A large part of our motivation for taking this year away was to spend time in a place where the Christian mission is thriving and where we could learn from those involved. We’ve heard great reports about the Christian movement in various places around the world, and we wanted an extended opportunity to participate in one of those works.
Several conversations led us to the One Mission Society, and specifically to the work they are doing in their church planting catalyst, Every Community for Christ (ECC). When someone initially directed us to ECC, we were amazed to see their principles of church multiplication. The list read almost identically to the ministry values that have already been developing within us, in the Offerings community, and at First UMC.
In 2011, ECC was in over 50 countries with 981 paid workers. In the year, they saw:
- 587,037 decisions to accept Christ
- 12,772 worshiping groups started
- 473,908 baptisms
That’s 13 worshiping groups and 483 baptisms per paid worker!
This isn’t surprising, given the incredible devotion we’ve seen from these men and women, their fervent prayer, and their dedication to the gospel. We also think they’re onto something by focusing on cell churches and house churches, training local leaders, and trusting and empowering lay leaders to plant new churches. Look at the ECC blog to see some great stories of God’s work around the world.
We couldn’t be more excited to participate in such a great mission and with such great people. We expect the experience to be a great time of growth and learning that will allow us to serve in an important mission and prepare us well for future ministry.
Working with One Mission Society’s ECC initiative still left over 50 countries as a possibility, though. After considering a number of ministries and locations, we believe God led us very specifically to Paul & Sylvia Cummings and the work they’re doing near Madrid, Spain. See more about the Cummings and the particulars of what we’ll be doing with them HERE.