posted on January 1, 2023
aXcess: Church Planting and Development in Portugal
In this country of 10 million people, the evangelical population is less than 1 percent. Our strategy is to target the north of Portugal—the most densely populated and least-reached area—to plant multiplying churches and develop strong Portuguese leaders through discipleship and ministry involvement. IWs coming here will need to be team players. They will serve in a local church on a multicultural team with Brazilian colleagues whose focus is on building relationships to see people become Jesus followers. Patience and perseverance are essential qualities. Musical abilities are a plus.
- Be engaged in discipleship—both in small groups and one-on-one
- Develop relationships and friendships with Portuguese people that will build bridges to share the gospel
- Participate with and integrate into the church-planting team with an eye for future church plants
- Be a continual learner of Portuguese culture and language
- Preach and, if gifted, play piano/guitar and lead worship
- A recognized bachelor’s degree
- Completion of at least 30 hours of Bible/theology/ministry and 15 hours of intercultural studies
- Spouse must hold a recognized bachelor’s degree and have completed at least 18 hours of Bible/theology, 12 hours of missions/ministry studies (with a minimum of 6 hours in cross-cultural or missions studies)
- Completion of Alliance Polity course
- Completion of Alliance ordination/consecration
- Minimum of two years successful Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience
- A minimum Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT) score of 35
- Be a team player in a multicultural team setting
- Be willing to buy into and build on the team’s established philosophy of ministry
- Be creative in developing a platform for ministry to impact the community surrounding the church plant
- Musical ability, both vocal and instrumental (play piano/keyboard and/or guitar)— willing to teach an instrument
- Relational—willing to engage in conversations in the local language
- Community development experience
- Counseling experience
Biblical Characteristics Desired:
- Biblically grounded
- Competently skilled
Timeline for Deployment:
Summer/fall of 2024. Following appointment, and once fundraising goals and other qualifications are met, the appointee is required to attend a cross-cultural and language-acquisition program and pre-field orientation prior to deploying.
We work in a small town with a small-town culture. Supermarkets, meat markets, banks, and post offices are all readily available. You will probably be able to walk to most of these essential places. Several shopping malls are within a 20–30 minute drive. Public transportation (taxi, train, bus) is easily accessible. On a daily basis, you will encounter people you have met or know as they go about their lives. Few homes have heat or air conditioning; in winter it can feel cold even indoors, and summers can be quite warm with temperatures up into the 90s.
Language is an essential part of ministry. Those who do not know the language will attend a language study program. The goal will be to speak, read, and write the language at a functional level in order to mentor, teach, and train others.
Within the first two years, you will be expected to be able to understand, write, and communicate in basic Portuguese, and you will have a language tutor for the second year. Language learning and the acquisition of cultural intelligence is a life-long process, so you will need diligence, perseverance, and a supernatural injection of God’s grace.
Portugal has a socialized medical system. However, private health care (doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc.) is excellent, and your health needs should be cared for quite adequately. The cost of health care is very reasonable and within the limits of the Alliance health plan.
Expectations for Spouse:
Spousal roles vary based on the spouse’s gifts, training, and abilities as well as the needs of the team. It is expected that both spouses will be meaningfully involved in meeting ministry objectives depending on the nature of family roles, children, etc.
Children’s Educational Plan and Options:
Young children attend classes that teach Portuguese as a second language to facilitate classroom learning. For high school students, there is the option of studying and boarding at Black Forest Academy (BFA) in Kandern, Germany. There are regular flights between Porto and Basel (closest airports to BFA) that are fairly reasonable.
The successful applicant(s) will receive a full compensation package with the expectation that, once appointed, efforts will be made to raise a portion of support costs through the applicant’s network of friends, family, local church, or other resources. Information on support costs will be made available upon application. Training and/or coaching in fundraising is available.
Applicant(s) should be aware that serving in the international world often requires a higher degree of grace and flexibility. For example, overseas teams can be suddenly and unexpectedly impacted by illness, government decisions, financial realities, team changes, or other factors beyond the team’s control. The challenge for applicants is that these factors can sometimes necessitate the sudden redefining of a position, which may take place before, during, or after the application/interview process has begun or is completed.
Please email the IPO office at [email protected]
As part of an evangelical denomination, we are committed to biblical holism, which is modeled and reflected through our work. Due to this commitment, part of the required qualifications includes optimal emotional, spiritual, and physical health. These will be assessed during the application process.