This is adapted from the ministry information packet we send to churches as we seek support. Since few read this, I wanted to share it on a broader stage. It has been compiled and influenced by numerous men, missionaries, and Bible study. Thank you to all those that have helped me develop this.
To be perfectly honest, it is somewhat difficult to outline a specific strategy until we arrive in Ljubljana and are able to learn about the culture and people. Here are some of the things that we will focus on though.
Language and Culture
Our first year to 18 months will be focused on intensive language learning and adapting to the culture. Slovene is a slavic language that has some unique and difficult aspects. We are looking forward to learning it well, so that we can communicate the gospel well. We will never understand the culture until we know the language. We will develop friendships with Slovene “mentors” to teach us their culture and way of life. Slovenians don’t need us to bring America to them; they need the gospel.
The Balkans have never been a particularly stable region of the world. Slovenia is peaceful, modern, and safe, but there is no guarantee how long that will continue. If we don’t train faithful men (2 Tim. 2:2), then our efforts may be short lived if something would require us to leave the field. Even if we can stay our entire lives, we will die eventually. This is true in a broader sense though in any ministry. If we win and train men to plant churches and train other men, then by multiplying the gospel can be spread in a sustainable fashion.
There are three significant groups of people that we must target to reach the country with the gospel– Catholics, Moderns, and Post-Moderns. These three view the world in vastly different ways, and each will require a different approach, but the same gospel is able to save “everyone that believeth!”
Ljubljana is the influential city for the entire nation. Costs will be higher ministering in Ljubljana, but it is here that we can reach people who can reach the entire country. There are over 60,000 college students who study there and will spread back over the country when they graduate. Paul followed a model of reaching the influential cities of his time, and we pray that the Lord will allow us to do the same.
Just because we are targeting Ljubljana–a city of 300,000 and 15% of the entire population–that does not mean that we want to neglect those that live in the villages and towns that dot the irenic countryside. We desire to win and train men who study or work in Ljubljana to reach their hometowns or villages. Seventy-five percent(75%!) of Slovenes live in small towns or villages with less than 5,000 people. Media will also be an avenue of reaching the countryside.
We will take advantage of different forms of media (especially internet because of its availability and low cost) to spread the gospel of Christ in a country that has so little gospel witness. Social media has exploded in Slovenia as it has in much of the world.
Pray with us about the gospel penetrating this unknown corner of the world.