Introducing leaders in the EBF: Lise Kyllingstad

Introducing leaders in the EBF: Lise Kyllingstad

EBF press service - April 26, 2017

Lise is from Norway. She worked as the Mission Coordinator for the Youth Department and the Baptist Union of Norway from 2001 till 2009. Since January 2015 she has been working as the Mission Director. She also served in the EBF Youth Committee in the beginning of the 2000s.

Lise, you are the Mission Director of the Baptist Union of Norway. What is your responsibility, and what are the joys and challenges of your work?

My responsibility is to coordinate our partnerships in the area of mission. We don’t have missionaries ourselves but we support the local churches in several countries. Our main partner is in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have partnerships also in Sierra Leone, in Thailand, and we support some church planters through the EBF Mission Partnerships programme, and one church planter through EBM International.

My role is to follow up with our partners. We also receive some support from the Norwegian government, and this requires a lot of planning, reporting, budgeting and accounting. I also inform the Baptist churches of Norway about the work that we are involved in.

The joys of my work are to meet so many wonderful and engaged people, and to see that the work that we support is fruitful. The most challenging part is to make our partners understand all the difficult paperwork that is demanded from our government in order to receive support.

You are also very active on a local church level - you are part of a church plant in the centre of Oslo. What is special about this church plant?

We wanted to start a church which is perhaps a little different from traditional churches. We call it a ‘home church’ as we gather in homes in small groups. We have worship services every second Sunday when we gather all the home churches.

We are an international church, having people from many different countries coming to our services. The Lord has enabled us to get in contact with refugees who had to flee from the Middle East because they had changed their religion and become Christians. They have a strong testimony. Some of them belong to our church and come to our services. They invite others too, so we even have Muslims coming to our services, listening to the preaching.
We are so excited to see what God has for us in Oslo.

Oslo is a multicultural city and especially the area where I live, most of the inhabitants are immigrants. Our desire was to do something more than just gather as a church. We wanted to do something that makes a difference in someone’s life, and to make an impact on the society. In a special way, God showed us the backyard of the compound where I live, and almost three years ago, we started activities for children there. Every Wednesday we spend time there from six to half past seven, playing with children. We get to know them, and we get to know their parents. We have organized parties there for more than 120 children. It is very challenging but also very interesting to see what God is doing through our church plant.

What have you learned through the church plant?

I think I have learned that God wants me to engage locally for my neighbours. We have talked much about that Church is Jesus Christ in the neighbourhood, and this is what we want to be – we want to embody Jesus in our neighbourhood.