Having prayed, researched and sought advice, we reached the conclusion that God was calling us to be involved in Church planting in France. A logical thing for us to do now was look for a mission agency to “go” with.
A bit of background… Between us, we’d had contact with mission agencies in various ways over many years. We’d been praying for and supporting mission workers connected with various agencies. In a previous Church, I was a member, and then the chair, of the mission committee. In our current Church I had in the past had responsibility for our mission partners.
So we knew a reasonable amount from the “other side of the fence” so to speak. Our advice would always be “find a good agency to go with.”
That was our background. What were we looking for in an agency?
In no particular order… We wanted an organisation with some infrastructure in France that we could fit into. We hoped that the right agency would know exactly what to do with stuff like health care, taxes, finding accommodation, etc. All the logistical stuff that we didn’t really know much about in France.
We wanted a team that would encourage us and counsel us, shepherd us and help us. We hoped that the right agency would provide an easy way to funnel finance from our support partners to the work we would be doing.
By this time we knew a bit about the type of Church planting that God was calling us into: that it would involve working in a planting team, with as many of the team as possible being French Christians, and that training French Christians would be a very important part of the work.
So we were looking for an agency who had a Church planting vision compatible with what God was talking to us about and that could help us recruit the right people for planting team(s).
We basically researched every mission agency we could find with a base in the UK which worked in France, looking for those involved in Church planting. We sought contacts from websites and through friends, then started emailing.
In Part 2 I’ll try and summarise what we discovered. I’ll warn you that for us this was a difficult time with not a little discouragement. I’ve chewed over whether to discuss our experiences in this blog: it would be easier not to, but I wanted this to be honest enough to help those who come after us and might find this.
So, to be continued…