Lisbon Church Pushes Forward
22 January 2007
Portugal is a nation of 12 million people. Its capital, Lisbon, is home to 2 million -- in the greater city area.
In late January, Mal Fletcher was the speaker for a conference in Lisbon hosted by a group of Assemblies of God churches.
The conference attracted people from a number of churches, under the theme 'The Prophetic Church'.
After the conference, Mal said: 'The encouraging thing about this event was that it was hosted by a church that is really pushing the boundaries of contemporary church in Lisbon.'
'And they want more than to be contemporary in style. They are passionate about getting to a place where they're ahead of the times, having influence in the city based on a positive engagement with the future.'
Financially, Portugal does not show the benefits of EU membership as do some other southern European nations. The average monthly wage is less that half that in neighbouring Spain.
'The Portuguese tend to have a lower self esteem than some others in this part of Europe,' adds Mal.
'I believe the church has a real opportunity to challenge this and bring a real Kingdom attitude to what Portuguese people can achieve.'
Mal has visited Lisbon several times before, speaking on those occasions for the city's two largest churches -- both of them independent.
Mal says: 'One of the challenges that more traditional denominations, like the Assemblies of God, have in places like Portugal, is to move beyond the limitations of their history.'
'This conference was hosted by a church that is moving boldly in that direction -- against the odds.'