Leading with Beauty

EMQ » January–April 2024 » Volume 60 Issue 1

Micronesia: A missionary communicator interviews a field team. Photo by Elyse Patten, courtesy of WGA.

Summary: Do we know the story of what God is doing today? Often, we know how God has worked in the past and we have hope for what God will do in the future. But do we really know what God is doing here and now in the present? Across America, giving to missions is declining. And across the West, missionary attrition is rising. I believe one reason for this is that we have not done well telling stories of what God is doing around the world today.

By Grant Klinefelter

Did you know that across Europe, thousands of churches are sitting empty? Buildings once home to vibrant Christian communities are left vacant and decaying. I’ve stood in monumental churches that birthed radical revivals. But now, many require a fee to enter or charge you to take photos as they struggle to make ends meet and simply stay open.

I came across an article a couple years ago showing the stark reality of Europe in its headline: “Europe’s Churches Go on Sale.”[i] Under the headline was a picture of a church converted into a skate park and a teenage boy performing a kickflip off a ramp.

Did you know that many church buildings in the UK are being turned into mosques? I’ve heard this from Muslim friends and seen it with my own eyes. Often, as I drive through our neighborhood, we will see Muslim men filing out of an old church building after Salat.

Did you know, just one century ago, Europe had the highest percentage of Christians of any continent, but now is considered by many to be the most unreached continent in the world?

“What does this have to do with storytelling?” you might ask. I’d respond, “Everything.”

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