Inspiring People to Experience God and Imitate Jesus
For more than 10 years we’ve carried the vision of a new expression of church in Zambia. We’ve been looking for opportunities and people to connect with, but the right moment has been hesitating. During our more than 6 years in Zambia we have been involved in different projects and done our best to follow where God led, but the thought that one day, we would be part of a team planting a church in Ndola, has never slipped our minds and hearts.
That team has been developing over the last two years, and is now ready to launch OpenChurch in Ndola on the 14th of January 2018! It is indescribable how this fills us with joy, excitement and gratitute to God! What will happen on the 14th January is an outward expression of what has been in our hearts for more than 10 years – it is inspiring people to experience God and imitate Jesus!
A Journey of Faith
We have been very quiet about this, and it’s only been a public decision for the last month or so. However, it has taken up most of our time over the last two years, building teams, inspiring vision, praying together, and developing culture. The key factor in launching a church, has been to build the right team of leaders. OpenChurch is not about us, but a vision to make Jesus real and authentic to a new generation in Zambia, and that takes a strong team. As a leadership team we have been walking together for about two years, and personally we have been on a journey growing in faith and confidence, drawing closer to God and waiting for His guidance and directions. At times it has felt as if we were stuck, but looking back, every step of the way has been helpful in shaping our understanding of ourselves, of God and the vision He has called us to. Personally and as a leadership team, we feel the time is now to go public with this.
For the last two years we have been running, what we call “Vision Nights” once, and later twice, a month on a Friday night. It has been our time to “practice” church, shape culture and how we want to express church. Though meeting in public places, we haven’t done much to advertise, as we primarily wanted to build a team of people, who one day would be ready to open the doors and welcome in the city.
That will happen on the 14th of January, and it’s going to be a celebration!
With a core team of about 30-40 people we are now preparing for launch. The teams needed for Sunday Service are preparing and training (as they’ve been for the last year); children’s church, praise, technical team, hosts, and café. Our Vision Nights attracts about 70 people on average and our youth group gathers about 25 people on a Saturday. We have 4 nationalities represented on our leadership team, all gifted and talented leaders, whom we are very proud of.
We are looking at how to best influence and help developing our community, and a couple of young people are seeking ways of doing that through what they call “Community Project”. We have been on air with a local radio the last two Tuesdays, and continue every week until launch. Currently meeting in a theatre in town centre, still needing permission to continue our services in that place.
Part of a Larger Family
Åbenkirke (OpenChurch) in Herning, Denmark, has been part of the journey, and will be the mother church of this church plant in Ndola. As a local OpenChurch we work in agreement with the overall vision and mission of OpenChurch in Denmark, we share values and doctrine. Our culture is defined by our purpose of being a missional church, and it is the mandate and responsibility of our local church to express these values according to the context and culture we find in Zambia.
Much more could be said, but we will leave that for later. You are welcome to check our facebook page, or come and join us for launch! It has been a season of change for us as a family, and still is, but we are well and excited to see what the future holds!