of people in Britain thought that religion should be a personal matter only and should have no role in public life. Secularists also work hard to impose their worldview on society and to actively limit the influence of religious belief. A case in point in the UK was that of Bideford Town Council in 2012, where the National Secular Society sued the Council over its practice of praying at the beginning of its meetings. The Council had already voted twice to retain its practice of prayers and no one was compelled to attend. Nevertheless, the judge ruled against the Council stating it had no right to hold prayers even if the majority of counsellors wanted them. This case was a demonstration of how secularists aim to create a post-Christian society and impose their worldview on others.
The Challenge of
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Defining what is Normal The church currently plays a very small or no role in people’s lives, thus creating a vacuum where secularists portray themselves as the guardians of objectivity and neutrality. According to this narrative, to be secular is the norm, to be religious is to be different. It is in this cultural setting that the atheist worldview has now been elevated and occupies the intellectual high ground. However secularism is not neutral as demonstrated by the principle of laïcité (separation of church and state) in France. This is something that France is immensely proud of, even though it means there is no neutrality on religious issues. Instead, those who consider themselves to follow a faith often find themselves marginalised. There are restrictions on the wearing of religious signs in public, with recent controversy surrounding the banning of the burkini following terrorist attacks in France. In fact the European Evangelical Alliance, in a recent press release ahead of the French Presidential elections, raised concerns about the role of religion in public life in France and questioned whether ‘real religious pluralism and freedom of speech be protected or will there be further legal restrictions, in this already highly secularised society?’ They asked for prayer for the ‘the future President, government and Parliament to have an understanding of laïcité which supports freedom of religion and expression for all.’ Due to this promotion of secularism within European society and consequently the loss of
spiritual focus in people’s lives, many today are seeking fulfilment elsewhere, namely in the form of ‘stuff’. Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has described Europe's culture as one of ‘consumerism and instant gratification’ and undoubtedly materialism, the belief ‘that the accumulation of material goods brings happiness drives many individuals to formulate their life’s goals, plans and desires purely in terms of acquiring goods’, thus leaving no room for God in their lives. They simply see God as an irrelevance. Starting the Fight-back It is against this backdrop that the church must rise to the challenge of reaching a generation in Europe that has become increasingly ‘unchurched’. We cannot accept that secularism is neutral or the norm. We need also to recognise how dogmatic and intolerant secularists can be. We do this through overt evangelism, arguing for the truth of the gospel and refusing to be side-lined by those who would wish our demise. Truth should not be apologised for and boldness in proclamation is a must, given the suffocating blanket that secularism can be. Of course our gospel proclamation must also be backed up by authentic Christian living because in a sceptical world we need to be able to demonstrate by our lives that the gospel works and can make a real difference in our lives and the world around us. It is this combination of fearless gospel witness and true transformation of our lives that will make a difference in secular European society.
“The church currently plays a very small or no role in people’s lives, thus creating a vacuum where secularists portray themselves as the guardians of objectivity and neutrality. According to this narrative, to be secular is the norm, to be religious is to be different”
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ust 20 minutes from Naples airport is Avellino province. This is a geographic area of 119 towns and villages with a population of about 429,000 habitants. It is admired for its green hills, valleys, springs, ancient history and medieval villages. The people are friendly, even though strongly religious and traditional. The Avellino province, also called Irpinia (which is the name of a race of wolves) is a place full of tourist attractions, stunning views and great food. It was to our amazement to discover that this region has not fully been reached with the gospel. In all the villages and towns you would find a Roman Catholic church, but only 32 of them have an evangelical witness. The Holy Spirit has put this region on our hearts, and after a time of prayer and consideration we have put together a strategy to reach this region with the Good News of Jesus Christ. The strategy Believing in the power of God’s transforming Word, we have been distributing a copy of John’s Gospel to every home in every village and town where there is no evangelical church. Much research and travel has been done, creating a map of demographics and the social situation of this region. Then we identified the villages and towns of strategic importance like Solofra (12,000 inhabitants), well known for the leather trade, Serino (7,000 inhabitants) with important touristic attractions. In these towns we have done focussed evangelism, including music events, open airs and building friendships, making ourselves and the gospel message known. We have sent our children to the summer scout camps, spending our family holidays there and meeting people who are completely lost. We have called this stage ‘preparing the ground’. We could share many stories of people we have met and we trust that this will produce fruit one day.
