In our church, we believe that “the Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way” (1 Corinthians 12:7), so that there are different ways believers can serve, and different places in God’s work, “but the same God is working in all these ways and in all people” (1 Corinthians 12::6) to build up the church, and to reach out with the good news about Jesus Christ and His soon return. Hence, we have different departments in our church, so that everybody could find what is closest to their heart; what speaks to them and how they can exercise the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to them in the best possible way. We are not alone in this work. As a church, we are the body of Christ, everybody a member with different tasks and skills, joined together and led by Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 12:12 – 30).
We are glad that there are people in our Union, whom God has blessed with the desire to work with and for families, children and women, since each of these groups have slightly different needs and potentials. It is our responsibility to develop the gifts we have received, or to put it another way; to trade with the talents we are given. Therefore, we decided in the Union to have a training day for the teams from each of these departments of each three conferences (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania); a day, when we can learn together, share our experiences, and make future plans. As the old adage goes, “two heads are better than one”, and in the Bible, we can read that, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22 NIV).
The advisory was opened by David Nõmmik, the President of the BAUC, who talked on how disciples became apostles when Jesus sent them out in two, giving them authority to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven, and heal. It did not happen overnight; it was a process – many things had to happen before. David emphasised that being sent by Jesus means continues growth.
Clair Sanches Schutte, the Children’s and Women’s Ministries’ leader of Trans-European Division talked about different programmes that can be used by Children’s and Women’s Ministries’ Departments. This year a new initiative will be launched; Girls for Christ that focuses on the creative and innovative ways women in church can help girls to find Christ and become women they would like to be. In our Union, the programme will first be implemented in the Estonian Conference this summer.
Karen Holford, the Family Ministries’ leader of Trans-European Division presented two seminars: Loving Limits about positive discipline, and Families reaching Families about family evangelism. She left the materials with the local Family Ministries’ leaders, so that these seminars can be conducted in many places in our Union.
In the end, we had time to discuss our plans and challenges. Being together as representatives from different departments gave us a good opportunity to discuss how we can unite our efforts in God’s work.
Since it was the first time to have an event like this in our Union, there is room for improvement. In the feedback, the participants expressed their desire that there could be more time for discussions, and more opportunities to get to know each other better in the future. Almost everybody agreed, though, that it had been a beneficial and developing time together, and that we could make it a tradition in our Union.