There are a number of countries around the world that are often called "missionary graveyards" because--after decades of effort--there is so little to show for all the investment. Spain is one of those countries.
One of the reasons a place like Spain experiences such resistance is because the gap between the church and the culture is so perilously wide. They don't speak to each other or even speak each other's language. And when the gap is that great, the church must be willing to radically recreate itself in the image of Jesus and take Him to the streets or languish in her buildings.
In November I spent a week with a group of young leaders in Spain who are determined to be a redemptive presence in the southern port city of Malaga regardless of the personal cost. They've embedded themselves in schools and universities and moved into the heart of the city to be Jesus with skin on. I teamed up with two long-time colleagues--Deric Moen and Randy Gonzales--to take these young leaders through our Life Compass training to help focus their efforts and encourage their hearts. Here are just a few of the personal visions that were birthed or refined during our time together; visions which I believe will bring deep and durable transformation to Spain:
- I will use my gifts of filmmaking to reveal the beauty and truth of God so the blind might see and the weary will experience the love of the Savior.
- I will create a sports center where young athletes will be developed emotionally and spiritually as they are taught to follow Jesus.
- I will help people discover the unseen exit door in order to be free and to help others experience more fully God’s total salvation: economically, socially, physically, and spiritually.
Helping people see what God sees for them is an essential first step. Creating a mentoring community that would equip them to live into their visions is an intriguing next step, and one we're excited to pursue.