Church Plant Among Urban French Youth

This opportunity is for a single or couple with a heart for French people, namely a younger, urban French generation that is spiritually lost with little gospel witness among them.

Posted on January 9, 2018

France

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Position Type

This opportunity is for a single or couple with a heart for French people, namely a younger, urban French generation that is spiritually lost with little gospel witness among them. You will serve in a culturally diverse, economically growing urban setting to engage in outreach and church planting in innovative, creative ways. You will work with the current C&MA church-planting couple and with the Alliance church in Mérignac EPEM. This team has the vision to start new communities of faith in the Bordeaux area.

Required Qualifications:

  • A recognized bachelor’s degree
  • Completion of at least 30 hours of Bible/theology/ministry and 15 hours of intercultural studies
  • The spouse must hold a recognized bachelor’s degree and have completed at least 18 hours of Bible/theology, 15 hours of missions/ministry studies (with a minimum of 6 hours in cross-cultural or missions studies).
  • Completion of Alliance Polity course
  • A minimum Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT) score of 40
  • Completion of Alliance ordination/consecration
  • Minimum of two years successful Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience

 Biblical Characteristics Desired:

  • Christ-centered character
  • Spirit-empowered ministry
  • Spiritual leadership
  • Healthy living
  • Biblical alignment
  • Love for God
  • Desire to be conformed to the image of Christ
  • Ability to be a team player yet work independently
  • Patient and persevering
  • Ability to handle conflict biblically
  • Positive and healthy family dynamics
  • Servant-leader

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Adaptable
  • Sense of humor
  • Teachable

 Responsibilities:

  • Learn to speak French. B2–C1 proficiency on the Commom European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required.
  • Make a healthy, positive adjustment to the local and international church culture
  • Attend, lead, and develop Bible studies and other discipleship activities
  • Assist in new attendees’ integration into the life of the church
  • Develop and encourage new leaders. This could lead to involvement in church planting or special ministry projects.
  • Use your home to host new contacts and church events 

Timeline for Deployment:

Summer 2019. All appointees are required to attend a cross-cultural and language acquisition program and Pre-Field Orientation prior to deploying.

General Information:

CIA World Factbook—France.

France is one of the most modernized countries in the world and a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G–8, the G–20, the EU, and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO’s integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing de Gaulle’s 1966 decision to withdraw French forces from NATO.

Work and Living Environment:

The French are proud of their language and appreciate those who can communicate well within their language and culture. Although previously there was resistance to the influence of the English language, recently there has been a significant demand to learn English. English is mandated in younger grades and used as the teaching language for some university courses. This has opened many opportunities for native English speakers to connect with French people. English is still their second or third language, and they respond most deeply to ministry presented in their heart language.

Bordeaux is the sixth largest city in France and one of fastest growing urban areas, with the goal of 1 million residents in the greater Bordeaux area by 2030. It is home to the University of Bordeaux (four campuses with 82,000 students) as well as many other private professional schools. Two major local industries are aerospace manufacturing and wine production. Many of the existing evangelical churches are in communities just outside of Bordeaux proper.

There is a young, dynamic population of Bordelais (young professionals and students) in the heart of this busy city, where there are limited opportunities to encounter the gospel. Bordeaux is easily accessible by train and has an international airport that connects it to the world. It is in the heart of wine country in Southwest France and has four seasons and a mild climate. The Atlantic coast (45 minutes), Pyrenees mountains (2 hours) and Landes Forest (1 hour) are in close proximity.

Status of Christian Witness:

The Joshua Project—France.

Europe’s post-modern, secular environment is descriptive of France. Less than 1 percent of the population is considered evangelical Christian. About half of France considers itself culturally Catholic. Of the small percentage who practice that tradition, many are older, resulting in a younger generation largely ignorant of Christian beliefs. Recent terrorist attacks and other factors have put French people on edge, raising questions about how to retain their republican and secular beliefs. This has made them even more wary of religion in general.

Bordeaux is in an area of France that has one evangelical church for every 40,000 inhabitants. Evangelicals in France have set a goal of one church for every 10,000 inhabitants. Bordeaux is one of the three hub areas that are the focus of Alliance work in France and currently has one C&MA church-planting couple there. The C&MA has about 20 international workers who partner with the local French C&MA, called the Alliance des Eglises Chrétienne et Missionaire de France (AECMF). The AECMF has approximately 35 churches among several ethnic groups: French, international (English), Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, Chinese, and Spanish.

Language Expectations:

Language is an essential part of ministry. International workers receive two years of intensive French language and cultural study. The goal will be to speak, read, and write the language at a functional level in order to share the good news of Jesus. The appointee is expected to be disciplined and intentionally persevering in the first season of language learning. The CEFR–C1 fluency level (Link: https://www.examenglish.com/CEFR/cefr.php) is required (effective operational proficiency).

Health Considerations:

France has modern, quality health-care facilities with well-trained doctors.

Expectations for Spouse:

Spousal roles vary based on the spouse’s gifts, training, and abilities, as well as the needs of the team. It is expected that both spouses will be meaningfully involved in meeting ministry objectives, depending on the nature of family roles, children, etc.

Children’s Educational Plan and Options:

Good local French schools are available. One middle school and one high school in the Bordeaux district have American sections. Black Forest Academy in Germany is a good option for high-school age children, and there is a relatively inexpensive direct flight to Basel/Mulhouse from Bordeaux that allows for fairly frequent visits.

Compensation:

This position is designated to be funded through the Great Commission Fund (GCF). We offer compensation for this position, covering costs related to a monthly living allowance, housing, travel, children’s education, and full benefits. Please visit our compensation page for details on how U.S. Alliance international workers are supported. GCF-funded workers share responsibility for raising GCF dollars through Alliance churches and other sources.

Whole-Life Health:

The C&MA is an evangelical denomination committed to planting churches both in the United States and internationally. Due to the nature of this ministry opportunity, part of the required qualifications include optimal emotional, spiritual, and physical health. These will be assessed as you move forward in the application process.

Important Clarification:

Applicants should be aware that serving in the international world often requires a higher degree of grace and flexibility. For example, overseas teams can be suddenly and unexpectedly impacted by illness, government decisions, financial realities, team changes, or other factors beyond the team’s control. The challenge for applicants is that these factors can sometimes necessitate the sudden redefining of a position, which may take place before, during, or after the application/interview process has begun or is completed.

Questions?

Please contact Amy Roedding at roeddinga@cmalliance.org.

Apply Now

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