Macedonian Baptists awaken to church planting ideas

Macedonian Baptist leaders

SKOPJE, Macedonia—They realized they had been missing something. And they’re more open to it now than ever before.

In 2017, a group of Macedonian church leaders gathered in Skopje to talk about evangelism and church planting. When they discussed starting new groups, no one had anything to contribute — they had never seriously talked about it before.

Macedonian leaders

Macedonian church leaders join in a discussion about church planting. This was one of the first times they collectively realized they had not previously been serious about starting new churches. (IMB Photo)

But a few years prior, IMB missionaries Jeff and Amy Williams had asked a local Baptist pastor to send out one of his best couples to join them in starting a new church. The pastor hesitantly agreed. Jeff and Amy want church planting to be at their group’s core, and they feel the first step is to teach Christians to lead Bible studies outside of church walls.

“In an Orthodox setting they’re not going to come to the church building, but you could start a Bible study with them,” Jeff said. “We want to make sure our Baptist believers are able to lead new evangelistic Bible studies.”

Decades of praying

Last year, local Baptists attended a training about discussion-led small groups. Additionally, the local leadership of CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) wants to help students start new groups. And Baptist leaders heard from Russian pastors who have started churches. Jeff says this openness is the result of decades of praying and talking about church planting. It’s as if local Christians have suddenly awakened to this idea.

Macedonian Baptist leaders

A group of Macedonian Baptist leaders listens to a pastor from Mississippi share about beginning discussion-led small groups. IMB missionary Jeff Williams says he hopes every Baptist Macedonian can learn to start evangelistic Bible studies outside of church walls. (IMB Photo)

Pray Macedonian Christians and ministry leaders will continue to catch the vision of church planting. Ask God to give them a passion for talking about Scripture outside of church walls. Pray many Macedonians choose to follow Jesus as a result of this fresh awareness of church planting.

Your gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® support Southern Baptists who can live alongside Macedonian Christians to help them learn how to plant healthy churches and expand their gospel witness in Europe. Thank you for giving.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.