Free Methodist World Missions FMWM logo


The monthly newsletter of Free Methodist World Missions

Revolving-Door Church

by Mike Long | Mar 2024 | Heartbeat, HB Europe, HB Greece

Most pastors despise the idea of a ministry where members come and go but rarely stay. Yet, God has blessed the Free Methodist Church “Anagenesis” (rebirth) in Thessaloniki, Greece, with such a ministry. Another Greek pastor in Thessaloniki recently questioned me, “How do you do it? To me, it would be impossible.”

In Europe, church ministries are typically small, with the same members and families for decades. They are challenged to find next-generation leaders. Anagenesis ministry has seen hundreds come to faith, experience baptism and then move on to other countries – Germany, Holland and England. There, they are growing in their faith.

Anagenesis has become a landing spot for refugees from Muslim countries. This calling to serve refugees is both an honor and a ministry challenge. We face the challenges of languages, cultures and misinformation. But what a privilege and responsibility to often be the first church a Muslim has ever attended!

One interesting situation concerned the asylum appeal of a beautiful family from Iran who were marvelously saved, baptized and discipled in Anagenesis from 2019 to 2022. Their asylum request was rejected twice, and they felt cursed because the Greek officials questioned their conversions and doubted the legitimacy of the FM Church Anagenesis. At their initial asylum interview, they were asked, “Why did you convert to Christianity?” They answered that they found “love and forgiveness at Anagenesis Church through Jesus Christ.” What government officials reject and sometimes devalue, God raises. Iranians are converting in masses for such love and forgiveness.

Anagenesis Church strives to be a ministry that goes after the one lost sheep of one hundred.

Mike Long is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church and a missionary to Greece.