I've written quite a bit about my friends at the Upstream Collective. Their goal is to help churches "think and act like missionaries." One of the ways they do this is by leading vision trips http://blog.theupstreamcollective.org/get-involved/jet-set-vision-trips/ to urban centers in Europe and beyond. These trips allow church leaders and planters to see first-hand the needs and opportunities for direct church involvement in God's global mission. I've had the pleasure of helping to lead several of these trips, teaching practical missiology and providing running commentary as we interact with missionaries, pastors, and national church planters. This week, we're in London and Paris with a group of more than twenty.
Many people won't consider Europe to be a mission field, but the veneer of nominal religion is wearing thin as once-packed Cathedrals are turned into museums, restaurants, and even mosques.Only 4.2% of the population profess to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, as per the European Spiritual Estimate. According to the Upstream Collective, a trip to Europe can provide a glimpse into the cultural future of the United States.
These stats should get our attention, but of course there is hope. God is calling men and women from all over the world to plant their lives in Europe for the sake of the gospel. Unreached peoples are being engaged, the gospel is being proclaimed, lives are being transformed, and churches are being planted. Churches are learning to think and act like missionaries.
In the following video, Upstream Collective co-founder, Caleb Crider, introduces the concept behind their "Jet Set" vision trips. To learn more about how your church might be more directly involved in missions, visit theupstreamcollective.org