When a person’s, a community’s, or a country’s stability is put in question, when they find the rocks upon which they used to find security have been swept away by unforeseen circumstances, they often start to look around for other lines of security upon which to hold and find their foundation. Put another way, trials and tragedy often lead us to search for something of more meaning and power that we cannot find in ourselves. Many people in Greece find themselves in just this situation; embroiled in economic, geopolitical and cultural upheaval, they are looking for meaning and peace amidst a world that seems chaotic and out of control.
Spiritual Openness in the Midst of Difficulty
We recently sent a LEAD Team into the city of Athens to conduct a feasibility study to determine if the city was a good choice to send a church planter. The honest conclusion sent back from the team is that the city seems open and ready for an English-speaking international church, but that the road may be hard and the pastor must be willing to take up this call with a steadfastness that might not be required in other locations. The realities of an entrenched Greek Orthodox Church and a volatile economic situation mean that any church planting effort will face challenges and an uphill struggle.
However, what the LEAD Team also experienced was a spiritual openness amongst many pockets of the population. Specifically, expats, the young, the professional class, and the secular communities all seem very open to engaging in a conversation about the Gospel and come across as spiritually open-minded people. This gives us great hope that a church planter with a strategic mindset will be able to engage with these people groups in a humble and loving way that will see many come to know Christ as their savior and see lives changed all throughout this ancient city.
English is widely spoken throughout the entire city, and while partnerships do not currently exist between many of the evangelical community on the ground, there was much optimism that such partnerships could be created if a new church plant was started in the city. We are believing that God is ready to see a new mission done within the city of Athens to see English speakers come together as a church to give Him glory in a city that is desperately in need of hope and a light that will shine as that hope.
How to Pray for Athens
We are asking that you pray for God to call to Himself those who will serve and lead in this new church plant in Athens. Pray that God will make it clear who should pastor this church, and that the leadership will have discernment on who the best candidate is to lead this effort. Pray that the city of Athens will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and that many will turn from their old lives and into the new life of salvation.
Athens provides us an opportunity to minister in a great city that is in need of the good news of Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us in this calling and begin praying now for God’s hand to be mighty and powerful as we seek to see His name proclaimed throughout Athens, Greece, and the world.