The following is a series that was formerly created as a paper for the Perspectives class. I went through training to be a coordinator for this excellent, missions-intensive seminar, and we were required to write a paper upon completion.
I chose to focus my paper mainly on the youth of France. I took three years of French in high school and have always been drawn to the country. Here’s hoping that this series will provoke thought, prayer, and strategic mission effort toward the youth of Europe and specifically, France.
Western Europe is one location on earth that many would never consider as having “unreached people” living within it. The likes of John Calvin, Martin Luther, William Wilberforce, and other great Christian leaders and reformers are inscribed on the pages of history books and church cathedrals across the continent. However, the youth of France today, who will be the focus of this paper, have rarely seen or even held a Bible!
Many would say that to classify anyone in Western Europe as “unreached” is ridiculous. However, within the youth population of France, there are dozens of other ethnic people groups, each desperately needing a witness of the Lord Jesus among them. While other missiologists continue to publicize and hype the “10/40 Window” to the church, unreached people exist in historically Christian countries. This unnecessary overemphasis may be the result of a man-centered approach to the interpretation of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24.14 where Jesus said that the gospel of the kingdom must be preached to the whole world and “then the end will come.” That one passage has shaped and formed the strategies of hundreds of American mission agencies in the last 20 years and has resulted in the neglect of emphasis on other key influential areas, particularly Western Europe and France.
The youth in this powerfully influential area of the world are at crucial spiritual crossroads, and to abandon a concerted, strategic focus on them may set the church back even as it pours resources elsewhere. In fact, to neglect the evangelization of the youth culture of France or Western Europe will eventually create the most influential non-Christian group of countries in our world. The purpose of this series is to identify the urgent spiritual needs of the youth of France and to develop a strategy for reaching them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.