I met with my DAWN Europe buddies last week in Zurich. DAWN stands for Discipling a Whole Nation and I work part time for them as an Associate. We meet at least 3x a year and its always a great time of talking mission-geek stuff – strategy, numbers, trends, research, challenges, books . .. I just love it and my mind goes into hyper drive.
I usually have a hundred ideas and most of them are absolute rubbish – Thankfully, I am on a team that can shoot them down and laugh at me as well as with me. One of my crazy ideas this time, apart from Discybling a Web Network (DAWN) was a t-shirt for all the DAWN Associates with a Visa Card logo. The idea is that DAWN is to the church what Visa is to the banking industry. Visa did not set up to be another bank but rather accomplished its goals by working inside and alongside existing financial structures. Which is why Visa is a part of so many transactions. Kinda like Dawn Ministries and our low profile, high impact way of leveraging ministry through mission groups and denominations. Well . . . I liked the idea!! Maybe i will make up a t-shirt anyway. Despite my wife calling it “LAME”
Here are some images of the DAWN Europe team that met together last week in Zurich. I know these photos are hard to see, but I don’t like the artificial nature of flash photography and most of our strategic discussions and decision-making happen late at night in places with bad lighting. We did have a conference room in Zurich last week but most of my memories are from our times in dank, dark pubs and restaurants.
Marc Van Der Woude, chewing his pen, is into prayer and missions. He blogs at Marcs Messages but a lot of people know him as the guy behind Joel News. He is really excited about a new network of emerging church leaders called Connect Europe.
Reinhold Scharnowski is the Abott of our monastic team, the Director of DAWN Europe. He keeps us all sorted and he blogs at Reinhold’s Journey. He is like a dad to us and we LOVE him.
Read on to meet the rest of the team.
Reinhold is married to Regula, a pastor of a state church in Switzerland. Regula endured the conference with us and was able to give a female perspective which we desperately needed, especially in the absence of Kirsten who pulled out of the team earlier this year. (Miss you, Kerstin!)
Andreas Wolf blogs at Andi’s Perspective. He is a German strategy geek who mind-maps every conversation that enters his sphere. He is VERY German in the stereotypical German organized on-time way. We shared a hotel room last week and before we went to sleep, Andi says, with his German accent, “We have breakfast at 8am so will you have a shower at 7:30am or 7:40am?
I’m like . . “ahhh . . dude . . . i don’t know!! do i need to reserve a ten minute slot now or can we see what happens in the morning?”
Andi is also part of a missions research team called emRG (think “emerge” with some vowels missing.)
Oivind Auglund from Norway doesn’t have his blog up yet but will have one by January. We like him and look forward to having his contribution blogged to the world next year. He heads up the work in Scandinavian countries.
There are also people connected with us (like Paulo in Portugal) who are working in their countries alongside existing structures. We usually meet up as a larger team once a year.
And usually we set up meetings with ministry leaders and denominational execs to explore ways to partner together.
This time, we had a meeting in a Starbucks lounge with two guys from the Maclellan Foundation. Steve Steele (left) used to be with DAWN but now works for Maclellan. I normally don’t mention the Foundations by name but Steve said I could if I wanted and Andi has already blogged it. He and David Denham flew out from USA to meet with us. They are also an essential part of the team, not only because they provide the funding for a lot of our projects, but because they are also involved on the strategic side of our ministries. Thanks Steve and David, for the coffee and the lunch. And your wise counsel.
They both encouraged us to help leaders of traditional churches understand what was going on so that they might understand even more radical changes in structure down the road. Good word!
For people that deal in large sums of money, these guys are often the worst dressers I come across. They are generous in giving to others but hate to spend money on themselves. Its not uncommon to find them wearing a 20 year old Casio. Buts thats a good thing.
As for the outcome of our meetings, we actually DID decide to pray and plan towards one million new churches for Europe. And yes, I can also hear echos of Dr Evil’s “One Million Dollars” speech, but I do think its worth a shot. We will need God’s help on this one (Duh!) but its not out of the ball park to see these simple, organic churches pop up and multiply over Europe by 2020. Hopefully it will happen sooner than later.
Which brings me to another idea
There is a way to map out a million churches online . .. ok . . the team didnt like this idea . . . but i do want to run it by you on another post. Coming up soon.