Dear brothers and sisters,
I live in a country of spiritual decline. Yesterday, I randomly met a Lutheran student in the library who was preparing for the ministry. He told me that 80% of Swedish Lutheran congregations have less than 20 people in attendance. When it comes to evangelical churches, more than one church is closing down every week. Less than 2% of the Swedish population now regards themselves as evangelical Christians. This is shocking, for a 100-150 years ago, the majority of the people went to church, and many Swedes knew the Bible to a great extent. All of this might sound depressing, but in the midst of liberalism and this decline, Jesus is on the throne. He promised that He will build His church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Even as the dechristianization is happening, I’m very encouraged to get in contact with people of all age and people groups who are still hungry for the Word of God. Truly the Lord is raising up a people to plant and reform churches.
Over the years I’ve benefited a lot from the 9Marks books that I’ve read together with a number of different people. This fall, I plan to read one 9Marks book a month, with 6 different men who are either leaders or have the potential of becoming a leader. Two of the men are within our church, two are church planters, and two who enjoy studying theology. Pray that this would be beneficial for all those involved, and they would grow in their understanding of the local church and leadership.
As I mentioned before we’ve had outdoor evangelistic services in the summer. We have been going through “The seven signs in the Gospel of John that point to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.” Please pray for this outreach, especially for one man that we have had many good conversations with after some of the sermons. We’ll continue to have an evangelistic service once a month throughout the fall. Pray that the Lord would use the sowing of these seeds to bring sinners to repentance and faith. This fall we are also aiming to start up a new evangelistic Bible study in an immigrant area. Pray for the building up of contacts in the area, and that the Lord would bring people to himself.
Thank you for your partnership to reach out with the gospel here in Sweden.
In Christ and for His glory,