The work today So far we have distributed the John’s Gospels (kindly sent by Revival Movement) in 32 villages. We visit the local markets in Solofra and Serino twice a month with a book table full of Bibles, tracts and free literature, and have many opportunities to meet old friends and make new ones. We have experienced some challenges too, like Jehovah Witnesses who create confusion and distract when someone comes to receive literature. The work isn’t easy - we realise that! The mindset is rural and sceptical; we believe there is a strong spiritual influence with idol worship, witchcraft and superstition being widespread. We therefore need
be living in a valley with six villages (Aiello del Sabato, Cesinali, San Michele di Serino, Santa Lucia di Serino, Serino and Santo Stefano del sole). It has a population of about 19,000 habitants, but no church. We pray that we will be a local witness, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through book tables in the markets, teaching English, making contacts with families through the schools, art and craft in the streets, literature distribution, international events, GLO summer teams and serving the community with the talents we have. Serino village is geographically close to Volturara Irpina, where we host the GLO teams in a Christian centre. We will continue to distribute
support in prayer as we step by faith into this dark and spiritually dry territory.
Gospels in the villages with no church and enlist the help of more teams in the future to do this. We also hope to assist the immigrant community as many of them come from English-speaking African countries and don’t have Italian. Our prayer is that we will be able to establish a longterm missionary presence. We are hoping to raise a team of part time and full time colleagues. Pray with us because the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are so few! (Matthew 9:37). We dream of a vibrant church in the Serino valley which will be a faithful witness to Jesus Christ, able to reach its surrounding community in order to plant other churches in this region. You can be part of that – by praying, supporting the project, coming on a summer team or joining us full-time in this work.
Moving forward We have been praying a lot and now feel before the Lord that it is the time to move into this region. Our time in Naples is over and we feel the church can progress without a missionary presence. After ‘preparing the ground’ we now move into the stage of ‘digging the ground’. This is a total step of faith as we depend on God for all our needs. We feel the call from God and we wish to move into a new stage of our lives as a family. God willing, we will be moving to Serino during the summer and would value prayer as we leave our current home and find a suitable one to rent. Our children will need to change schools, leaving friends behind, but we all have a deep peace about that and have already found good schools and teachers. We will
The Challenge of a
New Location 6 e-vision-17.indd 6
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by Patrizio Zucchetto â€œWe have been praying a lot and now feel before the Lord that it is the time to move into this region. Our time in Naples is over and we feel the church can progress without a missionary presence.â€?
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The Challenge of
ne of Jesus’ most memorable statements was recorded in Matthew 9:37 where he said ‘the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few’. That statement is as true today as it was in Jesus day! One of the great challenges of working in Europe is that we can see so much spiritual need but we can never get enough people to meet the need. In a real sense we are only scratching the surface when it comes to evangelism, but better to scratch the surface than make no mark at all. Evangelism is challenging, especially in a place like Europe, and so we need to work hard at motivating people to join with us on summer teams and take the message of hope to a lost continent. Having said
that, we are encouraged each year at the number of people who do join teams. Equally it is exciting not only to see the quality of people, young and old, who do join us, but also to observe the spiritual growth that takes place in their lives as they witness for Christ. God uses them in so many ways and we celebrate this. Mobilising people to get involved in short-term mission is both an important task and a real privilege. We have also discovered over the years that direct evangelism is not high on the agenda of many churches and Christians. If we were to organise a team to do some practical work in an orphanage in Africa, or to run a project for the homeless in India, we would barely need to do any publicity. The team would fill quickly. This is because there is a hunger
“Many teams put a significant focus on literature distribution... However, we also do children’s and youth work, community projects, open air evangelism, English classes, music and the creative arts.”
