Chris Rolfe

Why I want to help equip people

Developing leaders is top of the agenda for Geneva-based Luc Favre.

"I'm raising up leaders because I want to equip people for what they’re called to do, and my heart is to send people out into that," says Luc Favre.

Luc was from one of the two VIE churches he pastors near Geneva, where he is excited to see church members developing their ministries, and blessing others in the local community and around the world./p>

It’s a far cry from where the church was seven years ago, when he took over as pastor.

"When I came here in 2013 the church had 25 people left in it after a split. I had to rebuild it and raise new leaders.

"Things are going well and we now have 90 people including children. We have one church on two sites, as I lead another church 25 miles away that I planted in 2002, and I have a great team that helps me do that.

"Last year in the middle of the lockdown we launched a Spanish-speaking congregation, so we are now one church in two sites with different languages.

"We are developing leaders and are now working to start a Portuguese-speaking congregation in the next year."

To raise church members into leadership, Luc encourages people to bring ideas which are on their hearts, and he and his team help develop them.

"We sent one guy to pioneer a project in Réunion Island near Madagascar, helping the poor, and start a charity to feed and help homeless people. He has now been ordained and has a vision to grow this work on and around the island."

But just as Luc is helping others develop their ideas, he has one of his own he is equally keen to launch.

"We are launching a training school – the VIE Academy – for people from every nation with a vision to influence for the kingdom of God wherever they are.

"It won’t just be for leaders. Our goal is to equip people so they will understand that whether they are in business, sport, the arts, economics, industry or farming, they will see the world as their mission field.

"VIE Académie will target 18-30 year-olds who want to take a gap year, learn French, and get equipped for the kingdom.

"This has been in my heart for ten years, and we’re looking for people to help us with that – people who have a heart for missions, for France and for church planting."

Ultimately, whether it’s his church members’ ideas, his own, in France or around the world, Luc’s aim is the same: "ministry is about your vision, but even more so it’s about God’s.

"I want to equip people for what they are called to do."

Conference centre

Luc’s church also doubles as a conference centre, and he is keen to welcome other Elim churches and ministries to enjoy its facilities.

Situated on the outskirts of Geneva, the Centre Vie et Foi in Ambilly boasts an auditorium that seats 1,000 people, a dining room for 250 and meeting rooms which can accommodate between ten and 60 people.

While the centre doesn’t offer its own accommodation, it is just 100 metres away from four hotels. And a tram stop built 50 metres away last December, has made the venue even more accessible; it's just 20 minutes from the centre of Geneva and 25 minutes by car from the airport.

"It’s a great place in a beautiful region in the centre of Europe," says Luc.

"We can host conferences, seminaries, concerts and other events for 30 to 1,000 people, and we organise these events to bring blessing to people.

"If Elim ministries or churches are looking to host international events or conferences they’d be welcome to come here, and we’d be happy to host them."

Luc's story

Luc found faith at the age of 17 when he saw his best friend’s life change after he became a Christian.

"I’d grown up in a Christian family and had everything – friends, money, a career in banking mapped out for the next ten years, a good family, a brother and sisters – but when I saw the change in my friend’s life something changed in me and

I started to attend a youth group.

"I realised I had everything but I could have more, and I wanted more, so I told Jesus I wanted to give my life to him."

Quickly feeling a call into full-time ministry, Luc went to Bible school at the age of 21. From there, a seven-month stint in London to improve his English led him to join a pastoral team, and from there his ministry as a pastor began.

"I was a youth pastor after I’d been in the UK, then I started leading my own church in 2002.

"I’ve always had a heart to plant churches and I have had great support from Elim while I was in the UK."

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