One of the saddest epilogues of the Protestant Reformation is that many of the earliest geographical adopters and strongholds of Protestant ideals are now modern day cities known more for their atheistic or pagan beliefs than their Christian heritage. Malmo, a Swedish city on the South Western coast across from Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of these cities. As the Lutheran ideas of the Protestant Reformation spread throughout Europe Malmo became one of the first Scandinavian cities to embrace the Reformation teachings, but today we find a city that is very cold to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, what we find is a city that is very closed off spiritually but is in desperate need of the awakening power of the Spirit.
A Strategic Location
Malmo is a city in the midst of modernizing its infrastructure and cultural relevance in the area as it continues to struggle to find its way in a post-industrial and manufacturing era. While many of the improvements in the city have brought most upscale jobs, the lower classes within the city struggle and unemployment is high. What this is leading to is a city that is attracting more international business growth but finding its own population being left behind and not benefiting from this newfound economic prosperity.
As the Lead Team conducted their feasibility study on the city of Malmo they found a definite openness to an English-speaking church plant. The rising English-speaking population in the city coupled with the relative ease for obtaining work visas in the country makes for a strategic location in which CATALYST can see another churches planted for the glory of Christ’s name in the hopes of seeing many come to know Him as their savior and to see a city changed from darkness into light.
As we stated earlier, the main barrier for a church plant being successful in Malmo is the seeming spiritual darkness found within many in the city. What this means is that any church planting venture would need to be bathed in prayer, lead by a team that will be strategic in their relationships and bold in their proclamation of the Gospel, for the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work in a city that seems as closed off to the Good News as any we have taken on before.
The great news is that relationships are already forming that may lead to calling someone to lead this new church in Malmo. There are already conversations being had with a couple of men who might feel called to lead this new venture, and we are hopeful that with God’s guidance we will find the right person.
Pray for the Right Planter
We are asking that you begin praying now for Malmo; for its people, for the international community, and for the city. Pray that God will make it clear who should lead this new English-speaking church plant. Pray that hearts will be open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that the city of Malmo will experience a modern reformation of its own that will bring glory to our God.
Church planting is a hard calling, and church planters often find themselves called to the hardest places on our planet, but we know that our mission on this earth is to make the name of Jesus known in every corner, and we believe that Malmo is a strategic city that will make this a reality. Join us in your prayers and your giving as we continue to be faithful to our God who has called us to lay down our lives and be heralds for His Good News.