More important than what we do, is what does God do? What are the results of 4D’s ministry? Are we making a spiritual impact?
Following the strategy of coming alongside networks of churches throughout Eastern Europe to help them respond to God’s call to be a light in this world, 4D’s most important target group are the pastors and their teams of volunteer leaders of their churches.
4D wants to help them to mobilize and equip their own people for ministry.
Realizing that academic training is not enough and often is ignored, much emphasize is put on ministry models within people’s own culture and denominations. These models are both reproducible and sustainable.
Examples of how 4D works:
Ambassadors Together is not a program 4D invented in the US and does for the churches in Europe, but it is a program the Eastern European churches initiate, with 4D as their strategic partner.
Ambassadors Together was the result of a Romanian student saying to her leader (Rei Abrudan): “Rei, we have been so blessed by American teams coming over to help us. Now it’s our turn to be a blessing to help others. Can we?” Rei responded with excitement and was encouraged to see his people move from a receiving mindset to a giving mindset.
After six years, the program has grown to 107 churches involved, with 624 pastors and volunteers reaching out to more than 4,200 people in three different countries. Mostly sharing the Good News with kids in camps and their parents. In 2017, over 1,000 of them were unchurched.
4D also helps with training, planning, and resources such as curriculum, evaluation and reporting. Part of the training also is on how to raise funds locally, as a very large part of the expenses are covered by the people themselves, even in the poorest countries. Again, it’s vitally important to make the program both reproducible and sustainable.
To read more about Ambassadors Together, please click here.
VIA – a church model
VIA is a model for training leaders from around Romania and beyond. A typical question Rei has heard many times in Romania is, “You tell us this. But does this come from a book or are you actually doing it?” VIA (which means way or vine) was started in November 2015 in Cluj, a university city in central Romania. After one year, the new church had grown to over 400 in attendance, all members are in small groups and equipped for ministry. Every small group has a service component. Three teams were sent out to help other church planters with camps and VBS their first year!
The first public meeting for VIA church was held on Nov. 15, 2015. Hank Paulson, 4D’s founder, said, “One year later, when I visited Rei (who has been a friend and ministry partner for more than 25 years) I witnessed God’s work especially among the young professionals in their city.” Dorotheea, one of Rei’s staff and also the Romanian Coordinator for Ambassadors Together, explains, “The leadership for the church was easily formed due to the 25 years of investment in young people. The ministry of 4D Ministries was the foundation on which we built a strong army of loyal and dedicated people. Also the children and youth ministry owes so much to 4D Ministries, due to its investment in people. To sum it up, VIA church was launched on a 4D Ministries platform and is grateful for all the investment in people and resources we benefitted from.” The church is now a platform for promoting the 4D vision: it’s all about empowering national ministries to help their churches be missional.
Czech Republic - multiple ministries in the same country
In Czech Republic, 4D partners with multiple ministries involved in church-planting, church revitalization, publishing, LeaderXpress, youth and family ministry (see more on our partnership page), all with the same purpose: how can we encourage field driven ministry and models to empower the church to have an outward look? Not only to minister to the needs of the faithful, but also to be a lighthouse to one of the top three non-religious countries in the world. A special partner in Czech is KnowingGod Czech with Honza Hermansky, who was recruited and is also mentored by Hank Paulson. Honza leads the ministry using the Internet and social media as a tool for the church to reach out. A nationwide network of trained volunteer e-coaches are connected with seekers who respond to the website with questions. Presently over 100 requests per month are connected this way. Follow-up and study programs online, small group efforts, and ultimately, local church involvement are part of a process referred to as “stepping stones approach.”
4D also comes alongside ministry
4D comes alongside in countries where freedom is restricted. Again, we want to be a partner in sharing God’s Good News, though in less published ways.
4D sends US teams
4D helps US teams to partner and come alongside national ministries as requested by our European leaders.
Grants and scholarships
Financial help is often provided on a limited and matching basis. 4D also sponsors Eastern European leaders for a short-term learning experience to the US or a European country to see, learn, interact and network for the purpose of field-testing and possible application back home. Those that also mentor and train others beyond their own ministry in their home country, have priority. Leadership development is a crucial part of 4D’s capacity building efforts.
Last but not least,
Generosity and financial stewardship
They are encouraged in especially developing economies to help ministries become less dependent, more self-sustaining and sharing with other countries. We often share that “if God loves the cheerful giver in the US, He also does so in Eastern Europe.” (2 Cor. 9:7)
Q&A: 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 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? give those who respond with a commitment to Christ on the Evangelism site, an opportunity to discover more about 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 them to a local church.
- Equipping takes place through special 4D sponsored web sites and mobile platforms, such as LeaderXpress for (youth) leaders in both Romanian and Czech. These sites provide 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)
- Media Safe, is an educational project covering a very specific and controversial area of the Children, Youth and Family Ministries. A topic that is often ignored in many churches, but proved to be more and more dominant in our time. The project reveals the impact of the Internet, (as the main source for all types of media: music, movies, TV, news, games, social networks etc.) on our kids and offer some ways to filter out the negative aspects of it and redeem and use its positive aspects.