As we have been saying recently, the last few months for us as a team have been significant – hugely challenging but also very exciting. We’ve taken the opportunity to stand back and observe what is happening across the movement, and we have been encouraged to see God at work in so many communities, towns, cities and nations across Europe and beyond.
One of the reasons that 3DM (USA and UK) was created was because we realised that, as local practitioners of discipleship and mission, we wanted to do more than just give people information on how we did it locally.
We realised that what people really wanted and needed was coaching, apprenticeship and an immersion experience. Responding to this has meant that leaders can now be supported, encouraged and equipped to put this information into practice in their local setting. The last couple of years (for the UK – this has been going on much longer in the USA) of operating in this way has yielded an incredible multiplication of leaders in many countries, all committed to the same DNA of mission and discipleship, being expressed through the different cultures and contexts they represent.
When things grow, we always have the question of how to grow together. How do we grow wide & deep?
How is the centre strong but also the DNA maintained on the ever expanding edge? The simple fact for us is that God has called us to operate as one large EXTENDED FAMILY. This is our DNA through and through – and the answer to the HOW will always be to grow in this way.
The extended family picture of the New Testament is one where the believers shared everything in common: their possessions, spiritual lives, mission… everything. This is what we want to continue to express in our growing 3DM family across Europe. So where we have had 3DM teams emerging in places outside the UK like Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Finland, Germany and elsewhere, we are now beginning a process to join together as one family with one call.
We’ve simply taken a step back to watch and name what we’ve seen: 3DM Europe.
In seeking to do all this, God has been reminding us about the key principle of unity and diversity; this allows us to operate as one strong family, sharing a family name and identity, but creating space for, and sharing, innovation as this identity and call is lived out in lots of different places. We are responding to this challenge of sharing everything for the common goal of seeing the nations of Europe impacted by a movement of discipleship and mission.
Much like the sower in Jesus’ parable (Matthew 13) we started off just scattering seed in places like the UK and elsewhere and seeing what grew. As we continued to do this, what quickly emerged was a field. In fact, over time it wasn’t just one field. Rather, it quickly became multiple fields, with the potential for many more. Once you’ve got a few fields, you have a decision to make. Are you going to divide them up and start lots of different farms to tend those fields, or join them all together, share resources and create one farm, one family with multiple fields? Choosing the latter always allows you to share people, time, resources and ideas across every field – not just one. The fields may look different, but they are all being tended by one family, with one approach and shared goal – to see the whole farm grow and every field yield a large crop. Whether the family are working in the farmhouse, in the barns or out in the fields, they are all working for the same thing. Suddenly you’ve got more opportunities for people to learn, be trained, help each other and work together in order to see a greater harvest.
One family, one call: That’s what we want to see in this movement and wider family as it continues to grow, and that’s why we are choosing to grow together.
It’s been a privilege seeing these relationships grow across denominations, networks, cultures and countries and are expectant for how this will continue. This move, we hope, will position and enable us to serve people better.
In terms of what this will look like on a practical level – you’ll be seeing a lot more “3DM Europe” logos around to remind you about this emerging family. We’ll be sharing more information about what is happening in different countries throughout the year too, so keep visiting our website (3dmeurope.com) for updated information. You can now find us at facebook.com/3dmeurope and @3dmeu on twitter too. You’ll also get the chance to connect with 3DM team members from across Europe much more as you access our content, coaching and learning communities. As a European team, are really excited about of this and we look forward to introducing these new team members to you.
Please do get in touch if you’ve got any questions or would like to hear more about how this looks. Also we would ask that you pray for us in this new season of family & ministry.
But for now, we’d love to wish you all a Happy New Year, full of expectation of what God will accomplish in 2014 through each of us as we follow His call to make disciples and build extended families on mission that will impact the nations.
(Photo courtesy Frank Richard Brown and texasescapes.com)