As I'm sitting at the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication meeting where 65 organizations came together to partner to help multiply churches and missional communities around the world, I feel greatly encouraged and burdened at the same time. I'm encouraged by the reports I'm hearing from the Middle East to Latin America, from Africa to Asia: there are rapid church-growth in all those regions. Even in Europe the decline of the church has stopped and there are new church planting movements everywhere. The only region where the church is decreasing by 2.5 million people every year is North America. This greatly burdens us! Many reasons led to this point, but the only way out from this is having true repentance where millions of believers turn from the many idols we worship and follow (i.e.: money, success, consumerism, our children, our entertainment, our pride, etc..). The task is bigger than any organization or church, but not bigger then our God! He is ABLE!
In the short 3 months since we’ve moved to the U.S. the amount of things have happened didn’t give us much time to process the changes and lament over the losses. Being away at my 4th trip now (currently in Minneapolis at the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication conference) in such short time and being immersed into the depth of the ministry both locally and nationally comes with a huge learning curve for both of us.
Edina is mainly focusing on helping the local Cru City team’s ministry (going to schools to help after school educational programs and through that share the gospel, organizing events & staff trainings, meeting with women, etc.). My main focus is helping the new nationwide initiative of Cru in which we “partner to saturate the city with the gospel in Word and deed” by creating and expanding gospel engagement strategies and tools. Here are just a few examples of the strategies we are using and we are training believers to use:
- YTL - we are working on getting it into English (HUGE project). Already 3 schools in our region have opened their doors for us to use it, not to mention the request we got from China, Germany and the U.K.
- Story of the Soul - another strategy developed in Hungary and widely used in other countries. More here: www.storyofthesoul.org
- Life in the City - it’s a simply survey we can use to initiate gospel conversations. If you want to learn about that survey, send the text message “wellbeing” to the number 85005.
- The Changing face of evangelism & the well-being of the city. - An interactive evangelistic training.
- CoJourners - A proven approach to conversational evangelism. More here.
Becoming a "dandelion”
Occasionally we will share with you some simple ways you can initiate evangelistic conversations and help people to make the next step on their spiritual journey.
Here is one example. This is my business card below. On the front is my contact information, on the back is a QR code. If you scan that code, it will take you to a webpage with my personal testimony.
I give that card to everybody I meet with. You can also do that. Here is how:
- Write your personal testimony in less then 500 words - it took that many words for Apostle Paul to tell his, so ours shouldn't take more, too.
- Go online to mystory.me and create a profile and upload your testimony.
- Follow the instructions and order your business cards.
- Give it to people as you meet with them. And you just became a "dandelion", scattering the seed. Some will grow, some won't, but you might helped someone to take the next step.
- Rahel - although it is very hard for her and for us all that she is so far away, we are constantly amazed by her maturity and walk with God. There are difficult moments and tears. She loves her school and found a great church. Also, she is very actively involved in the Christian Union. Pray for her to find great, strong Christian friends around her.
- Renato took a trip back to Hungary to explore his future. He is puzzled about the direction he should take, but in the meantime he has a great job that he likes.
- Gergo is doing very well and embraced this change with an amazing intentionality. He is performing very well in school and has plugged in to a great Christian youth-group in the church we’ve joined to. Even in his school he found some Christian students and they come together every Thursday early morning for prayer and worship.
- It was a highlight for us to reach out for our neighbors and we've invited them for a Hungarian meal. Also, we became members of a church close to our home. It was awesome to learn that 30 years ago the lead pastor came to a summer project to Hungary with our ministry.
- I’ll be the keynote speaker on a Vision Dinner that our team organizes in KC on October 20th. Pray that God would bring many people and would give me wisdom as I prepare my message.
- November 5-9 our team will host close to 50 staff (one from Hungary) from 23 cities to train them on city evangelism. I have to prepare a lot for that.