For the past 175 years, Southern Baptist missionaries have been sharing the gospel all over the world. While the Great Commission remains the same, the world around us is quickly changing. Advancement in technology, cultural shifts and alternate world views challenge missionaries to learn new strategies to reach the lost. Your gift will provide IMB missionaries in Europe with continuing education in advanced theological studies, cultural training and innovative gospel engagement strategies. This ongoing training is imperative for the future of missions!
Here’s one example of how your gift will equip missionaries:
Preston and Karen Pearce have served more than 25 years as missionaries in Europe, but they are still learning new ways to make their ministries more effective. The Pearces have always focused on literate people who learn through the written word. But cultural and global changes over the past few decades have changed that focus across Europe. With the flood of refugees from Africa and the Middle East and a new generation of men and women brought up in the digital age, many people now require or desire a different kind of learning—one that is orality based.
Preston is the Theological Education Strategist for Europe, and he understands the need to incorporate these oral methods into gospel teaching, even in formal settings such as church services. He and Karen also work with refugees and see a great need for trauma healing in their ministry. They recently attended a New Hope training to help meet both of these needs. New Hope is an orality-based trauma healing program developed and taught by IMB workers. It was their first experience with orality-based training.
The 4-day intensive course taught Preston and Karen how to help trauma victims through Bible storying, healing exercises, learning activities, one-on-one sharing and prayer. They found the training not only very useful for ministry to refugees, but also v
With 810 million people, 51 sovereign states and 200 spoken languages, Europe is rich in diversity and character. These distinct cultures create a continent of global influence through language, politics, finance, fashion, and food. Though diverse, the peoples of Europe do have one thing in common—more than 98% do not follow Jesus.
Instead of seeing Europe’s decidedly post-Christian culture as a hindrance, IMB teams see the potential of what God wants to do on and through this influential continent. Not only do Europeans need the hope of the gospel, making it a primary place for ministry, but the global reach of its cities also makes it a strategic place as well. Immigrants comprise more than 15% of the population of gateway cities such as London, Paris, Madrid and Vienna.
Through dreaming big and taking faith-filled risks, IMB teams are connecting with European nationals, sharing the gospel and training local leaders. Their aim is to develop strong local leadership in every city and province who will lead biblically faithful and reproducing churches. Churches that plant new healthy churches will send the gospel to the nations of the world from every borough, town and village of the beautifully diverse continent of Europe.