Last month, Regional Coordinator Patrick Nachtigall, wrote about the launch of a new initiative in the Europe/Middle East region called Europe X. I (Pastor Nate) will be traveling to Budapest, Hungry to co-lead these meetings April 8-11. The Budapest meetings will be attended by young leaders from five different countries throughout Europe. I will be sharing more about these meetings after my trip.
County Line and Three Worlds
County Line Church has had a long history of supporting missionaries and initiatives in the Europe/Middle East region. This history pre-dates my ten-plus years on staff and includes, to the best of my knowledge, our support of Dave and Kathy Simpson who served in Bulgaria from 2005-2015.
In 2010, Patrick and Jamie Nachtigall became the Regional Coordinators for Europe and the Middle East. As new coordinators, they held firm convictions that if the Church of God was going to have a future in a post-Christian, or post-modern, context then changes had to take place. Patrick did a lot of research on the Church of God by visiting and interviewing people, pastors, and leaders around the world. He wrote a book explaining his research, discoveries, and a pathway forward for the global church. You can purchase the book here or ask me for a free copy!
What was the pathway forward? Patrick and Jamie knew that they had to focus on three areas: 1) Engage young people in cross-cultural ministry, 2) Support empowered and accountable leaders, especially under the age of 45, and 3) Create inner-connectivity within the churches, countries, and regions in which we operate.
Over the last eight years, along with the Three-Worlds Team, they have done a fantastic job in achieving their goals. Consequently, the landscape of churches throughout their region has never looked better than in the current culture. Because of their work, churches are healthier, younger leaders are empowered and supported, and churches and leaders who were once isolated now feel connected to a more significant cause.
Through County Line’s mission giving, our church has played a significant role as well. We have supported former missionaries Aaron and Nicole Varner and Dave and Kathy Simpson. We currently support Patrick and Jamie Nachtigall and new missionaries Alejandro and Carmen de Fransisco. Relationally and financially, we have walked alongside churches, ministries, missionaries, and leaders in Bulgaria, Italy, France, England, Hungary, Germany, Holland, and Egypt.
Forging New Paths Together
The work of the Three-Worlds team, in partnership with local and national churches throughout Europe, has put the Church of God in a position to plant churches. And because County Line and Three Worlds possess a unique, historical partnership, we can work together to ensure that these new churches have the opportunity to start healthy and make a long-standing impact in their local contexts.
Europe and the United States share a similar history in that at different times in history they were the epicenters of Christianity. That is no longer the case. Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds, just not in the United States or Europe. Research has shown that new churches reach more people for Christ than established churches. This research holds true across every continent and is one of the motivations for creating and starting Crossroads 37 & Europe X.
I look forward to sharing more about Europe X and especially the people involved. Already, one church is making waves throughout Paris. You can read about @home here.
(Pastor Nate is the Mission Advancement Pastor at County Line Church. His primary responsibilities are overseeing missions and church multiplication. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)