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Jim Whitear From Hamburg -- Pioneering


I'm not doing the speaking, this is a working group and we will learn from each other and hear from each other and see what God has got for each other. Don't really like brainstorming but prayer storming is better. Ask God to speak through each other.

About 20 years ago God spoke to me about church planting in Germany. Ten years ago did a DTS for only 6 months and we are still there. Led 6 DTSs in Hurlach but God kept saying that we are called to church planting. YWAM didn't do church planting in Germany so thought we would have to leave. Heard Floyd McClung speak about church planting and God spoke it to me again. Steve and Leslie from New Zealand wanted to start a new team. We had been working together on DTSs for 8 years. Just over 2 years ago got into our two trucks and 8 members and started a new base with emphasis on church planting. Started organic church and discovered other things as well. Just finished first DTS, an iDTS [what would that look like if it had an 'o' in it?] because we wanted to integrate DTS and ministry. Excited about how it is going to go. And pioneered a couple of sound studios and a new DTS and have grown to love and appreciate YWAM. It is a great privilege to be here, excited about what God is going to do.

Small Group Discussion

What have we learned? What do we struggle with?

  • It is not about big teams but a lot more operating locations
  • Evangelism and church planting helping others do it. There are many churches who want to do it but need help. We will do more of the discipleship and they will do more of the evangelism. Start groups of home groups for new converts.
  • Our job is to empower the church not just ourselves. Many in churches want to be in ministry and not join YWAM, we could help them.
  • What do you do in Berlin? The challenging part of the team is to enter the city well. We have giftings in the team and we go along with that. And we have had outreach and intercession teams that have helped us. God showed us and we had a breakthrough with a lot of converts in the communist part of the city. God said we should move to that part of the city. We have dance and hip hop things and are just there living among them. We are in the world and not of it. We could see much more pioneering if we focussed on one area and kept going there and then stayed there. Just going there and passing it on to the church doesn't work. Herrnhut is one of the smallest towns, Berlin is one of the biggest. If you are over the Jordan then after circumcision is taking cities. We have examples in Amsterdam and London and other big cities. Had three DTS outreaches with us and their bases know the importance of reaching Berlin.
  • And a few people pray out over us.

What Are the New Areas and the New Things That God Wants Us to Pioneer Into?

What are some of the new areas?

  • More youth evangelism teams.
  • Publishing books -- numerous languages.
  • Getting involved in media -- tv and radio.
  • Publish tracts -- good ones with pictures.
  • Pioneering more global evangelism.
  • More schools of evangelism.
  • More mercy ministry teams.
  • New expressions of church.
  • Small teams in urban areas doing evangelism.
  • Stimulating youth groups to do evangelism.
  • More specialised DTSs -- reconciliation, mercy ministries.
  • New forms of evangelism -- new things in new ways.
  • Planting houses of prayer.
  • Plant churches.
  • Getting into schools, market places, urban people groups, creatively getting into them, prisons and thinking afresh.
  • More into ethnic minorities and seeing the demographic of YWAM change to represent the nations.
  • Sporting and arts evangelism.
  • Family issue programs.
  • Want to see God's name spoken on the street again.
  • Reaching out to clubbers and party people and pub dwellers.
  • Planting churches that are ahead of society.
  • Arts and sports and anything really.
  • Discipling society in every area.
  • Lobbying for Christian values in parliament.
  • Evangelising the church.
  • DTSs for churches.

Some are practical, some are more general.

Can look at some practical steps in pioneering. What steps do I need to go through to make it reality. And, what are general principles... and what are the challenges and difficulties.

Practical Steps

  • The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson describes the difficulties in starting. I knew what I would face and when it happened it didn't derail me.
  • Can put it into a book.
  • Team building -- have outsiders come in and do some team training. For example some rope courses that teach problem solving through outdoor education stuff. Can discover some of the giftings and problems, how they work together, listen to one another....
  • Small group activities to build team. John Eldredge 's book, Waking the Dead. Small groups wanting to discover all that God has for each other.
  • Hear from God and receive the vision, not just a good idea or somebody's idea.
  • Define the vision -- who, when, how.
  • Seek confirmation -- is this really God's idea.
  • Gain authorization -- my leaders will stand with me, my home church will be behind me. Are we allowed to do this.
  • Delegated spiritual authority -- be sent out and released.
  • Communication at home, with each other...
  • Team building.
  • Fund-raising.
  • Going and doing it.
  • Carrying the vision after you've started.
  • Pray about continuing to lead it. Mustn't hang on to it too long. Should you be delegating it to others.
  • Before pioneering and in the scouting stage find out the felt need. What will you give?
  • Stickability.

General Principles

  • Have to step out, we will never be free of stress and pressure.
  • Need to really know what God is saying.
  • Remember the prime principles, what were the roots? What did God call us to do? It will look different in different places but it must complete the prime objective.
  • Starting new schools and integrate them into the ministries so the students are not living in a bubble.
  • Relationships before work.
  • Prayer -- born in heaven first before born on earth.
  • Networking -- with pastor, local people, other bases, other Christian ministries. Not just doing our own thing.
  • Strategic relationships.
  • Research -- look around what you are going to do. Find out about the city.
  • Must do it because God told you.
  • Need to be accountable.
  • Willing to go for the long term.
  • Commitment -- be committed to something you started.
  • Perseverance.
  • Flexibility -- go with clear vision statement but may need to adjust it.
  • Servant attitude.
  • Need to be with a team who have the vision together. Don't start alone.
  • Get a support network.
  • Need leaders who believe in you.
  • Knowing that it belongs to God and not us.

Challenges and Difficulties

  • There are struggles all along.
  • Maintaining the organization rather than doing the ministries.
  • Spiritual attack comes.
  • Financial challenges.
  • Post-modernity is a challenge and an opportunity.
  • More staff.
  • Keeping staff healthy.
  • Relationships.
  • Sometimes it is not fun any more but becomes a sacrifice. Bill Wilson -- can only influence others to the degree that you sacrifice yourself.
  • We focus on the fruit.
  • Time management -- how you invest your time.

And ask yourself this question: Who is interested in the same thing as you?

Finish in prayer that God will not let you go until the vision has become reality.