The war in Ukraine has caused a disruptive openness to the gospel of Jesus Christ across Eastern Europe. The flood of refugees into Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, and other neighboring countries has awakened the world to provide emergency aid and stretched local church and ministry workers to their limits. Many are coming to faith.
I traveled from the USA to the Czech Republic in April 2022 with two objectives. Firstly, to meet with the administrators of 4D Ministries (a GTP partner in Eastern Europe) to discuss various projects to address urgent needs. And, secondly, to attend the European Great Commission Collaboration (EGCC) Prague Summit 2022. This report sums up the outcomes of the visit.
The mission of 4D Ministries is empowering Eastern European churches in fulfilling their mission of spreading the Gospel and they accomplish it by connecting them with partners from across the world and making different resources available. Hank Paulson (4D) reached out to GTP and alerted us of the need for resources to strengthen churches and ministries for sustainability.
As a first task, Gabriel Hakulín (4D) and Ruthie Cristobal (GTP) collaborated to contextualize and automate the GTP Diagnostic Tool and Templates (DTT) in Czech and Slovak. Gabriel reports, “There could not be a better time to provide pastors and organizational administrators with these capacity-building resources to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of ministry operations and oversight. It’s just what they need!”
National workers echo this positive feedback. 4D and GTP have other projects in mind. Additionally, the DTT may be contextualized for Polish and Romanian workers soon. At GTP, we hope the DTT can help individual ministries grow stronger to do more gospel ministry and also aid foundations like 3WF in assessing the collective strengths and weaknesses of the organizations they support for offering trainings and other resources.
It was an honor to have EGCC invite me to the Summit. It is an annual gathering of key European and global Christian funders (representatives of Christian foundations and individual Christian givers) for fellowship and learning about the current needs and strategic Christian initiatives (evangelistic and disciple-making) in Europe. The event supports the larger mission of EGCC which is to reverse the decline of Christianity in Europe through strategic generosity.
Key themes that surfaced at the Summit relate to the collaborative vision of participants to empower God’s workers as “the creative minority” to “preserve gospel integrity.” We will do this by “encouraging collaborative generosity" and “accelerating ministry sustainability.” In plain terms, the group aims to grow local givers while strengthening the capacity of churches and ministries for increasing gospel impact. Key players must play important roles.
It was quite a group! Adam Walach (EGCC) and Dušan Drabina (EGCC) have catalyzed a global network of relationships aimed at the multiplication of gospel ministry in Europe. Key players working with EGCC include Generosity Path, TrustBridge Global, Maclellan Foundation, GTP, Ehrenkodex, 4D Ministries, Faith Driven Entrepreneur, and Faith Driven Investor.
GTP will likely play a part in the movement in two ways. Firstly, ministry workers need training and resources for improving oversight and operation. This is where the DTT fits in the picture as a timely resource. Secondly, as the giving collaborations in each Eastern European nation grow, so will the work of vetting ministries. Thus, there may be openness to forming peer accountability groups (PAGs) across Eastern Europe, and GTP can assist with this.
Much prayer is needed for Europe. Pray for God’s blessings on EGCC and 3WF in the Czech Republic and for the network of organizations and giving collaborations serving Eastern Europe. Pray that the GTP Diagnostic Tool and Templates will aid many Czech and Slovak workers. Ask God to lead and guide all players involved in mapping new strategies and resources in the coming days. And while the war has shaken the region and led many to faith, pray for peace, in Jesus’ name.