Wednesday, April 19, 2017

YWAM Europe United | Family without borders

Last year the YWAM Europe leadership started talking and dreaming about a having a huge YWAM Europe gathering along the theme of "Family without borders". The last big meeting was in Herrnhut in 2007, so it was time. From the beginning the place seemed to be Albania, where our YWAM team had good contacts with hotels ready to give us a great deal (as it is off season). The big issue was where loads of people could meet - so the idea of the tent on the beach (which is owned by the hotels) was born...

And it became a reality through a great team of people working hard to make it all happen! Having a tent on a beach and hearing the waves, was a fantastic reminder of Loren’s vision of the waves of young people going out into all the world!
The 750 people who came along from Northern, Western, Central and Eastern Europe were all blessed with two fantastic key-note speakers, Michael, a pastor from the Ukraine, and Martha from the US, who serves in the Middle East. The both challenged us in different ways to do more for God in all that we do!

We were also blessed to have Reona and Evy, the two YWAMers who were arrested in 1973 for smuggling bibles into, then, atheistic Albania. We were actually on the beach where they were arrested, and now they were proclaiming (quite loudly and with Albanian translation) how great God is. It is 25 years since Albania opened up again, and what a difference a few years can make!

Our Central European family met one afternoon just to catch up on what is going on in our area. We used the analogy that this was a great big family reunion with our cousins from all over Europe, but it was now time for the brothers and sisters to do some catching up! We were blessed to see over 20 new people being prayed into our region. We also prayed for our new co-conveners, Belinda and Florin and prayed out Yohanan and Rachel as they leave us in the next 6 months. We also gave them a little going away gift from Albania!

We were challenged, we worshipped God, we caught up and we networked. We had a great time together celebrating being a family without borders!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

New convener

In YWAM worldwide, we are moving from having one leader with a leadership team helping them to a shared leadership model. In Central Europe this means that we have been moving away from having a Director/Chairman with a leadership team (CELT) to having a Core Circle with a Convener who brings the Circle together (with the advice of a group of elders).

In Central Europe, the "Chairmanship" has ended and we now have a "convener" model, where we have two co-conveners who lead the core circle with advisory elders. The core circle then all help convene/lead the area of Central Europe. A reminder that at present, our core circle is made up of Florin Mihaly, Belinda Chaplin, Yohanan Rempt, Jason Hinton, Alket Sako and Arlen Stoltzfus. Our core circle elders are currently Helga Nuernburger and Wolfgang Jani.

After much prayer and processing with the core circle, Yohanan Rempt has felt led to step back from leadership in the Central Europe area. Through corporate prayer and seeking God as well as input from CE elders, the Core Circle, and the European Field, Florin Mihaly and Belinda Chaplin have been given the role of conveners of the core circle. Yohanan is starting the process of handing off his leadership role, and becoming more of a coach/advisor to Belinda and Florin as they co-convene the core circle.
We are looking forward to being together at YWAM Europe United in Albania- while we are there we will be publicly honoring Yohanan for his service to the CE area as chairman/ convener.

How will this affect individuals and operating locations in CE? 

Some things are changing:
  • there are more people involved in making decisions (an expansion of leadership)
  • there will not be a CE “office” any more physically; the mandate of the CE office will be broadened to include a more virtual group along with several circles - which are either formed (member care and communication) or in the process of forming (leadership development and others). In this way, we will continue to carry out the wonderful work that has taken place from this office for the last ten years.
  • the Director/Chairman previously took responsibility for many things - the Core Circle will increasingly direct more things back to the operating location/nation depending on the situation in order to increase the grassroots effectiveness of YWAM
  • the regional leader (which used to be called the Director or the Chairman) role will be held by the Core Circle as a group rather than an individual as we have done in the past  
  • our goal and desire is that more teams would be visited more frequently by someone from the Core Circle or one of our elders. With this expansion of leadership, there are now more people to do this. 
  • crisis and conflict will be dealt with either by the Core Circle or by a specialist or elder appropriate to the situation, with the hope that we will be able to engage with crises and conflicts as geographically and/or relationally “close” to the crisis or conflict as possible (ie. if there is a crisis in Romania, we would endeavor to find the most qualified people or person to respond in or near Romania. To find the most “qualified” person, we would take into account geographical proximity, skill, history, and relationships)
  • we will continue to develop more area circles - creating more opportunity to engage in ministry at an area level as well as local

But some things aren’t changing:
  • people will continue to be served in the Central European Area by the leadership and elders, locally, in their nation and at the area level
  • people are still committed to pursuing God and the Great Commission 
  • YWAM vision and values are not changing
  • people are still accountable for their actions through national and local structures as well as through the Core Circle as appropriate
  • we will continue to be responsible to our individual callings before God
  • CELG/CESG and other Area gatherings will continue to happen

We value your prayers for our leaders as they serve the region, especially during this transition time.  

-Belinda Chaplin
YWAM CE Co-convener