The story of what brought us to Poland is full of God’s faithfulness, his love, and his strength. We’re not sure if our story is normal or not, but it certainly wasn’t what we expected! Yet here we are now, and seeing God’s fingerprints and promises being fulfilled. Watch our documentary and see for yourselves the hand of God moving in our story.
Why Poland and what are we doing
The two big question we are always asked are “Why Poland?” and “What are you doing in Poland?” Now, as you might imagine any faith walk of this size always has its unknowns, but as far as we are concerned God has made at least the general idea pretty clear to us. Disciple, Equip, and Release.
We want to reach Polish young families, college/career age young adults, and the neighbors God places in our midst. We have a lot of experience leading small groups and feel that a small group format is a good way to start. The culture of our gatherings revolves around shared experiences, in life, work, meals, prayer, and teaching. These gatherings focus on sharing life, equipping one another, and releasing leaders to multiply across Poland.
What is REACH?
Our goal is to grow big people, who can do God’s kingdom work, who are equipped to build His kingdom in Poland and beyond. We strive to grow passionate followers of Jesus who know they are RELEASED into a reproducing ministry and EQUIPPED to do the work of the Church. Followers who are AFFECTING their communities by relationally CONNECTING through a full worship experience that loves and serves both God and people. Followers who HONOR the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Son and all others.
Just living in a community opens doors, through our children and their friends, through day to day outings, and through intentional relationship building and relationship support. Over time these relationships turn into discipleship opportunities, where we can discuss the life that God has for all of us. As we build small groups up around different focus ages, we will begin to develop leaders.
Eventually we see a point where we can gather on a once a month basis and join together for corporate worship and teaching. However the structure, timing, and presentation of all these things will be developed by our Polish leaders – discipled by us, but developed by them.
And… that… is… just the beginning.
How will we do this?
What might a new expression of the Church in Poland look like? Being a mostly Catholic nation, we imagine it looking, well, somewhat Catholic, not in tradition, but in expression. Such as, having communion on a very regular basis, exploring the different fasts and ancient holidays in a new light, and exploring the depth of the traditions to bring new meaning and life to them.
All of the above will be expressed in grace, love, and truth – honoring the good news of Jesus through prayerful guidance. What does it look like for a Polish-Catholic raised person to know Jesus? How is that connection made, can he or she still attend mass? Probably yes!
Will we attend mass, probably so, will we engage in conversation, yes! Will we try to “convert” people away from the Catholic church, no. Will we encourage people to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, YES. How will this all happen? By building relationship, and relationship takes time. Will some be skeptical of us, probably so, and we hope that with the power of the Spirit we will gently address the skeptics, and make friends with them.
Taking time to learn the language is the first and most important goal, through learning the language we build trust, show commitment, and ultimately build meaningful relationships.
Phase 1 – first 5 to 7 years: Raising up deeply committed and graceful disciples for Christ – Mt 28:19
We plan on accomplishing this by…
- Enrolling in intensive language courses before and after the move to Poland
- Connecting to the local community, the university students, and our network of existing friendships in Kraków and the surrounding area, amongst the “pub/café culture”
- Through small/home group based ministry using a multitude of resources including pure desire, genesis, sexy Christians, prayer ministry, topical studies, etc.
- Training small/home group leaders for multiplication
Phase 2 – after the 7th year and beyond: To encourage Poles in their callings and equip them into ministry – Eph 4:7-12
We plan on training emerging leaders by creating a community to thrive in their calling, this may be in the context of…
- Equipping Polish leaders to lead, mentor, disciple, and grow their own churches/kingdom centered communities (house churches, and other venues)
- Encouraging everyone to have a heart of evangelism for their friends and family, at all times.
- Building big people through mentor based relationships
- Mission trips beyond Poland
- Working with the catholic community, college students, and a focus on families
- Encouraging leaders to see/hear God’s vision for his Church through Spiritual gifts
- Encouraging each disciple into their personal calling
- Equipping/training/releasing to plant more churches throughout and beyond Poland
Thanks for your prayerful consideration and support as we cultivate the seed God planted in us back in 2004.
Eli, Elena, Emma, Alexis, and Travis Mielonen