Kontaktmission is a Europe-based, decentralized, rapidly-growing, flexible, and friendly mission movement that wants to help you find out how you can get involved!
Okay, let’s try that again without the marketing language! First of all, it’s pronounced “Contact Mission,” which is also a great translation of the German Kontaktmission.
Our earliest history:
Imagine weekend evangelism road-trips in Volkswagen minibuses… Christian college students singing on street corners… Scripture calendars passed out door-to-door in quaint Austrian villages. This was a horrible way to do evangelism in Austrian villages, it turns out. But that’s how we started! Kontaktmission began over 35 years ago right in the middle of Europe, with German and Swiss young people driving into Austria to do evangelistic outreach. Maybe the most important fact to notice here is that we were multi-national (3 countries) and thoroughly European from the very beginning. And still today you will notice both that multi-national theme (we call it “transnational”) and our European heartbeat throughout most everything we do.
With our international headquarters in Germany (our US offices are in Humboldt, Tennessee), we are now serving in 44 different countries with missionaries from 39 different nations. We launched Kontaktmission in the US in 2000 as a platform for sending American missionaries and involving American churches and individuals. Every year, KM-international and KM USA continue to grow in all key areas… more missionaries, new countries, increasingly diverse projects and ministries. We’d love for you to come over and see for yourself!
You may be wondering…
how all this multi-cultural stuff plays out practically. Well, honestly, all the “transnationality” can sometimes be a bit of a pain in the neck. What language do we pray in during leadership team meetings? Do we translate the prayers? What culture’s practices take the lead when writing up all-mission Internet usage policy? Well, we’re still working out some of those questions. But the fact is, also very honestly, that this international model is working, and it’s exciting. We see God blessing it over and over again.
Because our international missionary team is spread out across so many lands, and also because it just makes good mission sense, our leadership recognizes the need for local decision-making. While our missionaries have solid support from their sending agency leadership, they are not micro-managed from back at some office. We believe our missionaries should live out their callings, and they are given broad freedom to do so.
American efforts in the European mix
To understand how Americans fit in this very European team, maybe it will help you to think about how Kontaktmission approaches a new project for a new country. Kontaktmission leadership first searches for and researches the best church planters, ideally local/national ones, in that country. We then work together with those local believers to do church planting and strengthening, and we send missionaries to work with them. By working this way we can put Americans (or others) on teams with nationals from the very beginning. It helps, it works, and yes, it makes a whole lot of sense.
Wherever we work, we use the principle of forming networks of believers, churches, and ministries for the purpose of efficiently starting new churches. Networking like this is especially important in Europe, where there are relatively very few believers, and they need to stick together and work together.
All this at least partly explains why we like to describe ourselves as a “networked mission movement” even more than just a “mission agency.” It’s because it is not just about what KM can do all by itself, but rather it’s about what God is doing across the continent of Europe. Being able to partner with other European believers and European groups allows the Americans among our teams to successfully plant churches in regions few Americans have.
Your role in all this
Though we started out with those weekend college group trips to Austria back in 1979 with very humble ideas and results, especially the last 20 years have seen truly powerful growth. And now, the same way Paul saw his supporting church in Philippi as “partners with him in the Gospel,” we want to partner with you, American churches and individuals who have the vision and the calling to impact the least Christian continent for Christ! (That’s Europe, by the way. Just ask if you want to know the exact statistics behind that ranking.)
Values we live by… you too?
Our God is alive, and the world is a dynamic place, so all kinds of things keep on changing, both in the people groups we are called to reach with the Gospel and in the churches we work with around the world. Kontaktmission’s leadership is committed to always keeping ourselves in the heart of where God is taking things and to meeting head-on the challenges the church is facing in a rapidly evolving world. This means we are committed to values like flexibility and adaptability, and we rely heavily on the up-to-speed expertise of our missionaries and local leaders in their various locations.
More about KM: