Our Three Worlds Team is very excited to announce the creation of the 3W Leadership Network which will be launched in Interlaken, Switzerland October 26th-30th, 2015 with a special Young Leaders Forum. The 3W Leadership Network will enable young Church of God leaders in the Europe/Middle East to be in constant contact and do ministry together across borders in a way that has never been done before. It raises the level of inner-connectivity to a whole new level and will be a source of encouragement, synergy, strategy, and dynamism for the whole Europe/Middle East Church of God Region.
1 Who will be attending the Young Leaders Forum?
The goal is for this network to be run and sustained by regional leadership. We are inviting an initial group of young leaders from the following countries: England, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, as well as the USA and Canada to begin with. The vast majority of these young leaders speak 3 to 4 languages. Nearly all of them are fluent in English. They range in age from 20 to 45. Samir Salibi of the Paris Church of God, Sarina Hennig of the Church of God in Hannover, and Laszlo Debreceni of the Church of God in Hungary will be the regional leaders of 3WLN with assistance from the 3W team.
One of the goals of 3W and of this new 3W Leadership Network is to work closely with Church of God congregations in North America as they deal with new post-Christendom realities. We hope the success of this network will have a direct impact on the Church of God globally.
2 What is the 3W Young Leaders Forum?
In a 2008-2010 global study of the Church of God commissioned by then General Director Ron Duncan (Mosaic), it was found that three key challenges the Church of God faces in almost every Church of God country in the world are: 1) Lack of young people in church and in ministry. 2) A lack of support for pastors and people in ministry under the age of 35 and 3) A lack of inner-connectivity and extreme isolation due to the Church of God’s emphasis on autonomy and its lack of functioning structures to bring direction, vision and unity.
In the 21st Century, it is vital that there be new generations emerging in ministry, young people filling our churches, and clear ways for the church to create cross-cultural synergy. Mechanisms have to be created to sustain a higher level of networking and coordination.
Our Three Worlds team desires to create the first ever multi-national network of CHOG leaders under the age of 45. The 3WLN (Three Worlds Leadership Network) will encompass 16 countries in the Europe/Middle East and bring together all key youth leaders biennially (for training, encouragement, and synergistic regional strategizing). The network will be a source of camaraderie, synergy, ideas, and support. Camaraderie is particularly important and isolation is particularly deadly. In many of our countries, the percentage of Evangelical Christians is between .25% and 4%. Many of our young people have never been in a room with more than 5 or 10 Evangelical Christian youth. Events that bring them together are enormously inspirational and healing in a way that North American, Latin America, and African Christians cannot understand because the European and Middle Eastern cultures are so deeply secular and/or hostile to Christianity. The question is whether this effort can become exponential and sustained over the long term, and 3WLN is meant to do that for this region.
3 Where is the Forum?
The first meeting is planned Monday, October 25th – Friday October, 30th at the Credo Center in Interlaken, Switzerland. This location is ideal for the initial event as it allows everyone to meet and stay together in one central location. Many of the young leaders are able to drive to Switzerland, saving on transportation costs. Others will have low-cost carrier options into Zurich, Basel or Bern. The Forum will be a platform for establishing further interconnectivity and regular interaction via the web, regular forums, 3W Seminars, conferences, youth camps as well as opportunities to attend each other’s ministry events.
4 What is the Format of the event?
The Conference will feature a combination of spiritual, exemplary and testimonial sessions. Representatives from different regions will have the opportunity to share the challenges and successes of their ministry in their home countries. There will also be break-out sessions focusing on youth ministry, pastoral ministry, and music ministry. Matt Anderson, Preaching Associate at Crossings Community Church in OKC, will be the keynote speaker throughout the event and messages will also be delivered by Ken Oldham (3W- The Middle East) and Daniel Kihm (3W- The Netherlands). There will also be a Q&A session, as well as a Roundtable Discussion on the purpose and vision of forming a network. All the events are are structured to bring about new friendships and lead toward a commitment service that will challenge all of us to raise our level of commitment to each other and to the Lord in ministry. It will be a powerful event.
5 Actions of 3W Leadership Network (3WLN)
The October Young Leaders Forum will be an initial meeting for young leaders throughout the region. From this meeting, we hope to create an ongoing 3W Leadership Network (3WLN). This network would be a commitment to further interconnectivity and regular interaction via the web, regular forums, 3W Seminars, conferences, youth camps as well as opportunities to attend each other’s ministry events. The network will assist in the development of local youth programs, young singles and young married couples programs in each country. This will be the first international group of young leaders in the Church of God that will grow up doing strategic, coordinated international ministry together across multiple countries, knowing each other, having regular contact, and changing the world for Christ.
6 When will 3WLN meet in the future?
We hope that the 3W Leadership Network will informally bring together all key young leaders at least biennially for training, encouragement, and synergistic regional strategizing. Individuals and small groups of the network will also support one another’s ministry events. For example, Italy leadership will be joining Bulgarian Youth Camp in 2015 and UK Young Leaders plan to attend Budapest Lectures in the future. 3W Seminars may also be offered in their home countries. The delegates in Switzerland will be able to decide at a special roundtable session how they would like to move forward.
7 Funding 3WLN
We do not want to foster financial dependency and we hope to create something that can be as self-sustaining as possible. However, churches in Europe tend to be very small (10 to 30 on average) and have very few resources.
Our desire is to cover expenses in several ways:
2) Three Worlds Ministry Budgets
3) 3WLN member contributions
4) International countries contributing to support their young leaders
5) North American Church of God Partnerships/Sponsorships
8 How can my church be involved?
Many of the leaders who have been invited come from small congregations in Europe/ME and may have difficulty with paying the cost of room and board or travel expenses. The cost of Room/Board for the full week is $350. Travel expenses may vary depending on if delegates require flights. If you or your church would be interested in sponsoring an individual or delegates from a specific country please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Gifts of sponsorship can be sent online or through Project Link - NextGen Fund (42.30401). Make checks payable to Church of God Ministries and indicate the project number and “3WLN” on the memo line.
Church of God Ministries
c/o Project Link
PO Box 2420
Anderson, IN 46018-2420