As we look back on the year of ministry (download the 2016 Annual Ministry report), we are grateful to see the signs of God at work in the lives of people all over the world. At the same time, we are looking ahead with anticipation to 2017 as we seek to launch, grow and sustain gospel movements to revive and transform the spiritual landscape of Europe.
Western Europe—the home of the Reformation and the nexus of the the worldwide Christian movement during the 17th-19th century—is now distinctly post-Christian. The number of people who self-identify as committed followers of Jesus is at an all-time low; in the UK, one of our focus countries, the percentage of the population that attends a church is in the low single digits. Areas that have been a source of global missionary momentum for centuries are now a legitimate focus for missional efforts.
In the UK, Serbia, and Italy, where a vibrant Christian presence is hard to find, the groundwork is being laid through prayer to prepare the way for revival and for a newly-awakened Church. We are committed to launching new teams in each of these countries next year, to build upon that work of prayer and see gospel movements launched across the European continent.
Here is how we plan to do it:
Train European Leaders to Catalyze Disciple Making Movements (DMM)
CRM will work to start gospel movements among those unreached and untouched by existing local churches by developing a network of “hubs” across Europe, starting with one in the UK. Led by nationals, these hubs will focus on finding, training, and releasing leaders with apostolic calling, training on DMM processes, partnering with local churches and ministries, and modeling evangelism and disciple making on the ground.
Develop Emerging Leaders to Launch Into Cross-Cultural Ministry
Through a program designed to extend across European borders, a team of emerging leaders will be equipped with the necessary tools, development, and mentoring they need to launch into life-long cross-cultural ministry. They will gain valuable experience as they help a new generation to authentically connect with Jesus, create viable and sustainable communities of the Body that will grow and multiply, and develop leadership that facilitates these movements.
Network and Equip Existing Leaders to Maximize Effectiveness
Many existing Christian leaders in Europe hold the vision to reach their countries but they face cultural opposition, often paying a heavy price for their commitment to follow Jesus. They are isolated, and have no support or training to help them fulfill their calling. In 2017 CRM will focus on developing a network of these leaders, providing needed equipping and training, and connecting them to others with similar vision, in order to strengthen the movement that God is already building and to birth fresh expressions of Church and Disciple Making Movements.
Would you consider a special year-end gift to support our efforts to open new countries and teams and join God in reclaiming Europe for the Kingdom? Your generosity makes it possible for us to launch these new teams, equip and deploy new staff, and invest in the critical systems that support this 2017 project.