among Christians for involvement in social care. Of course this is a good thing, because caring for the poor and the underprivileged is very close to the heart of God. Unfortunately, however, a team focussed on evangelism in prosperous Europe is much harder to fill because many Christians are uncomfortable with the very idea of evangelism and are hesitant to get involved. Yes, evangelism is a ‘hard sell’, but what hope does our world have if we don’t actively proclaim the gospel. Hard or not, we make no apology for motivating people to go on teams to share their faith in Christ. Our summer teams are varied, not least because the gospel can be presented in a range of different ways. Many teams put a significant focus on literature distribution and this does bear fruit. However, we also do children’s and youth work, community projects, open air evangelism, English classes, music and the creative arts. Indeed, we use any appropriate method to get the Good News out. Mission is important and we believe that shortterm mission has a vital role to play in reaching Europe. Please pray that we will be able to fill all of our teams this summer and perhaps you will also join one.
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Ireland - The Land of Saints and Scholars: Sligo Easter Team by Andrea Gibson
he coastal town of Sligo has some of the oldest Christian settlements and monasteries in Europe. Under the shadow of the beautiful Benbulben mountain, stands Drumcliff church. The church was built on the foundations of a monastery founded in 575 AD and in the church yard there is a High Cross dating back to the ninth century. You can still see and trace on the stone, biblical stories from creation to Daniel and on to the Second Coming of Christ. Just left of the church door, lies the simple unadorned grave of W. B. Yeats with an inscription, that still causes passers-by to stop and contemplate. It reads, ‘Cast a cold Eye On Life, on Death. Horseman, pass by.’ So this is the mixture of ancient and new that we discovered on our first GLO team in Sligo, Republic of Ireland.
The children's club ran over four days and drew upwards of 40 children each day, a large proportion of whom were contacts made through the work and efforts of the Donaghy family. Many of these children were hearing the Good News of the love of God for the very first time. Their excitement and joy was a pleasure to see. We gave out invitations to the various activities that were taking place that week, around Sligo town itself. We were met with some curiosity and a quite a few questions about ourselves, our accents gave us away! But most were prepared to stop, take the invitation and share a moment or two about where they came from and tell their own story. We found them friendly, open and respectful of our Faith Story, but we did find it difficult to get them to talk about their own. People are still hesitant to speak out about
We arrived at the beginning of Holy Week. Every day there were events held in each of the participating churches; everything from exhibitions to children's clubs, (run by the resident CEF couple, Brian and Helen Donaghy), to prayer breakfasts and evening suppers. It was a busy week! We were a small team, but as the days progressed more and more young people joined us and were encouraged to participate in any way they could. Their enthusiasm was contagious, especially the open air singing; the locals applauded their joy and passion rather than ability, but they were certainly crowd stoppers!
church and their personal affiliation. Irish people today are aware that they were the first in the world to legalise Gay marriage as the result of a referendum. The practice is now accepted and applauded and they are proud of this achievement, but we get the feeling that it sits uneasily on their shoulders. We were inspired and impressed by the cooperation of all the churches who came together to work in unity over the week. It cheered us and heartened us to see what can be achieved when God's people walk together, focus on one common goal, to spread the Good News, and win others for Christ.
