Friday, January 30, 2009

This week we have been working on developing our site at There is a really cool article on the front page about a person's journey in finding work in Europe. I think you will like it.

I really like what Todd Littleton pastor of Snowhill Church near Oklahoma City said about the idea of the Skybridge Community. I think it is a great summation of what we are wanting to see happen.

"..we are discovering a new “breed” of missional missionaires. Those who understand following Jesus is not a profession. Rather than feel led to a place, figuring out what to do, get trained and then go, these young people believe God wants them to live elsewhere. Not just live, but settle and live out their lives among people who need to be connected with God. Rather than as professional missionaries, they are professionals who get what missional living is all about. They take up resident in another place. Live out their lives. Share hospitality in the name of Jesus and demonstrate what Andrew Jones refers to as Jesus’ model of “throwing parties and telling stories.”

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Marsielle, France


I was able to spend a few days last week in Marsielle presenting a few sessions at a training event. I was also able to get a preview into the May 2009 Upstream Collective vision trip to that city. We will be touching down in two cities: Rome and Marsielle.

Marsielle is an awesome city and one that will be a fascinating place to explore with the pastors who are coming along on this journey.

Some fast facts:

The picture you see above is a beautiful cathedral called Notre Dame de la Garde and it overlooks the old port into Marsielle. The idea is that "Mary" overlooks the city and protects the ships as they come in and out of the harbor.

Notre Dame de la Garde also overlooks Chateau d'If famous from the book by Alexandre Dumas entitled: The Count of Monte Cristo.

  • It is the oldest city in France. Marsielle was settled in 600 BC by the Greeks.
  • It is the third largest urban area in France with nearly 1.5 million people.
  • Some demographic studies show that over 25 percent of the population are people from North Africa. For a great blog on ministry opportunities with these people groups check out this.
  • There are also said to be almost 80,000 Jews making it the third largest urban Jewish community in Europe.
As in many cities in Europe there are beautiful buildings and scenery but the spiritual needs are vast. In reading some bible commentaries this week on the book of Acts I read this quote. The late Noel O. Lyons, for many years director of the Greater Europe Mission, used to say, "Europe is looked over by millions of visitors and is overlooked by millions of Christians. Europe needs the Gospel today as it did in Paul's day.."

If you are interested in this vision trip please visit

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

working in Europe

Last week I talked about a new initiative that the upstream collective has launched called the Skybridge Community. It is about people who intentionally come to Europe to live and work and be an incarnational witness here.

Just after I posted that article I had a conversation with a person at a Mosaic Alliance Conference that I attended near Basel Switzerland last weekend. As we were talking about what we did for a living I explained about my job and how we were involved in launching a network called Skybridge. She went on to tell me that she works for a company in Dusseldorf Germany that teaches English to business professionals. I asked her if they ever needed native speakers to teach and she said that they sometimes look for teachers. Teaching English is just one way to look for a job here. With the business language in Europe being English then the market for English teachers now is high. If you have an interest in this do a google search on English Teaching schools in Europe and check out the possibilities and requirements.

It is not an easy task at all but I ran across a pretty cool site the other day for people looking at working abroad. Check it out here .

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Have a Normal Job?

I wanted to give you a short post about an initiative that we have been working as a part of the Upstream Collective.

Somehow, intentionally or not, many American Christians were taught that being a professional missionary is a higher calling, the best and most appropriate way to respond to a call to missions. But the Skybridge Community would propose that being a full-time Christian worker is not the only way to be an effective missionary.

In fact, in some circles, particularly in Europe, the best way to be a missionary is NOT to be a "missionary." The most effective way many people can make an impact on their friends in Europe is by entering the culture as "one of the gang" - someone facing similar work and life situations as their peers. That's where having a normal job comes in.

It's time to elevate and validate the calling of these unpaid missionaries who take seriously their responsibility to live out their faith incarnationally overseas. It's also time for the local church to step up and take back its role in the Great Commission, sending out its best and brightest to live and work abroad, getting more personally involved in God's work through prayer, being present on the field both short- and long-term, and learning how to take good care of their newly commissioned business executives, students, waiters, graphic designers ... you get the picture.

That's what the Skybridge Community is for: networking, encouraging and equipping these "secular" workers who see their part in the Great Commission as being as valid as any commissioned missionary - and helping them, in turn, to equip their local church body to play its part in global missions as well.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

As the year comes to a close I have been reflecting about 2008. I wanted to say thanks to those of you who follow this blog.

I really have two passions and I hope they come across in these blogs or at least this is my intent.
I want to help new church plants and the emerging church engage in global missions (I think they have so much to offer) and I want to see the peoples of Europe come to faith in Jesus Christ. I hope this stuff can be of use to someone or some churches out here.

As I look back on this year it has been a wild ride. I mean this in a good sense. smile.
We have been able to see two dreams get off of the ground and we could not have done this without many of you. Your prayers, your support has helped the Upstream Collective and the Skybridge Community take off. SO THANKS!

We are so looking forward to 2009 and what God has in store for these new movements. Thanks for telling other people about them. We hope that God will use them in the years to come.

Happy New Year!