To declare His glory, display His grace & demonstrate His generosity

The future of the church in Sweden

I’ve been flicking through Patrick Johnstone’s The Future of the Global Church looking for clues as to the decline of the church here in Scandinavia as well as the rest of Europe. As Johnstone looks to the future he identifies five ministry challenges. See what you think:

  1. Ministry has been crippled by negativism after years of little fruit and a developing ‘minority complex.’ Where are the leaders of vision and faith?
  2. Aggressive secularists are marginalizing and even persecuting Evangelicals in particular. There is need for a holy relevance and boldness in witness to them.
  3. Declining indigenous populations are pulling in immigrants who need to be evangelised – especially Muslims. Children need to be reached – few nowadays are exposed to anything Christian.
  4. Evangelical ranks are being swollen by immigrants. All Evangelicals need to be able to work together for the re-evangelisation of Europe.
  5. Vision for missions has declined among Evangelicals in the face of a prevailing pessimism and creeping universalism. How can it be revived?

What do you think? Is Johnstone right or is there something he’s missed – mull on it over the weekend and then leave a comment.


2 responses

  1. joe newman

    certainly these all sound about right. Also many churches in sweden have become very traditional making them less gospel focussed, boring and culturally irrelevant. I wouldn’t want to go so why would an unbeliever?

    August 11, 2012 at 7:50 am

  2. Bruce Porteous

    It seems possibly very acccurate. This sounds very similar to the situation in Denmark, about which I have a bit more knowledge. Both countries have seen a generation grow up since the optimism of the seventies for creating the “perfect society”, have experienced the fruit of the permissiveness of those days, and seen social problems abound despite the unrivalled social benefit systems. Patrick Johnstone’s assessment of Denmark in the 1980s edition of Operation World was appropriate. Despite its Christian tradition, he saw it as just as much a mission field as any remote country in other less reached continents. Is the same true of Sweden today? You know more than I do. The main change since then, of course, is the large number of immigrants to both countries, which additionally must present a whole host of new challenges.

    September 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm

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