The Spiritual Need
Today, Roman Catholicism remains ingrained in the Portuguese culture, so much so that to be Portuguese is to be Roman Catholic. However, only a small percentage of the population practices their religion regularly. Less than 3 percent of the Portuguese population consider themselves evangelical Christian.
With the growing influence of the European Union and its shared laws and philosophy, materialism and secularism are more widespread, and most in the country admit they are non-practicing Catholics. In a country filled with cathedrals, monasteries and shrines, people tend to equate the Church with a building.
ABWE in Portugal
During ABWE’s first 20 years in Portugal, our team developed a solid infrastructure to help church planting efforts, to include:
- The Greater Lisbon Christian Academy (GLCA)
- The Partnership of national pastors and ABWE missionaries (Equipa Barnabé)
- The Leadership training program (GDL)
- The Retreat and Conference Center (Lisbon Training Center)
In 2000, we launched the “4X4 Plan,” which includes enlarging the base of first generation churches to 16 by the year 2016. These 16 churches will become the foundation for a national church planting movement throughout the country.
God has abundantly supplied the majority of the resources for our teams to accomplish the goals of the 4x4 plan. However, to complete the teams, we still need one couple with strengths in evangelism, one couple with strengths in pastor care, four youth specialists, and three CPA’s. These missionaries will serve in supportive and collaborative roles with national pastors and churches. Funds are also needed to purchase or build 10 additional facilities.
Is God calling you to come help us?