Help plant a church among the Young Urban French
Be a part of starting new communities of faith in the Bordeaux area of France!
Posted on December 16, 2016
This opportunity is for a person or couple with a heart for French people, namely a younger urban French generation that is spiritually lost with little gospel witness among them. These workers will be serving in a culturally diverse, economically growing urban setting to do outreach and church planting in innovative and creative ways. They will work as a team with the current C&MA church planting couple and with EPEM (the Alliance church in Mérignac) with the goal of starting new communities of faith in the Bordeaux area.
- A recognized bachelor’s degree
- Completion of at least 30 hours of Bible/theology/ministry studies and15 hours of Intercultural Studies (ICS)
- The spouse must hold a recognized bachelor’s degree and have completed a minimum of 18 hours of Bible/theology studies and 15 hours of missions/ministry studies (with a minimum of 6 hours in cross-cultural or missions studies)
- Completion of Alliance Polity course
- Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT) score of 40 or higher
- Alliance Ordination Completed
- Minimum of two years successful Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience
- Skill in relational evangelism
- Training and experience in discipleship and leadership development
- Skills teaching and preaching
- Training and experience in teaching English as a second language
- Love for God and an evident pursuit to be formed in the image of Christ
- Team player yet able to work independently
- Adaptable, creative, and willing to try new ways of doing things
- Patience in seeing results and perseverance
- Sense of humor and adventure in experiencing a new culture
- Learn French to level C1 (a 1st term ministry responsibility)
- Learn and culturally adapt to, and appreciate, the French context (a first term ministry responsibility)
- Evangelistic outreach through building relationships, creative connections, and events (some possibilities: teaching English, coffee house, music and art, eco-initiatives, community involvement)
- Build a community of faith where Christ is worshiped and served, and people are loved and being transformed into His image
- Preaching and teaching in order to equip believers
- Mentor and train leaders
- Show hospitality to the church community and to the larger community
- Contribute to the growth of the national French Alliance church by partnering in ministry with the other Alliance churches in the Central France region and by participating in the events and strategy of the national church
- Partner in ministry with the other evangelical churches in the Bordeaux area
Timeline for Deployment:
France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is 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. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier, more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common currency, the euro, in January 1999. For more information go to the CIA World Factbook—France.
Work and Living Environment:
French people are very proud of their language and appreciate those who can communicate well within their language and culture. Although previously resistant to the influence of the English language, in recent years there has been a significant demand to become communicative in English, with English being mandated in younger grades and even used as the teaching language for some university courses. This has opened up many opportunities for native English speakers to connect with French people. English remains, however, their second or third language, and most ministry in the French church context happens in their heart language, their mother tongue.
Bordeaux is the 6th largest city in France, and one of fastest growing urban areas, with the goal of 1 million residents in the CUB (greater Bordeaux area) by 2030. It is also home to the University of Bordeaux (4 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 the wine country of Southwest France, has 4 seasons, and a mild climate. The Atlantic coast is 45 minutes away, the Pyrenees mountains are2 hours, and Landes forest is1 hour.
Status of Christian Witness:
The post-modern, secular environment of Europe is descriptive of all of France. Less than 1% of the population is considered evangelical Christian. Visit the Joshua Project website for more details on the people of France.
About half of the French population considers itself culturally Catholic. Of the small percentage who practice that tradition, many are older. The result is that the younger generation is largely ignorant of Christian beliefs. The radicalization of 2nd generation immigrants and recent terrorist attacks have put French people on edge. This has raised questions of how to retain their republican and secular beliefs and 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 living and serving 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 different ethnic groups: French, International (English), Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, Chinese, and Spanish.
Language is an essential part of ministry. International workers (IWs) 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. IWs will be expected to intentionally persevere and be disciplined in the first season of language learning. The CEFR-C1 fluency level is required (effective operational proficiency).
France has modern, good health care facilities with well-trained doctors.
Expectations for Spouse:
Spousal roles vary based on the spouse’s giftings and training, and 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:
There are good local French schools. One middle school and one high school in the Bordeaux district have American sections. Black Forest Academy is an easy and relatively inexpensive direct flight (to Basel/Mulhouse) from Bordeaux.
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 from Alliance churches and other sources.
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 being healthy in all aspects of life. As you move forward in the consideration process for appointment, these will be assessed.
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.
Please contact Amy Roedding at email@example.com.Apply Now
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