"I know God won't ever give up on this continent. He will restore the honor of his name in this place."
Such was the confession of Daniel Chae, the founder of Amnos Ministries in the United Kingdom, for the continent of Europe. As one of the speakers for the workshops at the recent Global Medical Missions Alliance (GMMA) Conference, Chae informed his listeners of the current status of the evangelical church in Europe and what Christians can do to 'reverse' the declining trends.
Chae cited some statistics showing the decline of Christianity in the continent, particularly in the UK. According to the UK National Census in 2001, 71.6 percent of the population identified themselves as Christian, but 66 percent did not attend chuch. 10 years later in 2011, 59 percent identified as Christians. And according to a study conducted by Dr. Peter Brierley, the number of churches of every major denomination has been on the decline in the UK. Between 2005 and 2010, the Church of England lost 204 churches; the Methodist Church lost 227; the Presbyterian Church lost 332; and the Baptist Church lost 59.
He encouraged the attendees to be among those who would bring the gospel back to Europe and back to the 'traditional white church,' as he phrased it.
"Geographically, the church in the Western region is declining, and ethnically, White people are attending church less and less," Chae said. "But typically, we think of missions as being from a fairer skin colored-people to other skin-colored people, or from rich people to poor people. But that's not the case. It's about the spiritual momentum."
"The traditional White churches are declining, but the Pentecostal and ethnic minority churches are increasing," Chae went on. "Back then, they were fuller and better spiritually, but now, we need to go back to them and serve them."
Chae went on to share some of the strategies he and his partners have been using through the Amnos ministry to reach people in Europe. First, Amnos hopes to equip church planters in Europe. The organization operates a church planting school, through which church planters are trained in biblical theology, practical evangelism, pastoral ministry, personal spirituality, and character development.
Second, staff in the ministry have been working to raise awareness and encouraging prayer for the spiritual needs of the European continent. The group recently hosted an intercessory prayer movement for the UK called 'Intercede,' in which 10 churches came together in prayer.
And finally, Amnos aims to provide workers to churches that lack pastoral personnel. According to Chae, churches in the UK experienced a shortage of some 13,399 workers.
"I felt like God was asking me, 'How can we spiritually feed the millions of people in Europe?' And I thought of John 6:6, where it says that Jesus only asked Philip how to feed the five thousand 'to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.' I believe God already has in mind what he will do. I know God will never give up on this continent," said Chae.
Meanwhile, the GMMA Conference took place from June 24 to 25 at Bethel Korean Church in Irvine, CA, and featured over 50 different workshops on various topics related to mission work.