Evangelism in Europe will be crucial once the pandemic is over, according to a church planter. A new study has revealed Covid-19 has accelerated the trend of shifting the focus of mission from global to local.
After numerous mission trips were affected by border closures, many took a more local approach, supporting Christians already in their own country or emphasising evangelism in their local communities.
Speaking to Premier, author of the report and Redcliffe College lecturer, Jim Memory said: "God is making mission more local than, perhaps, ever before.
"That is the normal working life of the everyday believer where God is doing his work, rather than the big evangelist or big missionary that goes overseas. Of course, that's still part of what mission is about. But it is not just about a world where there are people going as missionaries from anywhere to anywhere, but it is about everyone and it's about everywhere."
For Memory, the Covid-19 pandemic is "an opportunity for European churches and mission agencies to reflect deeply once again on the meaning of mission in today's world."
The report also said church planting will have a vital role in post-pandemic Europe as many "may well seek out the security of the 'known', the church buildings that remain a powerful symbol of Christian continuity and normality".
The lecturer and church planter went onto say that, even during these difficult times, there's already evidence of growth in church-planting across Europe, from Ireland to Croatia.
"Religion and conversations about God are often very difficult to have. And yet, in contrast to that, what we see is an incredible resurgence of church planting, and new evangelisation across Europe in many different countries, they have been a tremendous impetus of what goes into what God is doing in Europe today."
He concluded the report by urging churches to think of their individual context and encouraged them to pray that "God would use this time to fulfil His purposes in Britain and across Europe. God is at work and we need to face up to the challenge, but also take advantage of the opportunities this moment is giving us."
You can find the full report here.