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SHINE Europe!

A Fun and Challenging Partnership

The SHINE Lifestyle:

S hare faith

H ug people

I nspire yourself

N joy fellowship

E quip others

The SHINE youth ministry is designed to help build youth movements in every country of Western Europe so that every teen will know someone who truly follows Jesus.

The SHINE leadership team is a great example of perseverance, humility and partnership.

Ed Mckell, a co-founder of SHINE, is thankful for the spreading of the movement: “Our Spanish, Portuguese and Swiss teams continued with that momentum in their home countries. We also helped launch a new ministry in Nuremberg, Germany that has continued to build into those youth and has moved to several new cities in the past 2 years.”

Recently, the Swiss leadership also decided to re-brand their youth ministry as a SHINE movement, strengthening the brand across Europe so that both teenagers and youth workers can identify with it. Sharing the same logo and name gives SHINE a higher profile in the world of brands and helps new partners know what to expect when they join.

The road to unity and closer partnership has not always been easy, but it is already giving a great return on investment.

Another SHINE co-founder, Mike Zurbrügg from Switzerland, knows well the challenges of working in an intercultural setting. He illustrates this with a story from the SummerSHINE’16 event in Malaga.

“Not all cultures are similarly organized and time-oriented. Some express themselves more directly than others,” smiles Zurbrügg. He adds, “We try to overcome those differences by showing lots of love, encouraging others and taking them as enriching experiences”. For example, everyone in the group had to show some grace regarding mealtimes and snacktimes. The youth not only overcame the time and menu differences by showing love, encouraging others and taking them as enriching experiences, but they were flexible and willing to adjust.

Patience and humor are always helpful, when dealing with intercultural partnerships. Yet, we know from the Bible that God wants us, followers of Christ, to be one and give a loving testimony to the rest of the world by accepting each other.

It was a great encouragement for the SHINE team to welcome 300 international teens to the SummerSHINE event. They came together to grow in Christ and to reach out to the city of Málaga, touching the lives of thousands while partnering with local churches.

“It was amazing to be welcomed by the local catholic churches,” says Zurbrügg. “They answered our partnership proposal with great enthusiasm, literally saying, ‘please do come and help us to reach the youth that we’ve lost contact with several years ago’”.

“It was a great encouragement to us to be working with local catholic and protestant churches," shares Ed McKell.  "We even had two Catholic priests who came with the team from Malta!"

"It was humbling to see how God is at work beyond our wildest dreams!” adds Zurbrügg.

The SHINE team continues to build into the local and national SHINE ministries and local churches, providing them with resources and inspiration to build into the lives of youth in a sustainable way. They continue to partner closely with THE FOUR movement to advance the Kingdom of God.

How it all began

SHINE movement began as Javier Garcia, our area director, prioritized high school ministry, challenging Pedro Barbosa, Mike Zurbrügg and Ed McKell to develop a youth movement across Western Europe.

A vision statement soon followed: to help build and support movements that train and empower young people to shine their light to their peers so that each generation of youth will have the opportunity to become committed followers of Jesus Christ. Starting in countries like Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland, which already had youth movements, that team began to spread the vision, develop an identity, and provide resources and support to unite Agape teenage ministry efforts.

While the first SHINE leadership event, held in 2013, involved less than 30 participants from only a few countries, SHINE Malaga 2016 brought 300+ leaders and youth from 13 countries. The SHINE brand empowers everyone, including teenagers, to see they are part of a larger movement drawing people to Christ.

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