WEC has a ministry presence in more than 100 people groups in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Central Asia, the South Pacific and Latin America. Some WEC Centres primarily facilitate the sending of cross-cultural workers from local churches, while others catalyse new churches among unreached people groups. Click here for some of our current opportunities for service, or here for a map with the regions we work in.
It means the local church is at the centre of training and sending people into cross-cultural church planting among unreached people groups. The local or sending church is the context in which cross-cultural missionaries are nurtured and discipled, identified by church leadership, and thrust out by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-4).
When a person or church approaches WEC about moving into a cross-cultural church planting ministry, WEC takes the lead from the church in the following three areas:
- confirmation of that the person's walk with God is vital and growing, and that the person's character (not necessarily gifting) is suitable for leadership in their church
- sensing that God is moving both the person and the church towards that particular missional vision
- consequent willingness to send the people through WEC and support them prayerfully, financially, emotionally and practically
If the church can affirm these three areas then the church, together with WEC, proceeds towards facilitating the person's ministry. If the church cannot affirm these three areas then WEC will not proceed with facilitating the person's ministry.
Around 30 other Australian mission groups, along with WEC, identified with what has become known as the Croydon Declaration. It was a joint statement apologising to the church for certain patterns of behaviour that tended to leave the local church with less opportunity to fulfill its role in God's global purposes.
At WEC Australia's national conference in 2004 Evelyn Hibbert, an international trainer for WEC, challenged delegates with the concept. The conference agreed to pursue the approach across all our training and sending ministries. Since then WEC Australia's teams have been working at implementing the concept.
As stated above, the local church is the context in which God identifies people who are being sent by the Holy Spirit into cross-cultural church planting ministry. WEC's equipping and support for local churches has several elements:
- tools to help sending churches decide whether individuals are suited to cross-cultural church planting ministry.
- specialist training in cross-cultural church planting.
- partnership with sending churches in providing practical and pastoral support for church planters once they go overseas.
Historically WEC Australia has had a significant ministry to the local church. However, WEC tended to follow certain patterns common among many para-church organisations. Instead of the local church being the context in which God trains, identifies and thrusts out workers, people would engage with a para-church organisation, such as a missions agency. The agency would then formulate a training, orientation and support raising program for the recruit. Many times the church would just be told of what is happening and asked to support the project.
We identify with scriptures such as Ephesians 3:1-11 that speak about how the gospel has reconciled Jew and Gentile, bringing them together in a gathering. This gathering is testimony to the purposes of God accomplished in Christ and is central in God's mission. It is both the vision of the Great Commission and the means of fulfilling it. We are sent by our sending churches to plant new churches among unreached people groups through WEC.
WEC identifies five key ministry areas needed for the sending of cross-cultural missionaries: advocacy, communication, ownership, finance, and prayer. Each of these areas are fulfilled through a combination of sending church and WEC resources. A church may include particular skills, for example, financial planners who can help their cross-cultural church planters. If not WEC can help meet that need through its network. When a missionary is sent with WEC, a 'Sending Agreement' is drawn up to help each party (the church, the missionary & WEC) to understand their roles and expectations and see that these areas are covered.
No. But as a guide, before people go to a ministry area for the first time they need to have their plane tickets in hand, set up costs, several month's living expenses, and a good indication of continued support.
People serving in WEC who have low support are encouraged to seek the Lord in fellowship with their field leadership. If required the field will consult the wider leadership, including WEC Australia and their sending church/s to find solutions.
Each field determines a guide as to basic living and ministry costs within the country. On top of that each person decides if they would like to add components such as superannuation, home assignment travel, or insurances. The final level of support, then, is different for each person.
See here for an outline of what the process might look like - but as always, contact us if you've got questions.
God directs our ministry, often challenging us to bold faith. Therefore, we do not let finance determine our ministry, rather God's hand on us as individuals and as a fellowship determines our ministry. Finances can be a part of the circumstances through which God guides us but they are never the only one.
No. All money given to our Australian personnel or projects goes to them.
WEC does not make financial appeals. Our priority in serving is always to give. Therefore finance is not a dominant feature of any singular communication or ministry unless there is a relational context that allows the WECer to take the initiative in talking about finance.
Yes, there is a growing emphasis on teams throughout ministry in WEC. For a picture of how this works in Australia, see our page on WEC Australia. Teams of WEC across the world are multicultural, multi-denominational, and make decisions 'on the ground' relating to their ministry while internationally we retain our one vision: Reaching People, Planting Churches.
See here for an overview of our teams.
We also model church planting processes and outwork our passion in Australia through a church planting project in Sydney.
God has called WEC to plant churches among unreached people groups. WEC engages in some forms of aid and development, but only that which facilitates church planting.