In the Gambia/Senegal/Guinea-Bissau corridor, it is clearly the time for Anabaptist workers to be actively establishing faith communities. Presentation of the gospel from an Anabaptist perspective has been quite attractive to West Africans over the past several years and holds great potential for growth in the region and beyond. We have been building collaboration with local evangelical churches and seek to plant churches among people groups and in villages where Jesus is not well known, rather than competing with other denominations.
- Work alongside EMM worker Beryl Forrester as he moves toward retirement.
- Encourage, train, and mentor servant leaders, showing alternatives to the powerful pastor model prevalent in this cultural context.
- Assist African leaders in the establishment of communities of faith throughout the area. Mennonite believers, along with many younger leaders in other evangelical churches, are eager for a new vision for the church that involves not only worshipping Christ, but seeking to model Christ to others.
All long-term and short-term missionaries engage in Launch, EMM’s discipleship training course, before and during their assignments. Phase one of Launch includes personal discipleship activities through online modules. For phase two of Launch, participants spend one to two weeks learning alongside their Launch cohort (a group of others preparing for service) before heading to their outreach locations. In phase three of Launch, workers continue to connect online with their Launch cohort for up to a year as they navigate ministry in their country of service.
There is much to be appreciated in the cultures of Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. Locals are very friendly, eager to form friendships, and ready to share their culture. Animism and folk Islam are the primary religions practiced, and believers need to find the way of Christlikeness within this context. There are dozens of people groups, many of whom are considered unreached. Primitive living, dust, insects, and heat are daily realities, but mission workers generally experience adequate water and facilities to maintain reasonable cleanliness. Days are hot and nights are cool. The rainy season brings heavy precipitation from June through October.
Supervisors and colleagues
The church development worker will interact mostly with Beryl Forrester and local church leaders. This worker will be accountable to non-resident team leader Mike Baker and/or Strategic Coach Steve Shank.
Skills and experience
Applicants should have an unapologetic and uncompromising commitment to Anabaptist perspectives and identity, with theological training and skills to present a Christ-centered approach to the Bible. Steadfast patience is needed as believers are nurtured out of animism. Wisdom is also needed to know what is right and wrong, good and bad, while practicing the patience and gentleness of the Lord in helping believers to be set free from their cultural bondages. Applicants should be fluent in French and willing to pick up Guinea-Bissau Creole.