Slovenia is one of the smallest countries in Europe, wedged between Italy, Hungary, Croatia and Austria. It was part of the former Yugoslavia and over the past 100 years has seen much conflict as larger nations have waged war, and with the rise and fall of communism. While Roman Catholicism has been dominant in the past, like all of Europe, this has increasingly given way to secularism in more recent years. There is a relatively small evangelical church presence, but if we look back further in history there is a strong history in terms of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.
In the past few years there has been a rising engagement with Disciple Making Movements from various groups in Slovenia, which Biglife has sought to encourage, equip and support. One of the beautiful things about this movement is the strong sense of unity and collaboration. Jesus’ prayer at the end of his life for those who would come to believe in Him was for unity (John 17:20-23), knowing that we would find this to be a challenge. Europe, like the rest of the world, is peppered with a host of different denominations each with their own emphasis and statement of faith. Even within such a small Christian presence in Slovenia today, there exists division. Yet with the focus outwards on Disciple Making, those divisions seem to have fallen away as believers come together around a single purpose of making disciples who make disciples. Different groups come together for training, for prayer, for worship and for mutual encouragement, and are stronger because of this.
Another emerging trend within the movement in Slovenia is the focus upon prayer. There is a deep awareness of the dependence upon the Lord. It can be easy to forget how insignificant and vulnerable the first disciples must have felt as they huddled together in the upper room in Jerusalem. Yet with the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, they were transformed. In Slovenia there is that same sense of feeling at times insignificant and vulnerable, yet this is moving the believers to a fresh commitment to prayer for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Prayer walking the land is becoming a focus, and there are plans to do this in a coordinated way across the various strands of the movement.
Right across Europe there is a huge need for the gospel to break in. The rise of secularism has not brought contentment, but rather a rising tide of disillusionment and related mental health issues. Jesus came to bring abundant life (John 10:10), and it is this that Slovenia is crying out for. The emerging team of Disciple Makers are committed to making that good news heard and in seeing it spread across the beautiful country of Slovenia.