GLO Short Term Mission Teams 2017 Spaces are still available for the following short-term mission teams this year: Johnstone, Scotland 1 – 8 July Madrid, Spain 1-10 July Castlereagh, N. Ireland 22 – 29 July London, England 22 – 30 July Enniscorthy, Ireland 22 July – 5 August Brussels, Belgium 28 July – 4 August Talmaciu, Romania 28 July – 5 August Benone, N. Ireland 29 July – 5 August Hamilton, Scotland 29 July – 6 August Swansea, Wales 13 – 20 August Barcelona, Spain 31 August – 10 September Naples, Italy 7 – 12 September Aix-en-Provence, France 23-30 September Avellino Province, Italy 1-5 November For further information check out our website: www.glo-europe.org or contact our Mission Teams Department on: 01698 263483 / email@example.com
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by Richard and Pam Harknett
Reflections on a
Decade in Peru I
t seems almost unbelievable to be writing an article that looks back on 11 years in Peru. Many miles were travelled, two children have arrived and various ministries have started, evolved and been handed over. God has been the single constant through it all and we feel hugely privileged to have been involved in what He is doing in a country where we were blessed to see fruit at almost every turn. Training in Peru We arrived in Peru on 20th February 2006, after two years studying at Tilsley College in Motherwell, and only five months after getting married. Our time at Tilsley overlapped with strengthening connections between GLO and Peru which brought together a new team to develop training work in the north of the country. Luis and Anne-Laure Mostacero and ourselves joined Peruvian national workers Rubén and Marleny Quispe, based in the coastal city of Trujillo, to form GLO Peru. We still joke that the initial vision of establishing a nine-month residential course remained one thing we never actually achieved. This doesn’t disappoint us, however. Luis instilled in us one key question: what will benefit the churches most? Whilst we moved to Peru seeking to realise a vision that we believed God had given us, ultimately, that vision was God’s and not ours. He was always free to modify, shape and change it. Our responsibility was to be sensitive to that and to allow Him to guide us. What eventually developed was a decentralised training programme that currently runs in four different locations across Peru. In 2006, as today, training was a huge need in Peru, a problem compounded by the poor quality of
the state education. Into this context, the GLO Peru training programme was launched. The churches need leaders and members who are studying the Bible and growing in their faith. Each institute therefore has to meet the students where they are and help them to grow from there. It would be futile for us to wait for believers to reach the academic level of our ideal student, neither do the churches have the time to wait for that scenario. Perhaps the most encouraging report we received was from the leader of the mountain institute. Shortly after it began, Whily Cacho told us of his gratitude at the way the teaching was being multiplied. Thirty students threw themselves into one weekend a month of intensive study, but then he related how week after week he would be in churches or local conferences where he heard preachers sharing what they had learnt. As other churches noticed the growth in the participants, they started asking if they could send some of their members to study too. Within a year, Whily had the largest student body of any of the institutes in Peru. Expanding the work As the work grew, it became obvious that the initial team was insufficient. Micah and Amy Tuttle, US missionaries who had already been in Peru for some years, joined the team in 2007, but now we strongly felt it necessary to add more national believers. In 2011, two new couples joined: Giovanni and Charito Núñes, who had recently started the Lima Institute, along with Whily Cacho and his wife Nikki. The ministry was developing too. We had received a few short-term mission teams from overseas and had always attempted to blend
these with Peruvians. This was usually a positive experience, though it did cause some confusion on occasions. One group went up into the mountains and was doing practical work during the day, followed by evangelism in the evening. A local man, watching the team repaint the town’s main square, was overheard commenting to a friend: ‘This lot must have some money. Look, they’ve even contracted foreigners to work for them!’ After a few years of seeing the benefits to the participants, we decided to stop receiving teams from overseas and to concentrate on four-day cross-cultural mission trips specifically aimed at nationals. Peru is a hugely diverse country, with desert, mountain and jungle. This also means that churches can become isolated, so the programme had the potential for fruit on all sides: helping the participants to grow and bringing the churches together. Six to eight teams now take place every Easter and see dozens of Peruvians active in missions in their own country. Moving on By 2015 it was clear that both the Mostaceros and ourselves were in our last term and so planning began to hand over responsibility. We also decided to use this as an opportunity to further expand the numbers of nationals in leadership within GLO Peru. Whily and Nikki took over the short-term mission team programme. Giovanni is now the director of the Institute at a national level. The oversight committee of six people is entirely Peruvian and, even at a broader level, only five of the twenty actively involved in leadership within the ministries of GLO Peru are expatriate missionaries.
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Realising that there were so many national believers ready to take on the work was a huge encouragement to us, and a confirmation of Godâ€™s call to leave. Peru remains a place of great need spiritually: there are several completely unreached people groups in the mountains and jungle, economic growth has produced an increasingly secular middle class and the church still requires teaching and training to consolidate the gains made. Yet we leave excited to hear what happens in the future. God is as active now as ever, but the Peruvian church appears more and more equipped to meet the challenges in partnership with expatriates and not dependent on expatriates. Although returning has been costly emotionally, we thank Him for bringing us back because we know that it will open opportunities for the Peruvians to take the next steps in His plan for their country.
