Europe (MNN) — Barna Research Group just released a summary of faith findings among U.S. Millennials and Gen Z. The results aren’t great. Spiritual maturity is not a priority for most young people surveyed, and over 20-percent of Millennials think it’s wrong to share your faith.
Helen Williams of World Missionary Press saw a completely different scene in Europe.
“[In Finland] there were vibrant young people from Helsinki, as well as from Africa, totally involved in the worship service [and] eager to serve,” she recounts. “In Sweden, there were several young men and a couple of young ladies that were involved in the street ministry.”
Passing the baton
Earlier this summer, Williams met many young Gospel workers while visiting WMP partners in Finland, Norway, Romania, and Sweden. Some partners she knew only through email.
“I met people that I have been contact with by email for 20 years here at World Missionary Press,” Williams says. “[People who] have been serving the Lord and receiving our booklets, sending them out, giving them out and sharing them.”
Like a relay runner hands the baton to his or her teammate, older generations will one day leave ministry in the hands of younger successors. As Williams fellowshipped with partners and visited their churches, she noticed the enthusiasm of younger believers. They weren’t waiting to take up the mantle of ministry – they were already active in service.
“We met young street preachers,” she says. “Particularly in Sweden, we met young people out on the street just sharing [the Gospel] and challenging people.”
Williams says God is raising up a new mission-minded generation in Europe. “We saw commitment,” she says of European believers, referencing articles like this which describe declining church participation among U.S. Millennials and Gen Z.
“I think that’s purely of the Spirit and genuine. It comes from the Lord touching the heart that’s willing to yield.”
In Romania, for example, “there were young families that were willing to give up their homes and move and take on the challenge [of] reaching Romanians in a different context, a different kind of living situation,” she recalls.
“It was just encouraging for us to see that there is an interest (among young people) because… we can’t always do this (missions work).”
As described here, WMP prints and mails Scripture booklets that believers can use to share the Gospel. “Our booklets only cost about three-and-a-half to four cents to print, so even $1 will provide 25 booklets. In many cases, more than one person reads a booklet,” Williams says.
“There’s nothing too small that you could send that we couldn’t use.”
“This is just part of what we’re trying to do in Europe,” Williams adds. “We’re also looking to set up a sub-distribution point perhaps in Italy, or maybe in Portugal.”
While donating helps produce and ship WMP booklets, “our first request is always for prayer,” Williams says. Praise God for opening spiritual doors throughout Europe. Ask Him to equip and encourage young believers as they make His truth known.
Pray WMP leaders will have wisdom and discernment as they solidify plans and make decisions.
“We need a lot of wisdom right now. We don’t want to just barge in because it looks like a good idea.”
Header image courtesy of Nina Strehl via Unsplash.