We’ll be honest. When we first felt called to missions, Europe wasn’t what we had in mind. We assumed we would end up in Africa or Asia. After all, Europe already has the gospel, right?
It’s true that most Europeans know about the gospel. Approximately 71% identify as Christian. However, according to Operation World, only 2.5% of Europeans are evangelical Christians. That’s a smaller percentage than in Africa, Asia, North or South America. If you visit Europe you might see all the beautiful church buildings and think Christianity is thriving. Instead, Europe is a post-Christian culture where negative views of Christians are more likely than positive ones. Scotland is no different, with a recent study by Barna finding only 3% of adults qualify as Evangelical Christians. Europe knows all about religion, but for the most part, they haven’t actually met Jesus.
Negative “religious experiences” in Europe have made atheists out of many. In one breath, someone might say, “I’m Catholic, but I don’t believe in God.” – Ed Stetzer
There is clearly an incredible need in Europe for world-surprising churches. We believe that the church is God’s primary instrument for bringing the gospel to the world and making disciples of all nations. When local churches live as Kingdom communities of love and reconciliation, holiness and compassionate service, there is no greater apologetic for the gospel on earth. God wants to bring spiritual renewal to Europe through His church, and we want to be a part of it.
That’s where East Mountain comes in. Our desire is to establish a community of people who love Jesus and are passionate about teaching, developing and empowering local leaders. We want to partner with and empower European pastors and leaders so that they can effectively and sustainably impact their communities through the gospel. This vision is already making a huge impact in Africa through East Mountain Cape Town. We believe God is going to do the same thing in Europe.
Because of the local partners already at work, East Mountain will begin its European work in Edinburgh, Scotland. Although physically based in Edinburgh, East Mountain will serve as a hub for training and development for all of Europe. Our prayer is that God will bring a spiritual revival through developing and empowering European leaders.