â€œPeru is a hugely diverse country, with desert, mountain and jungle. This also means that churches can become isolatedâ€?
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he two-year Diploma course at Tilsley has given us a thirst to continue to study God’s word. In this context, we would like to ask you to think about the possibility of offering a third year at Tilsley College.’ These were the words of a letter from a dozen or so present and past students to the College Council in December 2016. A request for the College to consider expanding its course offerings to the equivalent of a degree. That was quite a challenge to present to the College. On a purely professional level, it was an exciting challenge; who would not want to have the opportunity of teaching to that level, and with the quality of students that Tilsley regularly
receives? On a spiritual level, it was a challenge as well; a challenge to our own walk with Christ and continued spiritual growth as staff as we have the privilege of sharing our lives with the students. On a practical level, it raised all sorts of challenges: where would the students sleep? What about the extra teaching load? And the extra administrative load? All challenges, but challenges which were exciting and stimulating. Any challenge such as this is not just an institutional challenge, it is also a personal challenge, and so this piece will be a somewhat personal account of the journey, but much of my experience will have been that of others as well. So where do you turn in this situation? Firstly, to prayer. If we were to rise to this challenge in any meaningful and God-honouring way then we could only do so through God’s own strength. As staff, we live by faith individually. As a College, our desire is to be a place where the reality of living by faith is shown corporately and on a daily
basis. This was an opportunity for us to truly live this out. Secondly, to the staff at the College. There is no point in moving ahead with an idea if everyone is not ready to travel on the journey with you - a journey with many potential ups and downs. And the staff were immediately encouraging. Were there questions and queries about what this would mean for the College in terms of ethos, atmosphere and the like? Of course there were. No development such as this would leave things totally unchanged. However, with one voice, there was a clear recognition that if this was the Lord’s will, then we needed to act on it. Thirdly, a proposal had to be presented to those who have to take the final decision, the Directors, the College Council, and the GLO Board. Once again, the reception was extremely positive, and the go-ahead given. One afternoon in January, I sat with Allan McKinnon and Georgette Short in the office
Rising to the Challenge of a
Third Year by Simon Marshall
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and we went through the various issues related to creating a third year programme; the accreditation, modules, teaching load. After our discussion I put a simple question to them, ‘Can we do this?’ The answer came back immediately, ‘Yes’. There it was, a clear statement of faith that in God’s strength, these things could be done. For me, it was a humbling experience as two of my friends and colleagues quite simply stepped out in faith. And one of those colleagues, Georgette, was already an answer to prayer. She had joined the staff on secondment from AIM to help cover for Allan McKinnon as he took a sabbatical to work on his PhD thesis. Georgette’s presence on staff suddenly became so much more than merely filling in for Allan; she became a central part of the preparation for the third year and especially for the accreditation procedure with the European Evangelical Accrediting Association (EEAA). God’s provision of the right person, at the right time, in the right place.
Prayer continued. The increase in administration because of the development of new courses has been quite considerable. If we were to be able to meet the demands of the third year and provide a good programme for our students, our administrative team would need to be strengthened. Where would we find an experienced administrator, preferably with mission experience, and willing to serve for no salary? Humanly speaking, impossible. Then one morning I open my emails to find one from someone who fulfilled all those requirements and more asking for information about the role.
As I sit here writing this, an email has come in from EEAA saying that we have cleared the first hurdle to accreditation. I am thrilled, and humbled, and forced once again to prayer. This particular challenge is not over yet, but God has been with us so far, and will continue with us as we move ahead. Indeed, as this past six months have shown me very clearly, He is always thinking three or four steps ahead. All He asks, as challenges arise, is that we keep our eyes on him and step out in faith. The joy of trusting Christ is found when walking on the water much more than in watching from the boat.
“If we were to rise to this challenge in any meaningful and Godhonouring way then we could only do so through God’s own strength. As staff, we live by faith individually”
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ighgate International Church (HIC) is actually almost 130 years old, though for many years the more familiar name was Cholmeley Evangelical Church. The original ‘Cholmeley Hall’ was built as a new home for a congregation which began over a baker's shop lower down Archway Road early in the 1880s. Despite the age of origins, we have relatively new facilities as the building was then re-built in the late 1980’s. The church had been large and thriving, sending many missionaries across the world, assisting in planting other churches in London including, just after the rebuild, a sister church at 145 Park Road where Chrissie Mulindabigwi was involved prior to her work in Rwanda. The new church plant sadly dissipated, along with a steady decline in the main church to its present size of 20-25 people. In addition to the general societal trend of church decline in UK over the past 50+ years, local contributors to the decline in HIC include demographic changes as young families couldn’t afford to live in the area and older people retiring out of London. In late 2014 we were trying to action GLO’s development strategy by looking for a location in southern England as a base to carry out a role both
Highgate International Church offered use of a house and part of the church building for mission and training activities. This was on the basis that we would also fulfil a significant role in helping the church which at that time was 30-35 people in size. We moved here in January 2015 thus committing GLO to the challenge of re-growing HIC as a local church in this area. Numbers continued to decline and an early (hard) lesson was that there are cycles and patterns
working at re-envisioning of the church. Along with the leadership team, we have been researching the local area and discerning a strategy for new growth as well as pastoring long standing church members who are grieving the loss of past effectiveness. At times the tensions between the two genuine needs have proved too difficult, leading to further losses, some moving on for family reasons and others because they don’t share this type of vison for regrowth. 2016
as GLO Training Director and Enable Coordinator, to serve more effectively in England and Wales. Neil Summerton and Alistair Hornal on behalf of
in decline that are not easily reversed or solved. The trustees and local leadership team, along with Alistair Hornal from Partnership, have been
was a particularly painful year, and so we are grateful to God for a strong sense of unity and encouragement that has characterised 2017 – though numbers on a Sunday morning rarely hit 20! On a more positive note we have a very active toddlers’ work two days a week with 40-60 parents/carers from many different nationalities as well as a Thursday afternoon community café where we have some good conversations. As ever, the opportunities are many, though the labourers are few! The local community is an affluent inner commuter belt, and many are
“The new growth strategy has been agreed and we look for the Lord to bring together a ‘mission team,’ recognising that no one individual can ‘turn the church around’ but a range of gift found in a team approach can make the difference”
It is a privilege to demonstrate the love of Christ in the way we serve them, taking an interest in their lives, whoever they are or whatever their background.
The Challenge of a
Relaunching Church the GLO & HIC story so far by Mark Davies
by Mark Davies
14 e-vision-17.indd 14
2017-06-05 7:38 AM
by Andrew Lacey
Challenging single young professionals, others in the early stages of starting families. The church building is situated between a tube station and local supermarket, so plenty of daily footfall past our front door! The new growth strategy has been agreed and we look for the Lord to bring together a ‘mission team,’ recognising that no one individual can ‘turn the church around’ but a range of gift found in a team approach can make the difference. While open to communicate Christ to people from all backgrounds, a key target demographic is that of young adult professionals and other city commuters. We also are recognising that a ’Sunday morning church’ model may not be appropriate given that we are close, in commuter terms, to large churches in central London. In keeping with the long tradition of Cholmeley Church, we are open to be highly innovative, yet recognising that doing the basics of discipleship well must remain central, for that is what it is all about – bringing people to Jesus and learning to walk together with them as His disciples. Given the size of the building and number of rooms available, we also see the potential for a training hub and base for mission team work in London. Drawing on the well managed resources accumulated over the years, and with the recent help of Brass Tacks, the HIC leadership team are working on building improvements - but that’s another story! Our biggest prayer point at present is for like-minded believers to be willing to join the team. Given the challenges of housing and living in London, the team will be a range of people – some in regular employment or business, students studying, others supported by home churches or self-supporting. We are grateful also to a partnership with Greater Europe Mission (GEM) and looking forward to a family joining us as GEM missionaries during the summer for a three-year period. We are seeking a few more people to join the HIC team, as well as benefitting from short term mission teams such as Tilsley College students and GLO summer teams. If you can’t come or know someone who can, at least join us in prayer!
