Workers who long to see the kingdom of God flourish in this region will come to East/Central Europe and invest in relationships, realizing they may not see fruit for some time. They might work as English teachers (a great asset in any of the countries in the region), youth workers, or church planters. As people in the region connect with Jesus and churches begin to grow, Christians will have a life-giving impact on this area.
Upon arrival in Bulgaria, this person will:
- Live and develop relationships in a town setting
- Become an integral part of a local congregation
- Be involved in the music of the church
- Willingly share gifts, abilities, and training for the good of the church as opportunities arise (e.g. English conversation classes, preaching, etc.)
All new appointees for long-term service are engaged in Launch, EMM’s discipleship training course, before and during the first year of their assignments. Phase one of Launch includes personal discipleship activities through online modules. For phase two of Launch, appointees spend two weeks learning alongside their Launch cohort (a group of other long-term appointees and interns preparing for service) before heading to their countries of service. In phase three of Launch, workers continue to connect online with their Launch cohort as they jump into language and culture learning, along with other activities on the field.
Although it has suffered a fairly turbulent past, today’s Bulgaria is relatively stable. Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and became a member of the EU in 2007. It is a developing European nation with periods of history under various governance, including the Soviet Union from WWII until 1990. The majority of the population lives in urban areas, and those in rural areas often want to move to the city or abroad for education and/or jobs. This results in a low number of young people in rural areas. There is a mix of cultures due to the various empires of the past. The religious landscape is mostly Orthodox Christian, with a small Islamic presence (particularly in the villages) and a very small number of evangelical churches.
Supervisors and colleagues
The church developer will work with the local church under the supervision of pastor Delcho Atanosov. There will also be regular check-ins with EMM Regional Representative Stacy Nofziger.
Skills and experience
Applicants must have a college degree, musical training/ability, and a track record of faithful church involvement and commitment. They must have good people skills, be a self-starter, and be willing to submit to local leadership. Applicants must be willing to pursue proficiency in the Bulgarian language. It’s helpful if expats living in Bulgaria lead lifestyles similar to those of the locals around them. This can mean living simply without every modern convenience that many Americans may enjoy.