National Initiatives Best Practices

28 Apr 2017

Background: We gathered in Oslo to share our hearts and experiences in stewarding national initiative movements in our respective countries. We reflected on what we have been learning and on what Christ is calling us to for the sake of the Gospel in Europe.

Towards Best Practices in National Settings: We heard and agreed on the following as valued learnings to date:

  • Tell the best founding stories of the past to inspire hope and courage for the future. – Peteris (Latvia)
  • (Optional: acknowledge present dissatisfaction.)
  • Cast vision of preferable future.
  • Don’t bypass church leaders/official channels
  • Develop core team of leaders
  • Provide possibility thinking leadership
  • Discover the door openers in each denomination
  • Do research and mapping
  • Be devoted to prayer
  • Build relationship and unity – repent of mistrust where needed
  • Hold to Kingdom perspective
  • Highlight good local models – give leaders opportunity to see and experience these, not only hear of them.
  • Expose younger leaders to effective seasoned leaders – e.g. via lunch, internships, visits, mentors
  • Develop communication system – e.g. newsletter, web – to keep vision, stories, models, encouragement etc. alive and growing.
  • Develop learning communities – for planters, perhaps also for denominational leaders seeking strategic denominational change
  • Develop a “leadership pipeline” process – help leaders develop from “novice 15 year olds” to “effective seasoned mentors”
  • Share resources among denominations, e.g. training events, fruitful models and practices, research etc. Open handed and hearted sharing raises trust and synergy.
  • Learn to do effective planter assessment and coaching (these two may be 80% of the battle for initial survival and success)
  • Find ways to welcome parachurch organizations to work with denominations in resourcing church planting or in church planting directly with the blessing of denominations.

• Set a reasonable pace – not too fast so as to discourage, or too slow, so as too be disobedient to our calling to disciple the nation
• Pursue wise goals – not too ambitious, not too vague.
There are three kinds of goals to consider:
• process goals (steps towards plants, e.g. develop effective assessment, train planters, provide learning communities, train coaches etc., without defining the number of plants expected),
• end goals (total number of plants) without target dates and
• end goals with target dates.
• Don’t get sidelined with definition of ‘church,’ discussions about which is the best model. Rather allow diversity of understanding within Biblical perimeters.

We explored the idea that there may be three stages of development in national initiatives in Europe, e.g:
• small evangelical presence (no national network process)
o e.g. Italy, Spain, Czech, Balkans, Belgium
• medium size (a single national network process)
o e.g. Norway, Sweden, France
• big country (multiple processes)
o e.g. Germany, UK, Holland, Ukraine

Contributing to the above:

National Initiative Leaders: Raphael Anzenberger (France), Øivind Augland (chair, Norway), Peter Dyhr (Denmark), Richard Hultmar (Sweden), Martin Robinson (United Kingdom), Peteris Sprogis (Latvia), Jiří Unger (Czech Republic).
Others: Reinhold Scharnowski (Europe CP Network), Murray Moerman (notes, GCPN)