The European Forum for Church Multiplication (ECFX) is a regional branch of GACX, pursuing a contextualized vision to see one healthy, multiplying church for every 1,000 people on this “post-Christian” continent. It was my great privilege to participate in the 2017 event which united 154 attendees from 24 countries for the purpose of reaching people in Europe.
As an American — an outsider — some words, impressions, and themes stood out.
Europe can be characterized as a continent in crisis. Many spoke of Europe’s loss of hope, loss of identity, and loss of direction. These words caught me off guard; they stood out; they had a distinctness to them. There was a sense that the refugee crisis had changed the landscape of Europe.
Yet there is great optimism for Europe, a sense that things had “bottomed out” but that the Church is being awakened with growing hope. There is a sense that the Lord has been using the refugee crisis to reshape Europe for His purposes. From pages of personal notes and observations I highlight the following:
- A Desperation: …for hope, direction, and identity.
- A Most Positive, Encouraging Tone: There was a spirit and sense of excitement and anticipation for reaching Europe. There is resolve.
- A Young Generation: There is an entire generation of young people — in their 20’s and 30’ — aggressively picking up the mantle, charging forward for the Lord, with vigor, intent, purpose. God is calling a generation to stand up for Him. It is moving to see this.
- Unity: There is a strong heart for unity, a sense that we are stronger together than we are alone, that the mission in Europe is larger than any one organization, denomination, or leader. The Kingdom of God will be built through our unity.
- Transformation: There is a deep hunger for life transformation. It is not about simply praying a prayer or attending a service. It is about a Jesus lifestyle.
- It Starts With Me: We must understand what Jesus did for us (Colossians 1). To multiply we must be full of His Presence, hope, and joy.
- Increase in Spirituality: In Europe more people are seeking identity, certainty, and hope
The bottom line: this Forum was huge, a joyous step forward. It was full of hope. The Lord is moving in Europe. He is awakening His people, He is raising up a generation that is intent on reclaiming their land for Christ. He is using unconventional means; people are sharing Christ with refugees; refugees are coming to Christ, and sharing Christ with unsaved Europeans.
I find great hope in Europe and great expectations to see what God does between this and the next ECFX in April 2018 The Lord is looking for hearts that seek Him. A young generation is responding. I am so grateful for what He is doing.