Spain

Spain

A harvest is on its way

Ministry opportunities in Spain

Spain is a country with a rich religious history. From the Catholic monarchs to the Opus Dei, from the Spanish Inquisition to the Jesuits, Spain has had it all.

OM arrived in Spain in 1960 during General Franco’s dictatorship. A lot has happened since then. Now, 40 years after the dictatorship ended, most people still claim to believe in God, yet a lot of them know nothing about him. In fact, the number of people who regularly attend Mass has dropped from 60 to 15 percent since then. Evangelical Christians still make up less than 1 percent of Spain’s population, with two-thirds of them being immigrants.

We have a vision to reach all of Spain and we are convinced that there is a harvest. Currently we are working in three different parts of Spain. Our goals are supporting local churches and reaching out to the communities where we are at. We are also determined to mobilise more Spaniards for local and world missions.

Throughout the year we are open to receiving people from all parts of the world to come to serve God with us. There are opportunities for anyone who knows God, loves God and wants to be used by God.

  • Planting and supporting local churches: We aim to have a proactive role of supporting already existing new or small church plants belonging to OM or initiatives of other churches. We have two teams that are supporting small churches in A Coruña and Barcelona. Both teams are open to receiving people who wish to serve with us for a minimum of one year, supporting the work of our long-term workers. They will be able to enrol in a language school if they do not speak fluent Spanish.

    A current church planting project exists in a county called La Vera, in Extremadura. The number and scope of church planting projects is limited by the number of workers. We are also looking for long-term workers to come as our current team members are of advanced age. 

  • Training and discipleship: We value continuity and believe it is important to equip believers for ministry. There is a training program in La Vera which allows participants to work with and learn from experienced workers. As part of the training participants will receive teaching, do practical work and participate in various ministries.
  • Global Challenge campaigns: Though they only come for a short time, short-termers can still play a big role in OM Spain’s long-term strategy and leave an impact in Spain. We currently run an annual three-month Travel Team ministry during May to July which has proved to be an incredible experience for many of those who came. Participants will receive several weeks of training and orientation before embarking on a road trip around Spain for a month to visit, serve and encourage churches all over the country and to promote the work of OM. When they return from the road trip, they will also be part of a Transform outreach. Spanish classes will be provided for those who do not speak the language.

This year during Easter, we are also launching a new two-week campaign called Walk the Talk on the renowned Camino de Santiago (St. James’ Way) where we will walk alongside pilgrims and evangelize. We also do the Camino as a Transform outreach option but it will be less demanding physically than Walk the Talk.

It is our prayer that these campaigns will open the eyes of those who take part to the huge spiritual needs here in Spain.

  • Reaching out to North African immigrants: Immigrants make up over 10 percent of Spain’s total population. Over 700.000 of them come from Morocco, both legally and illegally. Because of their many differences, Moroccans are generally not welcomed by Spaniards. In a town in La Vera, there is an established Moroccan community, and every week our workers would reach out to the children and their families alongside workers of another like-minded organisation.
  • Missions mobilisation: It is our hope to be able to send more people out from Spain for global missions. As a bridge between the Spanish Church and the world of OM, we look for ways to present and promote the opportunities available in other parts of the world to believers in Spain.
  • Partnering with other organisations: We are always willing to work with churches and other Christian organisations. Currently we are partnering with 'Zona Roja', a local ministry in Barcelona that reaches out to victims of sex trafficking, and with 'Esplay' a children’s ministry focused on marginalized immigrant children in Barcelona and Catalonia.

How you can get involved:

  • PRAY
    • Pray for the Spirit of God to work in the hearts of the Spanish people, that they would truly know and follow God.
    • Pray for unity among Spanish churches, that they would work together to bring the Gospel to all parts of the country.
    • Pray that God would restore hope in Spain, especially among the youth.
  • GIVE — Give here (http://www.om.org/en/give) to help support the work of OM in Spain.
  • GO — See the job opportunities listed at http://www.om.org/en/opportunities. Contact us at: info.es@om.org or visit our website: www.es.om.org. Please prayerfully consider giving a season of your life to help fulfil the Great Commission in Spain.

 

More information about Spain

  • Population: 47 million
  • Official languages: Spanish, Catalan (co-official in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands), Basque (co-official in the Basque Country and Navarre) and Galician (co-official in Galicia)
  • State of economy: Member of the European Union since 1986, its economy is the fifth-largest in the EU but was hit hard during the global economic crisis in 2008. The country has been trying to recover since then, but the unemployment rate still sits above 20% and the youth unemployment rate at about 50%, one of the highest within the EU.
  • Religious make-up (as of 10/2015): 70.4% Catholic, 14.1% agnostic/non-believer, 10.3% atheist, 2.5% other religions (including Evangelicals)
  • State of the church: In a culture where the Catholic Church has a dominant presence and huge influence, the Evangelical Church of Spain used to endure persecution and has always been seen as a sect like Jehovah’s Witness and the Mormons. Soon after General Franco’s dictatorship ended in the 1970s, Catholicism lost its status as the official religion. Spaniards were tired of religion and many left the Catholic Church, but the prejudice towards the Evangelical Church remains. Evangelical churches are still very much family-based and small in scale. It is estimated that 10 million people in Spain live in communities without any Evangelical presence.