Because we’re pretty young, seeing behind-the-scenes ministry has been tremendously important. Knowing everyday church ministry has been huge, and we’ll be able to apply what we’re learning here at All Shores to our ministry overseas.
–Luke & Kayla Paraventi
Residency isn’t just for the American Church, but few residencies cater to those called beyond North America. All Shores Wesleyan, located in Spring Lake, Michigan, is among the first to offer a missionary residency.
Intercultural outreach is at the forefront of All Shores’ mission. “It was a great cultural fit for our church,” said Thad Spring, Outreach Pastor at All Shores. “We’re trying to become more educated on global missions; Luke and Kyla have been a great help in that process. They attended global engagement classes and brought church members along with them. Because of that, the church has seen global outreach in action.”
It was also a great fit for Luke and Kyla, who recently graduated from Oakland University in Michigan. Luke is working with the outreach ministry, including jail ministry and administrative work, while Kyla is a youth-ministry department administrator.
“The best part of our job is seeing how God has provisioned us well for where we are. Especially since we didn’t go to a Christian university, it’s been important to see how ministry functions day-to-day. The church has taken us under their wing, and residency has opened up new doors we never would’ve been able to imagine,” said Luke.
Luke and Kyla’s position gives them access to great coaching (from global ministry leaders and All Shores’ staff), thriving relationships with the congregation (through host families and life coaches), and access to a network of churches to help raise support and awareness for their ministry.
Pastor Thad has some advice for churches thinking about launching a missionary residency: “It’s easier than you think, and the impact is greater than you’d imagine. Even small churches could have missionaries stay with them for a couple years. That small church would extend their ministry impact across the world.”
All Shores is seeking new candidates for their residency program. Here’s who they are looking for next: “We’re looking for someone who has been recently called to global missions through Global Partners. We’re focused on three places around the world: Europe, Turkic-Arabic, and Asia. We have a Bhutanese congregation that meets in our area, made up of several refugee families who emigrated from Nepal. If called to Nepal, a new resident missionary could begin learning culture, language, and building relationships with families in Nepal before they leave America,” said Thad Spring.
If you’d like to hear more about Luke and Kyla and support them in their journey to the Czech Republic, click here.
Ethan Linder is a staff writer for Education and Clergy Development. A fresh graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, Ethan and his wife Sarah currently live in Marion, Indiana–where Ethan is pursuing a Masters’ Degree in Christian Ministries from IWU, and Sarah is a teacher. When he’s not writing, Ethan enjoys reading, listening to music, studying cultures, running, and following the Philadelphia Phillies.