Migration & Church Planting
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All About Church Planting!

Dear <<First Name>>,

Church planting. I still remember the first time I heard this phrase as a freshman at Moody Bible Institute. All I could think about were trees and it made me curious why we were using this terminology to talk about missions. The picture it painted in my mind was of a vast field with church buildings dotted across. Then I moved to a big country where it was not possible for us to "plant a church" so what did missions look like in that context?

Read on for some insights into how SEND is making disciples among the unreached and for inspiration to be a disciple as you make disciples.


Migration and Church Planting in Europe

By Ted Szymczak

This past spring, prior to attending the European Leadership Forum (ELF), I was asked to explore the role of migration and Diasporas in Church Planting in Europe.  What I found in my conversations with leaders was quite intriguing.  This year’s ELF gathered leaders from all over Europe and beyond, and was held in the mountainous resort city of Wisla, Poland.  While the majority of my conversations were with European Church Planters, the principles identified can apply more globally to Church Planting in the context of migrations.  

Poland is probably not one of the countries that first comes to mind when European migration is discussed. Germany and France are often in such news, but not usually Poland. The fact is that according to a March 6, 2017 Bloomberg article, over a million immigrants, primarily from Ukraine, have come to Poland, a country of 38 million people.  The Polish Evangelical Churches have been proactive in engaging these immigrants and as a result, the impact of these new neighbors has been substantial, particularly in Church starts.  In some cases, Church plants have a high percentage of refugees, up to 30-50% of some congregations.  SEND’s own experience in Opole and Legnica in Poland and even Spain exhibit similar dynamics.  

So what does all this mean for church planting?  Two implications come to mind.  First, these migrants can be discipled and equipped to join the ranks of laborers for the harvest.  For example, Ukrainians have a rich history of church planting in the Former Soviet Union.  These and other diasporas could be reached, equipped and sent out into strategic near or cross cultural work.  Second, some of these immigrants represent Unreached People Groups (UPG’s) who have been hard to reach in their native context.  Having them next door gives us the opportunity to share the love and good news of Jesus with them.  Being out of their native contexts often brings new openness to the gospel among immigrants.  Strategically engaging some of these diaspora UPG’s could yield valuable Kingdom fruit.  
God has opened up opportunities to engage migrating people groups for the sake of making his great name known.   Let’s take up the challenge and prayerfully consider how to engage recent migration trends to make disciples who in turn make other disciples.
Church Planting and Disciple Making Movements
What do we really mean when we say "disciple making movement" or DMM? And how does this relate to church planting? Click on this short video for a simple explanation of DMM principles.

On the Wiki

The wiki is full of church planting resources including SEND U's own guide to DMM. Click here for stepping stones and an overview of the DMM process. Want to see how these correspond to the stages of more traditional church planting? Go here for an overview of goals, phases and seasons in church planting. 
On Grow 2 Serve
Still in your first term? Language school? Need some retooling? Head over to Grow 2 Serve for great quality online learning opportunities. Learning Culture through Purposeful Observation is a great place to start honing your ethnography skills and figuring out where the gospel intersects the culture you are living and working in. 
SEND U is still looking for a volunteer to help with our wiki administration. If you like details, a little technology, and administration and have 5-10 hours a month to give, this could be the perfect fit for you! Please email the SEND U Director if you are interested.
Keep learning,

Beth Eckstein
SEND U Interim Director based in Taichung, Taiwan

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