Category Archives: Europe

-Taking Jesus into the Marketplace

English: A Toyota Prius hybrid taxi in New Yor...

                                              (Image via Wikipedia)

Europe is full of huge empty cathedrals and most people there think of Christianity as something from the past.

In strategizing over how to take Jesus back into that continent, Global Advance is trying to advance the faith through Marketplace ministry hoping to make the church relevant to young Europeans.

Here’s an article about their efforts in Germany:

“Global Advance Trains Germans for Marketplace Ministry”

According to Jonathan Shibley, president of Global Advance:

"We really felt like it was a sovereign time for the Lord to pull together people during an economic crisis, because that’s where our faith comes out and shines."

"Three years ago, we were challenged at Global Advance to begin to look at Europe much like we would other developing countries: as an underserved region of the world, and almost an unreached region of the world to some extent."

"People are hungry spiritually, but they don’t know what they’re hungry for. So the gospel’s got to be demonstrated in a fresh way. So many people associate religion with empty cathedrals. They haven’t made the connect with their faith and the relevance to their personal lives. Somehow the church has got to become relevant again."

In talking about the recent conference Shibley concluded

"It was just a wonderful time to bring a wide variety of people from different denominations, different backgrounds, and also different industries together under one common cause—and that’s to see Christ lifted up through the workplace in Europe."

Response: I believe that marketplace ministry is also part of God’s heart for transforming America and particularly the American church. For too long American Christians have lived separate lives dividing the sacred from the secular and profane. 

Most of us Christians spend a majority of our lives in the marketplace, in schools, jobs, or in businesses. Yet we mostly keep the most important things of our lives separate from that experience, our families and our faith.  For too long, American Christians have separated their working lives from their faith, viewing work as a necessary evil to pay the bills. Not really the ‘spiritual’ part of our lives but the secular.

You can see where this has gotten us when well known church-going evangelical business leaders end up in jail over corrupt business practices. One famous energy company in Texas comes to mind as an example. The CEO was a deacon in his church and now he’s in prison.

It wasn’t always that way in America nor was it that way in Europe. The protestant work ethic transformed the West. All thing were done as unto Christ. But it was in America that religion and business would go hand in hand to build up a new nation that would lead the world for an entire century. However, somewhere in the last 50 years or so, Christianity became something that primarily happened just in a church for one hour on Sunday or two if your Pentecostal or Charismatic.

Again, it wasn’t always that way. One of the greatest revivals in America happened in businesses in New York City in the 19th century just before the civil war. Over 50,000 businessmen were converted to Christ and they transformed the entire American economy for the next 50 years until America became a leading world economic power.

It is time once more for American Christians to put it all together and live our entire lives under the banner of Christ including the marketplaces where we spend most of our time and efforts. I believe that the marketplace is the key to the next major revival that will transform the American church and change it into a relevant and dynamic witness to a secular American culture which has abandoned God and the very foundation it was originally built upon.            *Top

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-Knocking on the Door of Europe?

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Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. –Rev.3:20  (ESV) 

Jesus is currently knocking on the door of every nation. A great harvest is taking place all around the world except in the Western nations, particularly Europe. Many have even given up on Europe and forecast that it will be Muslim within a generation.

But wait a second. We have previously written about a current move of God among the Roma people (Gypsies) and even in Hungary and now here are two stories about folks coming to Christ in France and Portugal:

Palau Leads Historic Gospel Campaign in France 

Portugal Sees Fruit of Evangelism Efforts

Both of these examples come from evangelistic groups (Palau and Billy Graham Evangelistic Associations) which traditionally have been involved in larger meetings and campaigns but in this case their efforts are on a much smaller scale but the results are remarkable nevertheless.

Is the door of Europe finally creeping open? One can only hope and pray. In both of these cases the Holy Spirit is doing his part for sure.            *Top

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-Move of God in Hungary and Among the Gypsies

An enlargeable basic map of Hungary

(Hungary via Wikipedia)

From all accounts, Europe is going the wrong direction when it comes to the ongoing world harvest –at least Western Europe.

However, Eastern Europe is becoming a different story. We have previously written about the current revival among the Gypsies or Roma. Now here’s a link to J.Lee Grady’s latest article:

Growing Spiritual Hunger in Hungary

Grady begins his article with this observation:

The passion for revival I saw in eastern Europe this week rivaled what I have seen in Africa or Asia.

Then he goes on to describe the current ongoing move of God among the Gypsies and Hungarians which he was able to observe during his visit. He winds up his article with this very encouraging assessment:

Blind eyes opening … in Europe? Three-hour worship sessions … in Europe? Churches filled with teenagers and young adults … in Europe? It’s all happening in Hungary, a nation that borders seven other European countries—and could affect them all. I’m not writing off this region. What I saw this week in Hungary was enough to convince me that a new spiritual trend has begun.

Well worth reading and guaranteed to bless everyone looking for revival.            *Top

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-Roma Revival: Gypsies are Coming to Christ in Europe

Gypsy dancers / Bailarinas zíngaras (III)

Christianity Thrives among ‘Gypsies’ Despite Prejudice(Image by . SantiMB . via Flickr)

Here’s an interesting article from Christianity Today about a little known revival going on among a controversial people spread all across Europe:

Christianity Thrives among ‘Gypsies’ Despite Prejudice

Thousands of the Roma people called ‘gypsies’ with a reputation for roving, thievery, and deception are coming to Christ in droves and have been for years.

According to one Roma pastor, John Boyd who is part of an Assemblies of God ministry to the Roma People:

"Most people still hate Gypsies, especially in France. [Yet] revival hasn’t stopped. God is calling Gypsies all around the world."

Pentecostal Christianity continues to spread among the Roma. In France alone among the 500,000 or so there at least 200,000 have been converted to Christ.

The ministry among the Roma has been successful because the evangelists translate the Gospel and teach the Bible in the Romani language making it more understandable. According to Thomas Acton, a professor of Romani studies at the University of Greenwich:

"As if God were a Gypsy. The Romani churches have nativized the gospel. It’s not a foreign ideology; it’s the gospel that has taken on Romani colors. When you hear [a] Romani translation of the Bible, it sounds like it was written yesterday."

The Roma that were recently kicked out of France are now actually reaching out to the Romanian communities with their new found faith.  Beni Lup, an attorney and regional director of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries has observed the Roma sharing their faith at a recent Roma Christian music festival held in Sibiu, Romania:

"All the Gypsies had boxes of literature, and they go to Romanians and say, ‘See, the people in France kick us out, but Jesus sent us to give you this Good News of the gospel.’

"[Roma] tell me, ‘We are known as people who steal and people who deceive others. Now we want people to see our testimony, and then our life will be different.’ "

Response: This is an incredible story of the Gospel transforming a people right before our very eyes. Not exactly the sort of thing that you will read about in the regular media which seems to be fixated on everything going wrong.

One thing that the Christianity Today article doesn’t mention is the role of healings, Spiritual Gifts, and signs and wonders in bringing this very superstitious people to Christ. It is a ‘power encounter’ that is winning this people over not the traditional anemic Christianity in Europe.

The regular European Christians won’t have anything to do with this people. This revival was started by Pentecostal missionaries reaching out to the Gypsy communities.   

This story gives me hope for Europe which otherwise seems to be headed towards secularism and Islam. May this be just the beginning for a new Revival to sweep across all of Europe once more changing all of those dreary demographics of doom for the future of Christianity in Europe.            *Top

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