Bless is a missional movement with a vision to empower believers across Europe to trust the Father, receive the Spirit and tell the story of the Son. Our work began in the UK in 2003 as a new initiative enabling young adults to understand and experience mission on the mainland of Europe. We moved our base to France in 2009 to develop a centre for training and prayer as the hub of our activities, and extended our programmes to include participants from multiple nations. ‘Bethanie’, near Caen in Normandy, is a place of encounter and a sending base for mission. We welcome guests to Bethanie from across the world, and from Bethanie we are church-planting in three locations in France and empowering believers through prayer, teaching and a deep journey of worship to find their own connection with God’s mission wherever he has placed them.
Europe is a melting-pot of cultures and histories. Deeply marked over 50 generations by the Christian narrative, it is today struggling to make sense of its own story. For the new generations especially, the place of faith in everyday life is far from clear. Our task is to tell and re-tell the story of Jesus so that this same narrative, transforming in impact and universal in application, can hold its place in the Europe of tomorrow. We pursue this vision through three specific strands of activity…
Through CHURCH PLANTING we are creating and supporting mission-minded gatherings of believers who come together to go deeper into the things of God for themselves and further in the purposes of God for the sake of others.
Through short-term and mid-term STUDENT PROGRAMMES we enable individuals – for the most part young adults – to encounter the God of mission and find their place in the mission of God.
Through our CURRICULUM AND RESOURCES we seek to encourage, educate and empower European believers to live-out God’s mission where they are.
Our goal in all these areas is to help every believer find their calling, develop their gifts and live for others wherever God places them: a movement of inspired worshippers in every European community, praying and working for the transformation of culture.
We are part of a movement re-imagining faith for the European context. We don’t see mission as something for specialists, but for every follower of Jesus. The key to activated missional engagement, we believe, lies in understanding that worship belongs at the heart of mission, and mission at the heart of worship. God invites us into the fulness of his love. It is as we respond that we are set free to live for others. Without the radical encounter with God the renews my spirit and rewires my thinking, I am powerless to play my part in the renewal of God’s world. It is when the worship encounter is shaped and fuelled by God’s passion for his planet that my part in his plan becomes clear. In the language of Jesus, we wait for the promise of God and having received, we are sent to the very ends of the earth.
The impact of bless is both local and Europe-wide. Our own church plants in France are implementing locally the principles we have adopted for our wider work, while across Europe we serve churches through training, resources and prayer.