As we are in France for the first Church Planting Networking meeting of Encompass World Partners, we first stopped in Ireland to find out more about planting churches there. Our friends there have been working this very hard soil for many years.
One of the ways that this is soil is so hard is that the Church betrayed the people there. In the USA you thought it was horrid about the stories and the Catholic Church, in Ireland it was worst and over a much longer time period of time. Like 100s of years of control over the Irish people and its government with only the truth coming out now about what had happen in the past and how it was covered up.
This has lead to an environment where if you mention the church you are not just turned off by you can feel the anger of betrayal. This ministry is very focus on relations evangelism. Which means you have to build trust through relationships before you can even talk about the message.
In our visits to their traditional churches it leaves you an impression that the church is for the dead. All of them are surrounded by graves and many have graves in the churches themselves. So pray for our Irish outreach today, so people can see the living Christ in their lives.