Leaders Call for Missionaries to ‘Serve’ in Secular-Minded France

by | Jan 31, 2001 | Charisma Archive

French believers who attended ‘Heart for France’ in November said sacrificial love can win their country to God

More than 100 Christians with a burden for France gathered near the northern French city of Lille to pray, learn about and consider missionary calls to this nation, during the Heart for France conference Nov. 4-10.

The conference was organized by France 2001, an international prayer movement for France, and British missions agency World Horizons. The groups conceived the idea as they were promoting a 40-day campaign of prayer and fasting for France.

“As we started pushing the prayer campaign, we realized

there were many Christians interested in knowing more about France,” said French pastor Jacky Minard, with France 2001. “We wanted to give these people an opportunity to explore that interest, meet others, and learn about the culture and church in France.”

A prayer walk around the host city and daily prayer sessions helped participants focus on the challenges of spreading the gospel in France. Difficulties include a culture lacking references to God, a French church struggling with limited resources and small co

ngregations averaging 50 members.

British pastor Clive Sampson, who has spent the last five years working at the Church of Belleville in Paris, spoke about the hardships of living in the French culture.

“While Britons feel close to France due to geographic proximity, and Americans feel a shared sense of individualism with France, those coming as missionaries often underestimate the difficulties of living here. It is hard just because it is different,” he said.

Speakers focused on the challenges of working with the French church. Nationwide, the church is a small number of Protestant congregations divided among 130 denominations–most viewed as a sect by government officials. In addition, French congregations often struggle with practical matters such as finding a place to meet and paying the bills.

“Tithing is seen as the mark of a sect so it is difficult for the pastor to preach about finances,” Sampson said. “In fact, the majority of pastors must work outside the church to provide for their
families.”

Heart for France speakers also offered hope for this nation of 60 million.

Philippe Joret, pastor of a Montpellier church and author of a new book called Francement (“Frankly French”), sees a spiritual awakening coming to the country.

“Five years ago, no one would have understood the word ‘sin.’ Today there is a major advertising campaign for chocolate using the words ‘forgiveness’ and ‘sin.’ Advertising reflects the attitudes of society, and I see the image of God becoming more positive.”

Joret, who also ministers to university students, quoted a study that reports
75 percent of philosophy majors in France choose the subject because they want to know the meaning of life. He said it indicates that “there is a new thirst in a new generation.”

Speakers encouraged those considering missions work in France to be sensitive to the needs of the French church.

“We need missionaries to come with a servant’s heart,” Minard said. “Rare is the pastor who has a full-time secretary, someone to help teach Bible or to work with children. We need these kinds of missionaries.”

Sampson advised prospective missionaries to link with a French church.

“A regular interchange of prayer visits during vacations would be a good start,” he said.

The strongest words, however, came from Joret, who said: “We need martyrs, not missionaries. We need those who will invest in French pastors and churches rather than start their own work. We already have an underdeveloped French church and overdeveloped missions organizations.”

Participants came from more than a dozen countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Iceland, France and Holland.

Pastor Alan Reeve, whose church in Rochdale, England, is partnered with a church in Tourcoing, France, attended the conference to

learn how his church can minister more effectively to the French.

“I’ve been touched by the need for reconciliation between France and England, and realize that both nations need to repent and ask forgiveness,” he said.

The spirit of Heart for France, marked by fervent worship and intercession for the nation, may have foreshadowed what hundreds of thousands of Christians from more than 20 countries will experience when they pray for France during the 40 days preceding Easter this year.

“Through prayer, God changes the destiny of nations,” said Rob Reeve, a British missionary to France. “France’s destiny is to be blessed and to bless other nations.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

As we were coming into the month of June, the halfway point of the year, the Lord began to speak to me that we are at a tipping point. How we position and posture ourselves in this month will set the tone for the next six months. A tipping point is a series of small...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

RECENT ARTICLES

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

A predator ensnares his prey with a trap meant to weaken and disarm the life so easily enticed by the bait set before it. Once the predator catches his prey, his goal is to steal, kill and destroy....
3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

“I got a word from the Lord, but I don’t understand it.” “I’m feeling called in this direction, but I’m waiting for full understanding before I act on it.” These and statements like them are common during that all-too-familiar waiting time between a word being given...

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]