From October 24-27 the City to City Europe network gathered nearly 500 leaders from 27 countries in Berlin to talk about “The Gospel in the City.” The event was organized by an Executive Team of key European leaders and church planters, and invitations were extended to anyone interested in urban church planting in Europe, across a variety of denominations and networks. On the second day of the conference a question was asked that has had me thinking ever since: “Could this conference represent a ‘tipping point’ in a movement of the gospel in the cities of Europe?”
In his book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” Might we be at a “tipping point,” a point at which the dam bursts and we see a flood of gospel-centered churches planted or replanted in cities across the continent, and thousands of believers in every city working out the implications of the gospel in their private and public lives, their work, their families and the communities in which they live? Perhaps; only time will tell.
This much I know: The Holy Spirit is on the move. The momentum of the movement has been building. People are coming to Christ. Churches are being planted. Church planting networks have been and are being formed in multiple cities and regions. New young leaders are rising up with hope, courage and the vision to plant new churches in the cities of Europe. Many leaders of denominations and of key churches have been deeply encouraged and have begun to believe that the gospel can flourish in their cities. Many seem to have become less concerned about their own denominations and more concerned about the Kingdom of Christ.
It did feel like we might have crossed a divide during the conference. It felt like a movement.
For more than ten years Redeemer City to City has been quietly working behind the scenes helping to plant some fifty-four churches in the global cities of Europe. Many of those churches are now planting daughter churches or working in conjunction with each other to plant additional churches. And now with the development of City to City Europe, we are seeing a movement of urban church planting in Europe take on a life of its own.
It is anticipated that nearly 150 new churches will be planted during the next five years in connection with the network. Those churches will be associated with a variety of denominations, and yet supported and encouraged by CTCE.
This article was exerpted from a longer one, which can be found at: redeemercitytocity.com/blog/view.jsp?Blog_ param=393.
You can find audio and video from the conference at www.citytocityeurope.com (registration required).
If you’d like to become a supporter of City to City Europe, you can donate at www.citytocityeurope.com/donate via Paypal (payment gateway fee is required for international donations), or give to the coaching, training and catalytic work at giving.redeemercitytocity.com.