These are challenging days in Europe. Europeans are dealing with massive issues on several fronts — the war in Ukraine, the refugee crisis and historic inflation levels, to mention a few. Amid the challenges, the church’s mission is to bear witness to Jesus Christ and His teachings – in every nation and every segment of society. Paul encouraged Timothy to “Preach the word in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). Whatever our context or moment in history, the task is the same. As we recognize the current season in Europe, we ask, How do we prepare leaders to lead in this season of despair and division?
Last September, 60 leaders from 11 countries on the continent of Europe and the U.S. gathered in Budapest, Hungary, for our European Leadership Network and Summit. It was a blessed time of learning, fellowship, prayer and worship with our brothers and sisters on the continent.
The summit gathering marked the beginning of a two-year leadership journey to inspire and equip leaders, personally and strategically, to contextualize the Free Methodist vision and mission and apply it to the challenges of the present day in Europe and our changing world.
We invited effective practitioners and network leaders, allowing all to interact with other leaders serving on the continent. Our goal was to renew vision, build confidence and strengthen leadership skills. Participants were equipped to be better leaders and invest in the lives of others. There was time for discussion, reflection and a refreshing of the soul.
As we plan and pray for the future, we are encouraged and blessed by the passion and commitment of our European leaders. Together, we are committed to becoming a people of blessing for this generation of Europeans – leading them through the season of despair into the glorious hope of Christ.
Jesus said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark” (John 12:46).
Pray for our leaders as they stand firm and shine their light during this season of darkness and uncertainties on the continent of Europe. Will you partner with us?