Religious Renewal in Sweden
Religious Renewal in Sweden will not be easy. Less that 20 percent of Swedes even believe there is a God. In a Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, just 18% of Swedish citizens responded that “they believe there is a god”, although a further 45% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force”.In a 2009 Gallup poll, 17% answered yes to the question “Is religion an important part of your daily life?”. Less than 4% of the Church of Sweden membership attends public worship during an average week; about 2% are regular attendees. Some scholars consider the nation to be a place where religion is regarded with “benign indifference”. See Wiki Article
If religious renewal in Sweden is going to happen, it will happen through leaders like Amanda Lindberg. Here is her story.
My name is Amanda Lindberg. I live in Sweden, a country with a long Lutheran tradition. The Swedish society has many great values, but it is written off as growing secularization. The number of people that believe in God has decreased and even though many young people today have some faith they see the church as conservative and stiff. Ministering in Sweden is about meeting the young at their places and to bring God to them. Churches are admirable buildings and a wonderful gathering point. However, God is present everywhere and so does his servants need to be. The large variety of religion in Sweden also makes that in different municipals different religions and variations might be dominating. In some villages the Roman Catholic Church might be dominant, in the suburbs it might be Islam.
The Lord is my Shepard, and so it has always been, I have always known God but though the years I have had the opportunity to get to know him even better. I have visited Synagogues, Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Mormon and more kinds of different sermons to see how his grace manifests and to learn more about how people worship hem.
My dream of ministry is a dream of service to the Lord. To be an instrument in spreading his grace throughout the community and the world. To be someone who shares the Lord’s strength with those who needs it. To be someone who can help the young avoid the temptation of sin. The spread of his word where they are needed. I am a servant of God foremost and most importantly. I am his child, and I minister his word to let his grace flow even more so that his guiding hand will be felt by more. I am a Reverend of the one true God. I revere him as our Lord and will spread that reverence.
Although the feeling of the calling to ministry always have been in my heart the key experience that lead me to it were after a failed suicide attempt. As I recovered I felt like I had been granted a new life and when I stood in the face of temptation of sin I felt it’s corrupting influence over my newfound spiritual redemption and I took the decision to renounce sin and dedicate myself fully to the work of the Lord. It will be a challenging mission to spread his word in a district full of social and cultural conflict. But as I stand fast in my faith the Lord will open new doors.
The Christian Leaders Institute makes this possible. I am already university educated and do a work that is important spiritually and morally. Through the CLI, I have the opportunity to get the education needed for being a bi-vocational minister. The CLI makes it possible for me to do more and through there model with distance learning over the internet I get a qualitative education that I can fit into my schedule without having to stop working and leave my job.
The CLI brings me one step further in service of God. Pray for his glory because it is great. Pray for those struggling with their faith and those going through hardship. Pray and praise the life he given you. Pray for strength and pray for life.
Religious renewal in Sweden may take some time, but God is raising up leaders to change this nation!