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[toggle title=”Does 4D send Western missionaries?”]
- 4D’s goal is not a traditional or denominational mission that starts its own churches, but it exist to empower nationals, their ministries, their churches and its missional efforts. Therefor this objective of empowering nationals determines the opportunities for Westerners to come along side and be involved. Often nonresident and short term efforts of specialists that come along side, train and mentor are most welcomed.
- There are also opportunities that Westerners are uniquely qualified for, such as a significant demand from the public schools in a country like Czech Republic for “native English speakers”. This can be a unique way to build relationships with those outside the church, learn the culture, share Christ and build bridges between kids in school and Christian clubs, camps and other follow up activities.
[toggle title=”Why does 4D have an emphasize on Children, Youth and Family?”]
During the Communist era the church was mostly restricted in the areas of children, youth and evangelism. The institution was often allowed, but carefully controlled and kept from vitality and growth if it were to stay within it restrictions (which many did not). When freedom came many denominations started their own seminaries and bible institutes, but in most cases were not offering specialized training for those working with the younger generation. Also a focus on and innovative ways of reaching children and youth outside the existing churches was often limited. In the same way resources especially for those working with children and youth were, and still are, much needed. Children and Youth are not only “the Church of tomorrow”. They are also part of the Church today! Jesus clearly instructed His followers: “let the children come unto me”.
[toggle title=”How is 4D involved in publishing the needed resources?”]
After more than 20 years of freedom, a number of mostly small Christian publishing houses have evolved throughout Eastern Europe. Instead of competing with them 4D partners with them, thus staying out of much of the publishing itself, while strengthening others. An example is a large project in the Czech language: “Handbook on Counseling Youth” by Josh McDowell. From a publishing and business point of view, the book is too big, and has too small a target audience. From a ministry point of view, there are no tools like this available and it is desperately needed. So, not numbers of copies sold, but spiritual impact becomes a 4D question and reason to partner with Navrat, the largest Christian publisher in Czech Republic, as co-publisher and co-distributor.
[toggle title=”What about Internet, e readers and modern media? “]
Internet, SMS, smart phones and notepads have become a way of life throughout Eastern Europe. New communication tools impact how we communicate. They also provide us with new opportunities for:
- Evangelism in partnership with the Jesus.net team, has been especially effective in Poland and was recently started in Czech Republic, with results that were beyond expectation. Many Czechs are afraid of the Church, but are eager to explore about God and Jesus on the Internet.
- Follow up through trained e-coaches and courses like Why Jesus? those that respond with a commitment to Christ on the Evangelism site, have an opportunity to discover more who Jesus is. At the end of the course the e-coach invites the person to a small group meeting, such as an Alpha course, and ultimately seeks to introduce the person to a local church.
- Equipping takes place through special 4D sponsored web sites and mobil platforms, such as LeaderXpress in both Romanian and Czech. These sites provides locally tested programs, games, ice breakers, links, opportunities for networking, training and more. They also encourage field driven local ministry ideas and creativity and are a resource for those involved in ministry (most of them being volunteers and many who don’t speak English).
[toggle title=”How much of my financial support for 4D goes into ministry and what goes towards administrative expenses?”]
- In addition to the low administrative cost and efficiencies, there is an even bigger stewardship issue involved as a result of partnering with national staff and partners. Salaries in Eastern Europe are considerable lower, there is no language or cultural learning, no moving or furloughs, national staff has credibility from day one and what we invest in nationals will stay on the field for a life time. Also nationals will never be told “what you do as a foreigner, we cannot do in our churches or community, because….”.
- By carefully selecting and working with national 4D partners, we can choose the cream of the crop, in terms of where our partnership and financial help makes the biggest difference, which can either be for a project or season or for a longer period of time. The various partnerships don’t only receive 4D’s help, but they also help 4D with their experience and networks, so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel in a neighboring country and language group. It’s a win win for all and a testimony to both the Christian community as well as to those outside the Church.