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. As people in the region connect with Jesus and churches begin to grow, Christians will have a life-giving impact on this area.
The church developer will become involved in the life of a small body of believers through:
- participating in congregational life
- building relationships, both for discipleship and mutual encouragement
- training church members in reaching out to make disciples
- spending significant time building redemptive relationships in the community
- learning language and culture (this will be the main focus during the first year, and always a priority thereafter)
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.
Kosovo is a developing country with a mostly lower-middle-income economy. Outside of capital city Pristina, the country is mostly rural, with farms and small villages. The land and people bear scars from the atrocities of war and communal violence. Kosovo is a Muslim-majority nation; Christianity makes up only 7% of the religious landscape, with evangelicals making up only 0.2%.
Kosovo generally views the U.S. quite favorably. This may be the result of American intervention under President Bill Clinton in the Kosovo War of 1998–1999 — the culmination of many years of ethnic violence between Serbian and Albanian ethnic groups.
Ethnic Albanians make up the majority of the population, with minority groups of Serbs, Bosniaks, Turks, and Ashkali. In 2008 (while an EMM YES team was on the ground!), Kosovo claimed independence from Serbia, a status which is recognized by many U.N. nations. Though Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state, it does accept the legitimacy of Kosovar institutions.
Supervisors and colleagues
The church developer will work with the church leadership team (pastor Gani Smolica, elder Esat, women’s/children worker Adile), and a Dutch missionary couple who will finish their term in mid-2019. From time to time, this worker will serve with other church members in different projects organized by the church.
The church developer will be supervised by Pastor Gani, and will interact on a daily basis with church and community members. They will also be accountable to their sending church/mission, including regular check-ins with EMM Regional Representative Stacy Nofziger.
Skills and experience
Applicants must be skilled or growing in skills of meaningful cross-cultural relationship-building, and must be willing to initiate friendship and spend significant amounts of time with local people. They should be willing to share God’s love through words and also through demonstrating a Christian lifestyle. Applicants should be willing to work toward proficiency in the Albanian language. Ability to submit to and be led by the local church leaders is needed, while the ability to take initiative and be self-led when necessary is also important. Patience is a must!