Oslo, Norway is one of the major up-and-coming cities within the European Union. An industrial and commercial hub makes it both an economic and political player within the Union. The social progessivism also present within the city makes it a standard bearer for modern European humanism and intellectual atheism. The country’s immigration policy is also causing the city of Oslo to grow at a rapid pace, making it the fastest growing European city in 2014.
All of these factors lead to a city that is globally and culturally relevant but very spiritually dead and cold to the Gospel. What our team found when they visited Oslo was an impressively beautiful and modern city, one where the cost of living and amenities matches what one would expect in a booming European city. However, what they also found was a city that has completely embraced modern secularism and is virtually cut off from any of its historical Christian past or has any desire to welcome any Evangelical missionaries.
The reality with Oslo is that any church planter who follows a call to plant an English-speaking church within the city will find themselves up against a culture that does not welcome them or the message they bring. However, we find comfort in the words of Matthew 5: 13-16:
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
What the Norwegians in Oslo, the vast immigrant population, and the international workers in the city need from a church planter is someone who will go and plant their flag for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a major way within the city. This city will be a challenge both spiritually and financially for any church planter that heeds the calling to plant a church in Oslo, but we trust and follow a God who does well in surprising His followers at just how much He can accomplish when all we see is barren ground.
Trust in an Amazing God
What we are asking from you is that you pray for the city of Oslo; that God would break through the spiritual darkness present in the city, begin to open hearts to the Good News and prepare a church planting team to take the Gospel to the English-speaking population in the city. We are also asking that you pray for the heavy financial realities that any church planter would have to raise in order to have a viable ministry to Oslo.
The odds are stacked against us once again as we pray toward planting an English-speaking church plant in Oslo, but we rejoice in the fact that our God is a God who can do all things for our good and His glory, and we firmly believe that He will once again do a mighty thing in the great cities of our world, with the people of Oslo being just one of many who will come to know Him as their great God and King.