Launch is a comfort-defying program designed to propel aspiring missionaries into a lifetime of ministry. You’ll team up with long-term missionaries working among North African Muslim immigrants in southern France. And under their mentorship, you’ll get hands-on experience while also receiving linguistic, cultural and ministry education.
Spend two years abroad with the original Launch program, or jump into a new culture for two weeks through Launch Intensive. Either way, we’ll help you explore God’s heart for the lost and take solid steps toward a missionary future.Talk to a Missions Coach
Launch: the Original Two-Year Missions Adventure
The best way to learn is context. That’s why Launch takes you into the classroom and out onto the mission field. This two-year program is set in southern France, where many unreached Muslims are able to hear the Gospel for the first time.
Launch incorporates language, cultural and ministry education into a semiformal, hands-on ministry experience. During your first year, we’ll help you find your ministry niche. Then we’ll guide you through your second year as you dive deeper into your ministry and develop the skills to succeed in it.
Unreached People Groups
The number of Muslim immigrants in Europe is growing by the day. Many of these people come from unreached people groups and nations where it’s either illegal or practically impossible to share the Gospel. Missionaries in France have a great opportunity to share Christ with these unreached people — who can then share Him with others back home through their natural connections. Launch primarily focuses on immigrants from North African nations, but participants will also get to minister to Middle Easterners.
- Only 1 percent of France’s population identifies as evangelical.
- Muslim immigrant groups in France have an even lower percentage that claims to be Christians of any type.
- There are 10 Arab people groups from North Africa and the Middle East that equal at least 3 million people. Of these, less than 1 percent call themselves Christian.
- Seven North African Berber groups have a population of 1.3 million people, with only a slightly higher percentage of Christians.
- On top of those, there are 14 other Muslim people groups equaling 1.3 million people with similar percentages of Christians.
- Joshua Project estimates that 5.6 million people from Muslim people groups live in France. Others estimate this number to be 7 million.
Living in a new culture pushes us to the edge of our comfort zone. It challenges our assumptions and our preconceived ideas. If living in a new culture would push you to the edge of your comfort zone, what do you think living between two new cultures would do? Living in France and working among North African immigrants brings twice the expectations, twice the challenges — but also twice the opportunities.
By leaving your comfort zone behind, you will not only learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible, but you will also put yourself in a position to deeply learn about and minister to a new culture. The good news is, comfort zones are like rubber bands: If you stretch them, they eventually get used to the “new normal.” Lose your comfort, and you’ll find it in many more situations!
Reading books can only take you so far. To really know a culture, you must dig deep yourself. Living in a culture, asking questions, learning the language, observing peculiarities is what awaits you with Launch. You’ll use observation, guided questions and case studies to gain knowledge as well as a feel for the culture. As you learn, you’ll get a firmer grasp on the culture and on the people, helping you minister and plant churches with excellence. Your research may not only help you, but it may also grow the wider missions community’s understanding of the Muslim immigrant population in France.
Finding You Niche
Ground your God-given passion and vision for reaching unreached people groups in reality as you discover how to use your gifts and callings for the Kingdom.
The first years of a long-term career are often spent adjusting expectations to the reality on the ground and figuring out how best to participate in the work while maintaining one’s God-given vision. You may find that your plans don’t fit with your team’s or aren’t applicable within the culture. With Launch, you have the opportunity and challenge of finding your niche during your internship, which you can then develop in your internship and in future ministry.
When you return, you will have more than a foggy idea of what your future holds. You will have put research in to what is needed and how YOU fit. You will have found your niche, the way God is going to use you in this new place!
If you are looking for a next step to push you toward long-term service, you need an internship for your university or seminary program, or you are looking for a way to better understand the challenges of working in a Muslim context, the two-week Launch Intensive may be for you.
Set in a North African city, Launch Intensive uses cultural immersion to amplify the learning process. You’ll live with host families from the target culture and engage in everyday events (daily meals, family activities, etc.) to help you learn the language and culture.
Launch Intensive is not only a short-term missions opportunity, but also an educational opportunity for the growth of your mind and heart! You’ll study the local Arabic dialect through daily class time with native teachers. You’ll also have daily cultural sessions to learn methods for better understanding and engaging with the local culture.
Just because Launch Intensive is a short-term program, that doesn’t mean it will have a short-term impact. Daily language and cultural instruction will build on top of the immersion experience in order to create greater learning potential. This program is not for the faint of heart. Get ready to be pushed toward greater cultural engagement and understanding.