Followers of Jesus in US
Followers of Jesus in Africa
Followers of Jesus in France
The frequent claims that empty churches and low levels of religious activity in Europe today reflect a steep decline in piety are wrong- it was always thus.
– Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity
Sociologist Rodney Stark has recently shown how Europe is positioned for the potential of a powerful church movement. He argues that the church in Europe was nearly always tied to the state support and control. This led to churches that were less motivated to reach out and « contextualize » to the population. He argues that the evangelical church was never very strong in Europe, leading to the potential for non-state run churches to experience growth and influence in the years to come.
France is still culturally Catholic, but most of the French are essentially secular. The Lutherans and the Reformed minorities are still there, but for most adherents it is merely a cultural Protestantism. In all cases the active worshippers are mostly an older generation that is gradually dying out.
The evangelical churches provide a sharp contrast. Evangelicals are a tiny minority by comparison, but they have multiplied several times over in the last 60 years. They are active, they are Bible-readers, participants in services, and getting younger. It is not inconceivable that the evangelical church in France is on the verge of something great.
– Tim Mitchell, Christianity In France.
Cities of over 10,000 people without a healthy local church (source: Operation World)
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake
2 Corinthians 4:5