Posted by Tim on April 4th, 2011
Despite the prevalent perception that Europe considers God is dead, and that churches are in terminal decline, there is much going on in Europe for us to be excited about. Many postmodern young Europeans have a willingness to explore their spirituality and engage with God in a way that would puzzle the preceding two generations, who have mainly felt that Christianity is increasingly irrelevant and discredited. A new generation however, being largely unchurched, has no such reservations and is often interested in the Christian faith while being untouched by the cynicism of their predecessors.
The upshot of this is that there is a great deal of evangelism, mission and church-planting going on right across Europe. Much of this is carried out by small mission organisations, simple churches, independent mission workers and informal networks. Often focussed tightly at specific groups – young people, bikers, Moslem-background believers, ethnic minorities – these many, diverse operations add up to an evangelistic explosion across the continent. While established denominations and sending agencies also see significant growth, diversity and informality have been particularly effective. More evangelistic activity is taking place now than at any time over the last 50 years.
The result is that the picture of evangelism in Europe has become so localised and complex that no single person or organization has an overall picture of all the developments, initiatives, networks or new organizations even in an individual country, still less across Europe as a whole. For this reason Syzygy is pleased to be co-operating with Eurochurch.net, Nova Research Centre and Springdale College: Together in Mission to undertake research that will identify the significant missional organisations and networks functioning within the nations and across the continent of Europe, and determine in what ways they can be more effective either by being part of an existing network or by tacit co-operation with other networks.
It is our conviction that this information is crucial to academics, church leaders, networks and agencies for forging strategic alliances which will facilitate the work of mission throughout the continent. The objective is to produce a comprehensive directory of all churches, agencies and individuals involved in church planting in Europe. That knowledge will be used to form a map of activity which will then be made widely available to denominations, churches, organisations and individuals who would find it helpful to know what it happening.
The preliminary results of our research will be presented at a seminar at Hope II in Budapest in May and there will continue to be follow-up consultations in a variety of European locations to determine with other participants how better to foster cooperation between the various agencies, individuals and groupings involved in this massive task of taking the good news back to the least reached continent.
If you are involved in any way in European missions and are willing to spend just five minutes completing an online form to help with our research, please contact me on email@example.com.