Volunteering

Volunteers make a great difference!

Short-term volunteers are a vital part of the strategy and work in Gent. Many of the nationals understand and speak English so volunteers can make a difference and share effectively here. Plus volunteers are great encouragers and examples for national evangelical Christians showing them how to more effectively engage the community and live out one’s faith.

More information and training is available for those interested. Local field personnel, along with specially trained American volunteers will help you through every step of the process. From day one, it will be a team effort. Questions regarding “who”, “when”, “where”, “how”, “how much”, etc. will be answered in detail. If you want more information about one of the opportunities listed below, a possibility that is not listed, or are ready to take the next step, please contact the local field personnel using this link. Email the Team.

Feel free to browse through the types of opportunities illustrated below.

Visioning and Connecting

Dates: Open

Description: This project is designed to allow potential partnering churches the opportunity to see how the church can support and enhance the ministry in Gent on a long-term basis. An important part of the team ministry strategy is to effectively use the resources of a partner church from America in a long-term relationship with the local IMB personnel. One possible outcome will be to mobilize more short-term volunteers to support and enhance the ministry of the local IMB personnel. Another purpose of this trip will be to begin to develop stateside prayer coordinators for the Flemish people of Gent, Belgium. Prayer is the key to finding and developing relationships that lead to spiritual conversations and church plants. Stateside coordinators will be able to more effectively recruit and lead others to pray when they have walked the streets and seen the faces of the Flemish people God misses. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to do intentional prayer walking and man-on-the-street surveys as a means of broad seed sowing of the Gospel.

Prayer Walking and Communicating

Dates: Open

Description: The objective of this project is to use the power of prayer walking to seek persons of peace and open doors for spiritual conversations in targeted areas of the city. The ultimate goal would be planting an organic church in the neighborhood. An important part of the ministry strategy of the missionary team is to use prayer walking teams from partnering churches in America. One possible outcome will be to mobilize more short-term volunteers to support and enhance the ministry of the local field. Another purpose of this trip will be to develop an awareness of evangelicals as an intentional group in the neighborhoods. It is hoped that repeated prayer walking in neighborhoods will encourage the residents to seek more information about the groups praying for their neighborhood. Prayer is the key to finding and developing relationships that may lead to spiritual conversations and church plants. Prayer walkers may choose to focus on: Targeted areas of the city; Targeted people groups (such as students, young adults, families, and women); Local Evangelical Churches; All churches in Gent; Ministry Evangelism areas and venues; Public Service providers; Language groups; Places where people gather and others.

Onsite for Insight – Strategy Development

Dates: Open

Description: The Gent Festival Outreach project is but one of the strategies of being intentionally evangelistic and outreach oriented through the major events and festivals of the city. There are many other possibilities for connecting with people. The goal is to find people who will be interested in beginning groups designed to become new churches. Art, crafts, music, drama and many more means can be used to attract attention. Attracting attention is not as important as being salt and light in the community. Ministry evangelism is used in an attempt to intentionally touch lives with the Gospel. However, there are still more ways to connect. Through this project, volunteers will work with local field personnel to develop other means of connecting. Team members will also spend some time each day prayer walking neighborhoods and gaining God’s vision for creative ways to connect with the Flemish people of the community. Team members may also work with local evangelical churches in joint outreach and ministry evangelism projects. Members will be working in a city center. Many residents of the city have never had a personal encounter with an evangelical believer. This project intentionally takes the church into the community in an effort to show how a personal relationship with Jesus can transform lives. Ministry and performance evangelism opens the doors for the sharing of one’s personal faith.

Intentional Acts of Kindness Ministry Evangelism – Gent Festivals

Dates: Annually in July

Description: The Intentional Acts of Kindness Ministry Evangelism project during the annual Gent Festivals is part of the strategy of being intentionally evangelistic and outreach oriented through the major events and festivals of the city. The goal is to find people who will be interested in beginning groups designed to become new churches. Art, crafts, music, drama and many more means can be used to attract attention. Attracting attention is not as important as being salt and light in the community. Team members will also spend some time each day prayer walking neighborhoods and gaining God’s vision for creative ways to connect with the Flemish people of the community. Team members may also work with local evangelical churches in joint outreach and ministry evangelism projects. Members will be working in a city center. During this opportunity, many forms of sharing ones faith will be used. Specific information and training will be given to teams interested in this ministry opportunity.

Many residents of the city have never had a personal encounter with an evangelical believer. This project intentionally takes the church into the community in an effort to show how a personal relationship with Jesus can transform lives. Ministry and service evangelism opens the doors for the sharing of one’s personal faith.

Connecting in the Community

Dates: Outside of regular tourist season (probably spring and/or fall)

Description: This team will help the local missionaries look for people and places to connect. Connecting spaces are important in reaching Belgians and finding people open to connections is a key part of finding connecting spaces. Although Belgians do shop at the larger stores many small stores and cafes still make up the backbone of the city. Neighborhoods are still defined by the local baker, butcher, cafe and grocer. These small shops are usually family-owned and operated. They are operated by locals and often are places where locals come to shop and connect. The small shops are places where it might be possible to connect with people in the community. Team members will be visiting these small shops and attempting to connect with the shop owners. “Intentional tourists” often have great opportunities to ask questions and find out more about the owners and community. These teams will do “informal” surveys of local shop owners to determine which shops and owners are open to the development of ongoing relationships. Team members will help the local missionaries find persons of peace and key people in the community. “Intentional tourists” will be helpful in connecting with nationals. These teams will help develop a map of potential places to connect and for places that could become “third spaces and connecting places” where people can explore faith and belief.

Preparing the Plazas Prayer Walking

Dates: Spring each year in preparation for the Gent Festivals Ministry

Description: The Intentional Acts of Kindness Ministry Evangelism project during the annual Gent Festivals is part of the strategy of being intentionally evangelistic and outreach oriented through the major events and festivals of the city. Over 1.5 million people visit Gent in this 10-day period. Less than 0.5% of the population is evangelical Christian. Many residents of the city have never had a personal encounter with an evangelical believer. It is a massive task to be salt and light during this city-wide event. Prayer is the foundation and key to the effectiveness during the Gent Festivals. This team will prepare the plazas (open areas where the festivals occur) for ministry through intentional prayer walking. The foundation for sowing the seeds of the Gospel in July depends on the prayer work done in the spring. Focused, intentional and persistent prayer is the foundation of all ministry strategies.