In Mark 16:15, Jesus told His disciples to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Every place in the world and every person in the world needs to hear the gospel message. That includes the continent of Europe.
This past January, Sam Quinn, Micah Rastelli, and I taught a session called “Why Europe?” Here are some of the reasons we put together for why young people should consider giving their lives to help share the gospel in Europe.
1. Because Europe is the 3rd most populous continent in the world with about 750 million people (11% of the world population).
- Europe is is the second-most densely populated continent in the world. Asia has 258 people/sq mile; Europe has 188 people/sq mile; and Africa has 104 people/sq mile.
- Europe is made up of 50 countries with Russia being the largest.
- There are over 60 cities in Europe with more than 1 million people. The largest cities are Moscow, Istanbul, London, Paris, and Madrid.
- All of the 750 million people in Europe are people for whom Christ died.
2 Peter 2:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.“
2. Because of Europe’s influence on the rest of the world.
- “Western civilization” was birthed in Europe.
- Since the 1400s, Europe has played a significant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas, almost all of Africa, Oceania, and the majority of Asia.
- Certainly, Europe’s influence has waned since the two world wars, but it still has the potential for worldwide influence.
- With 1/3 of the world’s wealth, Europe has the largest economy of all the continents ($32.7 trillion compared to $27.1 trillion in North America).
- Many places around the world have many people of European descent. North America, Australia, and New Zealand are predominately ethnically European. South America also has considerable amounts of people of European descent as do certain countries in Africa.
- Europe is home to the highest number of migrants of all global regions (over 70 million people). Migration has accounted for 85% of Europes total population growth
- The various connections Europe has with the rest of the world and the significant financial resources should be leveraged to make it a strong sending continent again like it was in days gone by. Many major missionary movements began in Europe (ie. Moravians, William Carey, Hudson Taylor, etc.), and there is the opportunity to do the same again.
1 Thessalonians 1:8 says, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
3. Because most Europeans are not evangelical Christians.
- There have been Christians in Europe since the first century. Many of Paul’s epistles were addressed to Christians living in places in Europe.
- Like most places, the amount of Christians can greatly vary depending on how you define a Christian.
- Some estimate that 76% of European’s consider themselves “Christians” but most of these would be Catholic or Orthodox.
- Operation World estimates that only 2.5% of the population of Europe are evangelical Christians which according to them is the lowest percentage of all the continents.
- There are many false churches and denominations in Europe.
- Secularism, atheism, and agnosticism are quite entrenched in Europe.
- The second most populous religion in Europe is Islam (6%). This is projected to rise to 8% by 2030.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
4. Because Europe has a real shortage of laborers.
- Europe has been used quite a bit in the past to carry the gospel to other nations and, through media, it is much easier to get access to the gospel than in other places.
- Despite such a past and remnants of faithful churches and believers, there is a real shortage of laborers in Europe. It would surprise most North Americas to know how few evangelical churches there are across the continent and how weak many of those churches are.
- There are still many places without any evangelical church and there are many churches that lack strong leadership.
Matthew 9:36-38 says, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
5. Because of what the Lord is doing and will do if more laborers go.
- Because of the challenges of Europe, a lot of negativity has developed about the continent of Europe.
- There are certainly challenges to the spread of the gospel, but there are many opportunities as well.
- In many places across the continent, you will find people whose lives have been changed by the gospel.
- Many more people would get saved, many more churches could be started, and more lives will be changed if more people would just go.
1 Corinthians 16:8–9 says, “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”