Jenny and I are church planters in Kremenchuk, Ukraine. The title "church planter" is a broad one, and includes 3 different areas of responsibility in our context. We work hard to reach out to those who have not yet been exposed to the gospel. We work to help the local established church be more missional. Lastly, we work to establish new congregations of believers with a vibrant and active faith.
Our first and probably greatest focus is evangelism to the lost. Many people have asked me to talk about how to do evangelism, and while there are plenty of good methodologies and tools out there, they all have a few things in common.
Firstly, effective evangelism starts with relationships with people, sharing life together. When we arrived on the field we did know how we could get to know people from our community, but about 8 months in God presented us a chance to teach English. Ukrainians desire to connect with others the world over, and English is essential for this endeavor. Every week we do what is called English Evangelism. We teach English to teens and adults and as we share life with these students, relationships become fertile soil for the gospel.
Once you have connected with those open to knowing peace with God, you need to be so in love with Christ that it simply flows out of who you are. It's not forced, it is simply you being you or rather, you being Christ. We talk about, but more importantly show what God has done in our lives. That has made all the difference.
I am convinced that most people are called by Christ to a relationship with him through relationships with his church, that is us. Christ calls people to himself in other ways, but using his followers seems to be his favorite way.
Christ is clear in Gospels that he desires to reach the entire world through his followers. As the church, it is easy to become inwardly focused, to lose our desire to be fishers of men. We work hard to make sure the local church is Christ's hands and feet.
Working with the established church is also a great blessing to Jenny and I. The brotherly love and encouragement they have given us has not only strengthened us, but it has helped us to be more effective and contextual.
We are greatly indebted to the local believers. We serve together, support one another, and teach one another.
We are especially grateful to Rakovka Evangelical Church, and Spring of Life Church, amongst several others.
New Church Plants
The church is at the center of what God is doing here on earth. We believe the best way to reach people is through those who God has called to himself. With a ratio of only one church per 25,000 people in Kremenchug, we see a desperate need for not only growth in the already established congregations, but for new churches to be planted in our community. We are striving to plant churches that are not only Biblically rooted, but also relevant to the people around them. Christ came to change the hearts of men not their nationality and culture.
To accomplish these two goals in our church plants we have delved into scripture so that the churches we plant will be vibrant churches that are willing look into all sectors of Ukrainian culture for those that God has called to himself. We also look to create communities which care for one another and for those around them.
Our current church plant called 'Compass' gathers weekly with people from all walks of life who want the life and peace that only comes through Christ Jesus. With God leading, we work to instill love for each other, a willingness to serve, and a desire to be changed daily by the Holy Spirit. Our gatherings frequently include a meal (see Acts 2) and a celebration of the shared family that we have in Christ.
Ukraine by the numbers
While over 81% of Ukrainians claim some form of Christianity, most don't attend services even once a month. Most hold barely nominal beliefs and often in conjunction with other worldviews, most notably folk paganism.
Though Ukraine does not have the highest percentage of marriages ending in divorce (compared to 47% in the US), this does not account for the incredibly high number of common law marriages that end in separation, which if made legitimate would raise this number drastically.
Because most people are unaware that Christianity is anything more than a holiday tradition, almost half of Ukrainians report religion not playing any role in their daily lives.
688,000 Ukrainians report being addicted to alcohol of various types. Ukraine is ranked 5th worldwide for alcohol consumption. This has an incredible effect on families and the stability of the society as a whole.
After being cloaked in secrecy for many years under the Soviet Union, many people have little understanding of Ukraine and Ukrainian culture. The Ukrainian people have a rich and beautiful culture forged through centuries of hardship... Read More>
Kontaktmission Ukraine has been serving the Ukrainian people since 1994. We serve in different ways, but the easiest way to categorize missionary efforts might be through our core values; send, plant, multiply... Read more>>
About our ministry
Officially we are church planters in Ukraine, but this means a lot more than just gathering people together to become a new church. From outreach to building up the established church there is more than enough work to do... Read More>>
Partnering with us
Being in full time ministry and providing our basic needs is an endeavor that takes spiritual and financial resources. If you would like to be a part of our ministry in Ukraine, please click below to fill out a giving form with our sending agency Kontaktmission.