One of the questions we get often is "Is the church in France going to support you?" Short answer: Yes! And this post is all about why this is something important for us as well as for them.
It's a pretty well known idea that if you want to make sure someone is committed to something, they have to be invested in it. If you have nothing invested in something you have nothing giving you a reason to care about it.
So how does this connect to us going to France?
During the process of praying and seeking God's will on if we should go to France one of the indicators we had looked at was if Assemblée Chrétienne Mulhouse (ACM) was really wanting us to come, or were they just being nice and would be fine if we came or not. We have been very thankful and excited about the enthusiasm that the leadership of ACM has had for us to come and be a part of what they are doing in France. For us, their excitement and support has been a very positive sign along the road that we are going in the right direction.
While discussing this with some people here in Ohio, we had a couple people at different times make the rather cynical observation that just because ACM is excited about us coming doesn't actually mean anything. Any church would be happy if we came to them and said that we want to work for their church for free. It's true that many churches would probably respond that way but we knew from our interactions with the ACM leadership that they didn't appear to be looking at it that way. Even still, we knew from the beginning that we would be asking ACM to be a part of our support team.
About a month ago I had a conversation with one of the church leaders about ACM supporting us and he confirmed that the church is planning on supporting us. At this time they haven't figured out exactly how much they can afford but they'll be having a meeting soon that they will discuss the topic and we should know then what they'll be able to do. He did give me a range of what they're thinking so we know approximately what it will be, but we don't know for sure the amount.
So why is this important? ACM is a small church: approximately 60 people including kids. They don't have the resources to pay us to work for them, they don't even have the resources to pay their pastor full-time. So while they would probably love to just have free professional labor, we need to know that they are invested in our success and they need to know that we are invested in them. By them supporting us, we are able to know that when things get tough for us or when conflicts arise, because we are all human, they are invested in us enough to work through things with us and make this relationship work.