COTRI & Barnabas – A Divine Partnership
A team of six went out from England to the conference and set a target to connect with 20 pastors in the hope of generating in them an interest in sending missionaries.
BFOC has been journeying with Pastor Michael Maiden since Pastor Yinka met him at Bill Johnson’s Apostolic conference 2 years ago. Pastor Yinka had felt a number of years ago that we needed to connect with the strength of the church in America. Pastor Michael agreed that should we be able to find an appropriate way of hosting missionaries that he would commit to a process of sending at least 100 missionaries to the UK and Europe. Pastor Yinka put together a team to explore this process. The missionaries’ team was able to report back to Pastor Michael that because of the need within Barnabas for specialist ministries and workers it was possible to identify specific needs and seek to fill those with suitably qualified individuals where none could be found in the UK.
BFOC has had a number of obstacles that it had to overcome and the team experienced God’s favour in overcoming these. Pastor Michael who had expected that this process would take much longer took the speed at which we were able to give a response to him as a sign of God’s intentions.
– The vision to plant 1000 churches in Europe was launched successfully and looks potentially to provide one of the building blocks to COTRI’s moving forward.
– Pastor Yinka launched the vision with Pastor Michael on the first evening and two videos were shown during the conference. Several of the other speakers and leaders followed up this by talking about the significance of this vision in their messages. This especially felt like God’s favour upon us as it was not planned for but significantly helped to set the vision up in people’s minds and hearts
– Paul and Heather Garratt and Bill and Liz Hunter were able to Network amongst the conference attendees which helped to raise the profile of the COTRI Europe work.
– In the conversations with Senior Leaders it seemed to become understood that the UK and Europe are a significant mission field. This was a paradigm shift for some as Africa, South America and Asia are still seen as the ‘mission field’
– Relationships were developed with the COTRI board which is constituted by Pastors invited onto the board from churches within COTRI.
– We came away with a better understanding of how CFTN is structured as a church
– We came away with a better understanding of COTRI and how it is currently positioned and structured as a network. Through the conference; Pastor Michael and other COTRI board members began to vision cast for the future. Two significant points shared were that they are focussed on the local church as ‘The hope of the world’ and that they see church planting as a significant part of their future both of which are core values of Barnabas.
– A significant moment during the conference was the board of COTRI laying hands on Pastors Ron and Laura Jones to commission them as Pastors under COTRI
– The statement made about church planting has been significantly backed up by Pastor Michaels appointment of Pastor Ray to run COTRI. Roy has a proven track record of church planting and has laid down pastoring a church of 3000 to come and work with Pastor Michael. Ray will be a significant partner with COTRI Europe moving forward.
– Several of the departments of CFTN have offered support and resources in the development of both this vision and also in light of the relationship with BFOC which they are seeing as integral to their Senior Leader (Pastor Michaels) vision. An example of this might include the Executive Pastors at CFTN Bob and Debbie Putnam coming to speak at BSOSM and also bringing a (self-funding) team over with them.
– BFOC represented itself well and from conversations had with leaders, pastors and conference attendees was seen to be one of the most dynamic and motivated facets of the whole conference
– Eric and Sonja Skinner who have hosted Pastor Yinka and various others several times, indicated their desire to continue to host people as they come across from the UK.
It is possible that Pastor Yinka will visit some of these churches next year to develop relationships and potentially support them to further develop strategy to support the work of COTRI Europe. Several of the COTRI board have expressed an interest in coming to the UK to spend time with us. There are significant gifting’s amongst the board that will help us to develop strategy. As already mentioned the desire of the leadership team at CFTN to build relationship with us and a sharing of resources.
Pastors Ron and Laura Jones will hopefully arrive finally in the UK before Christmas as they now how their funding in place. In the initial first 3 years that they are with us this will represent a huge investment by Pastor Michael. The arrival of further missionaries will facilitate our vision.