Six years ago, Nathan and Elena Goodearl moved from the UK to the Netherlands to start their ministry ‘Empowering Europe’. Their aim is to help people reach their full potential and for the church to come alive, not only in, but also outside the buildings.
Empowering Europe officially started in 2019. “We came together, because in 2018 I felt God stirring me to gather people on a European level,” says Nathan. He did not yet know for what, only to gather people. “I contacted a German friend of mine, who also wanted to do that.” And so, Empowering Europe was formed, starting with a team of five.
Nathan and Elena had moved to the Netherlands several years before. “Every time I traveled to mainland Europe, I just felt at home, spiritually,” Nathan says. In 2015, God spoke to them about having a base on mainland Europe. A year later, God pointed Nathan to a job in the Netherlands. He got hired, and they moved to the town of Ede.
Nathan explains that in Europe, there is a lot of talking, but not so much doing. “Empowering is actually saying: you have value, you have a voice.” Empowering Europe wants to help and empower people to use that voice to do things for God’s kingdom.
A culture of empowerment
“We want to have a culture of empowerment. A culture of ‘can do’ attitude.” Together with their team, Nathan and Elena gather people who have a vision that expands beyond their own town or city. Nathan says that if you want to make a change, you need each other. “So we’re a ministry, but we’re made up out of teachers, church leaders, business leaders, it doesn’t matter. It’s about heart, not credentials.”
Empowering Europe’s vision is based on the new covenant theology. “We are in Christ. Because of that, we have a new covenant. God has actually done away with the law He gave to Moses and replaced it with something new and something better. So the law has been transformed and written on everybody’s hearts. It’s about stepping up and becoming who we’re created to be. Because of the new covenant, we have access to God and the Holy Spirit, which is the main point of the new covenant. The Holy Spirit makes us a new creation. It’s really taking hold of our identity. Christ has done everything.” Empowering Europe does things from this point of view, they act from the new covenant. But they also stress that it’s about hearts, not theology.
The goal shouldn’t be to work in ministry. You should really value where you are and make a difference where you are.”
One of the approaches Empowering Europe works from is that of the ‘seven mountains’. This is a holistic approach to the Kingdom of God, pointed at how you can influence the place where you are and where you have a job, not just inside the church. “People work in politics, in teaching, in the arts, in business. Most people don’t work for church. The goal shouldn’t be to work in ministry. You should really value where you are and make a difference where you are.”
Elena summarizes what Empowering Europe is about: “It’s about: how can we serve one another and how can we make sure everybody is equipped and strong?” Everyone has talents, but not everyone has the courage to use them. Empowering Europe encourages people to do something with their talents for the kingdom of God, and connects them with others. “If you start on your own, you can go fast, but you can’t go far.” Their heart is to do things together, not alone. Listening to what God says is very important for Empowering Europe.
Empowering Europe also organizes gatherings, where people come from all over Europe. At these weekends, it is not just listening and receiving. “We have a lot of peer to peer interaction,” explains Elena, “we will give people a voice as well.” “It’s very interactive,” Nathan continues. “Some people think they don’t have anything to give. And we say, ‘No, you do have, you’re valuable, we want to listen to you.”
Empowering You Forward
Elena set up a group of prophets within an initiative called Empowering You Forward. Prior to the group prophesying, they focused on aspects of a team to create an atmosphere of trust and togetherness. “First we learned to journey together and move forward. Some people needed to build confidence, which has happened and is great to see.” When the team was steady, they could begin their ministry by prophesying over leaders and ministries, listening to what God was saying over their lives and organizations.
Empowering You Forward helps people strategize with prophetic unlocking insights on how to take the next step in their lives. “We help them overcome any barriers they are facing.” It is equally about connecting people who are likeminded, or a project that is picked up by a team. “One person has an idea, other people might have experience. It’s about making someone’s Godly desire a reality.”
Elena explains that in many churches, people have a desire to do more, but they don’t get the opportunity. “What I’ve seen happen is that people go from ‘I don’t know if I can do this’ to them really stepping up and becoming confident, and doing things for the first time, doing things that enable them to grow. They’ve become completely transformed. On an individual level, that is what God is doing.”
If you want to see change, you need to be the change.”
They see that God is strengthening ministries and church plants, because people don’t feel alone in what they want to do anymore. “We bring people together who wouldn’t normally meet, and there’s power in that.” When people meet who have the same goal and the same heart, great things can happen. “If you want to see change, you need to be the change.”
“The church needs to come alive. The narrative that Europe is like a cemetery of missionaries, because in Europe it is too difficult to do anything, must end. European Christians must take ownership of their own continent. It starts with your own town. Think nationally or European, but act locally. If everyone does it, it changes nations, it changes continents,” Nathan concludes.
If you want to learn more or get in touch with Empowering Europe, check out their website or Facebook page.