f you have read through this edition of e-vision, I am sure you will have a better understanding of the challenges of Christian mission, so, as a Bookshop manager, let me say a very strange thing. ‘Stay out of our Bookshop if you want an easy life!’ Yes, you did hear me correctly! And it is, of course, an exaggeration. We work in the Bookshop to make your life a bit easier – a recommendation, a listening ear, a helpful pointer, providing resources quickly and efficiently for your ministry – all part of what we aim to do. But the reality is that the challenge of Christian mission is something that can leap out of a book at you. Biographies that tell of the champions of the faith, old and new, the challenge of Christian mission can be directed at you through a song, through watching an inspiring
Christian Mission in the Modern World – John Stott
DVD, through the well-chosen words on a card or a gift, and, of course, primarily through the Word of God! Perhaps reading a different version of the Bible will bring familiar words home to you with new force, applied by the Holy Spirit to change your direction, or to seek new areas of service. Perhaps a new daily reading scheme will impact your life and force a re-evaluation of your priorities and lifestyle. Perhaps a study Bible will bring a fresh understanding of the fact that God doesn’t only ask us to understand his Word, but also commands us to obey. There is always a real danger that you may get your world turned upside down by the Gospel imperative. The challenge of Christian Mission is everywhere in our Bookshop – enter at your peril!
Compelled by Joy – Michael Green
‘In this classic book, John Stott shows that
‘I was not an emotional cripple looking for
Christian mission must encompass both
a crutch. I was not a romantic looking for a
evangelism and social action. He defines the
cause.’, so says Michael Green as he shares
key terms of mission,
his passion and
suggestions from a
salvation and conversion and
lifetime of church and
presents a model for mission
that cares for people's
not to mention
spiritual and physical
needs alike. Stott points
encounters. A book
to the perfect example of
to provoke, stimulate
Jesus, who modelled both
and inspire, but
the Great Commission of
above all, fire up
proclamation and the Great
every Christian for
Commandment of love and
the urgent task of
Normal price £9.99
Normal price £9.99
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e-vision reader price £8.00 – save 20%
Free UK post & packing, normal GLO post & packing prices apply overseas. Offers available while stock lasts, offers end 31st October 2017. e-vision-17.indd 15
2017-06-05 7:38 AM
Contact Details Stephen McQuoid (General Director) firstname.lastname@example.org 01698 263483 Mark Davies (Training Director) email@example.com 07503 953259 Sam Gibson (Missions Director) firstname.lastname@example.org 028 9447 9411
GLO Board Members Stephen Cracknell Mark Davies Richard Elliott Sam Gibson Karen Macrae Simon Marshall Stephen McQuoid Mike Packer Philippe Perrilliat Ian Smith Patrizio Zucchetto
Ian Smith (Finance Director) email@example.com 01698 263483 Admin office firstname.lastname@example.org 01698 263483
GLO short-term opportunities
College Office email@example.com 01698 266776
Check out our website: www.glo-europe.org or contact our Mission Teams department: firstname.lastname@example.org 01698 263483
GLO Bookshop email@example.com 01698 275343/ 252699
GLO Europe Vision Statement
Our vision is to grow mission focused churches in Europe. Our focus is to:
to proclaim the gospel to as many people as possible in Europe
Tel 01698 263483 Fax 01698 253942 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.glo-europe.org
Gospel Literature Outreach 78 Muir Street Motherwell ML1 1BN
using every method available
ESTABLISH: to ensure believers are established in their faith, strengthen existing local churches and plant new mission focused churches in Europe
to prepare and equip people for mission, to evangelise and church plant and to serve God and his Kingdom with excellence in a wide variety of vocations
to provide resources that support mission activity through finance and literature, strategic input and pastoral care
2017-06-05 7:38 AM
Rising to the Challenge GLO Magazine, eVision, Summer 2017