A year and a half ago, at a meeting with the members of the New Ground France team, we took the leap of faith of starting an Academy base in Paris. We were very aware of the size of France, the spread of our churches across the country and the lack of full-time staff who would have the time to invest in themselves by signing up for the Academy. I [Nathan Lambert] had faith for 15 people and was prepared to plan for 30.
We knew that we had to plan things differently, making the most of online technology, and spreading the course out a bit differently, so we chose to meet on Saturdays only, and then gather everybody online once a week. We didn’t want to reduce the commitment required in signing up to the Academy. We just wanted to parcel it out differently to make it plausible for people in Montpellier or Nîmes, who work full-time, to get trained up for ministry via the Academy.
By the time the satellite opened in September 2016, there were 50 of us signed up, and we could hardly believe it.
We had a great first year, sensing real growth in maturity, discipleship and relationships from people across all of our churches, and last year we decided to multiply. So, we started a new base in Lyon. We now have over 70 students across the two bases. Last month, George Tee (who leads the Lyon base) and I decided to do a “satellite-swap”. It was a lot of fun to see dear friends who had been with us for year one flourishing in Lyon, as well as to meet the new group of people who have signed up this year. As for the Paris base, we feel a great sense of momentum, and we’re looking forward to celebrating and praying for all the people who will have completed the whole course in early July.
We’re really excited about what this all means for New Ground’s wider mission. We can’t wait to see many of these French leaders responding to the call to plant new churches and establish new bases for Kingdom work in France, all over Europe, and in the farthest reaches of the world.
Source: New Ground