Thursday, June 26, 2014

Conference in Munich

I just returned from a conference in Munich on the Importance of Measuring Ministry Effectiveness. The event was hosted by the Maclellan Foundation, who invited several of their European grant recipients to participate. I attended as a representative of the National Council of French Evangelicals (NCFE) along with one of my French colleagues. We both work with the NCFE Church Planting Learning Community--a project that is partially funded by a grant from the Maclellan Foundation.

Because my name badge identified me as working with the NCFE, others naturally assumed that I was French. Since participants came from more than ten different countries, the sessions were conducted in English. I cannot tell you how many times someone said to me, "Wow! You speak English really well. You barely have an accent!" At which point, I would admit to being American. But I was left wondering if I do actually have an accent when I speak English!

For the purposes of collaboration and synergy, we were put on inter-organizational teams. The five people on my team ranged from a Dutch guy who ran a sports ministry in the Netherlands to a Romanian chap who works to encourage church planting movements all across Europe to a German fellow who cultivates new ways of doing church in Germany to an American man who works with an on-line ministry in Turkey to a British man who leads a prayer ministry in England to me--an American Girl working with Church Planting in France. And THAT is but a small sampling of the people and ministries that were represented.

How refreshing to be among Kingdom People who are committed to doing Kingdom Work for the glory and honor of the Father! These people passionately engage in the ministries set before them, excited to see God accomplish his purposes on earth. None were proud, positioning, or parading their successes; all were humble, hopeful, and happy to learn.

One ministry team was particularly striking as one colleague was from Russia and the other was from Ukraine. As they introduced their organization they joked, "And look! We haven't killed each other." They are colleagues from countries poised for war against each other, yet they remained united in purpose as children of God.

I was deeply impressed by the Maclellan Foundation! They go way beyond simply funding ministries. They invest time to build relationships and offer training that empowers ministry success. The entire event was carefully planned, excellently executed, and the things I learned were both valuable and useful. Above all, I was blessed by the connections that I made with people doing awesome work all over Europe. 

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