Ministry opportunities in Portugal
Portugal is a Catholic country with low income and high unemployment. Even though the country being strongly Catholic, only approximately 19% of Portuguese are active enough to go to masses. People mix their Christian and New Age beliefs. Portuguese people are often culturally religious.
Protestantism in Portugal has long been a minority religion, with Evangelical Christian denominations only introduced to Portugal in the 19th century. Freedom of Religion was declared in 1976, yet by current approximations only 0,4% of the population are Evangelical. This number has slowly grown, but mainly due to immigration.
OM Portugal was founded in 1994, and for many years had a small and quiet presence, but since August 2016 the team has grown to include 13 adults and 8 children, and is growing because of God’s grace. Historically, TeenStreet has played a considerable role in establishing church relationships and helping Portuguese nationals grow in their Christian faith, with hundreds of teens attending over the years.
Today, our primary focus is to strengthen and support the local Portuguese Church to evangelize its own nation, but also to reach beyond. We see this happening through establishing a church planting ministry, but also through partnerships with existing Portuguese churches. Only Jesus can transform the nation into a Godly one and change the future.
We see our focus being achieved through the following ministries:
- Church Plant - Surf Church: Making Jesus known especially among the surfer, skate and student population in Porto and Northern Portugal by lifestyle evangelism and discipleship in a home church community. There is an active and growing church with approx. 40 members in Porto.
- Fátima Team: The city of Fatima is the heart of the Roman Catholic Church in Portugal, with hundreds of thousands of Pilgrims journeying there each year. The team is reaching locals with the gospel through literature distribution, correspondence Bible studies, and Short Term teams in the Fátima area.
- Puppet Ministry: Educating children on topics such as bullying through puppet shows in schools, local events and churches. The aim is to grow this to a national ministry where we are able to receive and train Christians who wish to use puppetry in their own ministries.
- TeenStreet: The aim is to motivate, develop and equip Portuguese teens to seek Jesus in their daily lives and make a difference in their surrounding world. We mobilize teens, coaches, translators, and M&M’s to attend.
How you can get involved:
- The work among the pilgrims in Fátima
- The Puppet Ministry in schools and teaching it as an evangelization method in churches
- For the church planting ministry to be even more stable, and to grow and touch more lives
- All our outreaches in different locations in Portugal
- The new Portuguese generation to follow Jesus in all that they do
- The team of OM Portugal to be strengthened, grow, to support local churches all around Portugal, and to evangelize the nation
More information about Portugal
- Official language: Portuguese
- State of economy: Member of the European Union since 1986, unemployment rate was 11,9% in 2015.
- Religious make-up: 81% Roman Catholic , 0,4% Evangelical, 0,6% other religions, 6,8% non-religious, 8,3% undeclared
- Personality of the culture/people: Portuguese are very family and people oriented. They see themselves very open and welcoming towards other people, especially foreigners. However, it takes time and effort to make a deep relationship with the Portuguese.
- State of the church: According to the 2011 Census, 81% of the population of Portugal is Catholic, though only about 19% attend Mass and take the sacraments regularly, while a larger number wish to be baptized, married in a church, and receive Last Rites.
- Spiritual needs: Portuguese people are religious and “spiritual”, but they need to understand through the Holy Spirit that Jesus is the Lord, not Nossa Senhora da Fátima nor the saints.