Two years ago, one of the main networks of evangelical churches in France launched its Nouvelles Générations (New Generations) project, partly because its founders were concerned about the number of church leaders reaching retirement age without any promise of replacement. It was noted that more than 30% of French pastors were to retire in the following five years.
According to Ephesians 4:11-12, the various ministries of the Word (apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors/teachers) are a gift from Christ to the Church. Their role is to train Christians for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ. If the Church lacks properly-trained ministers of the Word, it will be weak, unable to take up the challenge of sharing the love of God in France.
So then, how should they react? This was the question raised during the first meeting of the New Generations project. Modern man’s reflex is to think immediately of training programmes, information campaigns and communication strategies. These things have their place, but when the team thought about what was needed first, they were struck by Jesus’ words, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38, NKJV) This is why the first mission of New Generations is to initiate a prayer movement for the recruitment and training of new “labourers”.
RING (Réseau d’Intercesseurs Nouvelles Générations – Network of New Generations Intercessors) is looking for intercessors to strengthen their team. If you would like to commit to pray at least once a month for new workers, then sign up on the website (only available in French at this time): www.nouvelles-generations.org/ring.php.
The new website aims to become a portal for Christians seeking information about church ministry. Video clips, testimonies, a full list of camps and training courses, thought-provoking articles and a bibliography of ministries is already available online for sharing.
The first of these weekends was held in February 2011 in the Paris region with around thirty young people looking at a possible full-time ministry commitment. The participants received enthusiastic Bible teaching on the ministry of the Word. They were able to question experienced pastors and meet other young people who are thinking along the same lines.
New Generations Training Experience
For those who feel drawn to full-time ministry, but are unsure whether they are suited for it, practical ministry training experience is being offered alongside an experienced pastor. The first of these courses will hopefully start in September 2011.