After calling Europe home for so many years, I often get a little riled-up when people make blanket generalizations about the spiritual state of such a diverse & complex region of the world.
I’m no stranger to these all-too-often words rattling off the lips of well-meaning Christians: “Oh, Europe is a VERY dark place spiritually.”
The reason this lights a fire in me (pun intended as you’ll see if you keep reading…) is because actually Europe is a place of dark AND light. Just like America.
But from my own experience working in a breadth of denominationally different churches across varying regions of Europe, I find the difference between European & American spirituality to be subtle, nuanced.
America is like one giant beam of light & color… so much so that oftentimes the bigger picture of the gospel & true Christianity gets distorted into one mega light which at a distance can actually seem faded, colorless, & bland. Sometimes from afar it even seems grey.
But in Europe, the light places shine out as beacons in a dark sky. Where there is light, it is very light. There is a huge & dynamic contrast of dark & light, as opposed to a numbing palette of grey.
So my passion in mobilizing people to serve & build God’s Kingdom in Europe is not from an angle of “Oh, Europe is a very dark place spiritually.” My aim is to gather more people in the light places to diffuse light in greater ways. The more we empower those light places (churches that are thriving, alive, & well), the more ground the light covers because the beacon becomes a stronger, more intense wash of light in a night sky.
“The light shines in the darkness, & the darkness has not overcome it.” ~ John 1:5