Monday, January 22, 2018

Please pray

Diane Mellinger's father (and Al Mellinger's father-in-law) has just suffered a stroke and is in critical condition. Al is with us here in Thessaloniki, Greece and Diane is at home Petrich, Bulgaria. Diane's father is in Tallahassee, Florida. The Mellingers serve as Free Methodist missionaries in Bulgaria.

Community Church Planting Training in Thessaloniki, Greece

A week of training began today in Thessaloniki, Greece on the topic of Community Church Planting. Rev. Raouf Girgis Soliman and Rev. Josh Fajardo are leading the sessions that focus on developing home-based churches. Participants in the training have come from Albania, Iran, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Cyprus, and Spain. Members of the Thessaloniki Free Methodist Church are graciously serving as hosts for the week.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Relevant Church

Pastor Airam Cabrera of the Comunidad Cristiana Elienai in the Canary Islands prepared a wonderful video for the first night of the Church Leaders Conference. Entitled "La iglesia relevante" or "The Relevant Church," the video may be downloaded using the link located in the right column. The video is in Spanish with English subtitles. Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Bulgarian versions of the script are also available for download. Here is the English script:

The Relevant Church
The Protestant Church in Europe goes nearly unnoticed. People believe the church to be boring, obsolete, attended by ignorant and insane people, and that it does not have anything to offer. The church has changed the great commission for the great omission. We have settled to such an extent that people do not even perceive our presence.

 The church needs to be relevant. Relevance does not mean being fashionable, it means doing what is necessary to keep in touch with the next generation. A relevant church attempts to diminish barriers that prevent people from getting to know God. (Comprehensible vocabulary for everyone, simplicity, integrity, humility…).

The relevant Church takes care of Christians, but directs its efforts to reach non-Christians. The relevant Church is in the vanguard, not in the rearguard. The relevant Church use technology as a tool to preach the gospel more effectively. Being innovative is an important need in order to reach a changing society.

The relevant Church seeks to be excellent in everything it does. The relevant Church attempts to be honest, passionate and real. Cares for the need of others, both spiritual and physical. It does not only say: I will pray for you, but it also tries, as far as it can, to cover other people’s lacks. The relevant Church is the one that really loves. In a society where everything is faked, when something is real, it makes and impact and changes lives. The relevant Church practices truth and preaches truth, but with love. The relevant Church cares for social justice and gets involved in helping selflessly.

 The relevant Church is the one that raises its voice for those who do not have one. The relevant Church reverses its efforts and economy in helping those discarded by society, victims of injustice. The relevant Church is not the one that fills its mouth talking about God’s love, but the one that makes this love reach people in a real way. The relevant Church does not only read the Bible, but it lives the Bible.

The relevant Church keeps united, prays united and pursues a same goal. The relevant Church is salt and light. The relevant Church seeks to be like Jesus in every aspect. The relevant Church is the one that understands that the Church is not a building, a place to meet, but a group of people that have decided to follow Jesus and that pursue a same goal, to impact the world with the message of the Cross. Let’s be relevant. Let’s not conform to our comfort. What we do in this life echoes in eternity.  
#fmclc2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Conference Photo Album

Click here to view a collection of photos from the Church Leaders Conference.
Ordination service

Monday, November 20, 2017

Corrected booklet of Ministerial Candidates' Testimonies

Unfortunately a proofreading error was made in the booklet of testimonies from the new European Ministerial Candidates. Arthur Laws' testimony was truncated by mistake. The document has now been corrected and you can download the updated version here, or by clicking on the link in the right column.

I apologize to Arthur for this oversight.

Friday, November 17, 2017

More Conference Resources

We've just made available several of the conference resources that were used during the Church Leaders Conference, including a booklet containing the testimonies of the 17 ministerial candidates that were received on Thursday night. See the column at right to download.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Group Photo - CLC 2017

It was a challenge to find a place where we could photograph about 150 people all at once, but thanks to Kevin Austin and Larry Winckles, we were successful. What a great group!