Our VisionIn the city of Budapest, a metropolitan area of 3,000,000 and the center of cultural, academic, economic, and political influence for the nation of 10 million, we are asking God to raise up 300,000 disciple-makers, 3,000 churches/kingdom communities, and 300 ministry partners cooperating to bring gospel transformation to Budapest by seasoning and enlightening community life in the city and causing it to become a place of regional influence for the spread of the gospel.
According to the Operation World Fact Book, 2.8% of Hungarians understand and have responded to the true message of the gospel: salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Statistically this means that in the metropolitan area of Budapest, it is probable that there are fewer than 85,000 believers. Practically speaking, this means that when a believer rides a city bus full of 50 people, she may be the only one. When a teenager makes a decision to follow Jesus, he may be one of only 15 believers in his high school of 500 students. In an apartment complex with 2,000 residents, only 50 may have experienced the hope that can be found in knowing Jesus Christ. It is entirely plausible that there are people living in Budapest today who have never before met a Christian. What's more, it is likely that there are fewer than 200 transformational churches in the city — just one place of gospel proclamation for every 15,000 residents. These are the stark realities about a city in desperate need of the gospel.
We want to be clear that this vision isn’t a statement about what we will do, or what we can do, or even what we want to do. It is a statement of what we believe God will do in the city we love. We believe that God’s story of redemption is playing out in Budapest just as it is all around the world, and we are certain that this is God’s story, not ours. But at the same time, we are convinced that He has given us a role to play.
In May of 2015, we made a commitment to extend the physical presence and ministry involvement of the ReachBudapest team into two additional areas in the city by 2018, one additional location on the Buda side of the Danube, and one on the Pest side. We first began to realize God was calling us to look towards the city in a broader way in 2012, and in the years that have followed, He has given us greater clarity towards that call and has been enabling us to form a broader network of relationships across the city.
What we have learned over the years will be formative in helping us develop a vision for reaching these new areas. We don’t expect that God’s plan would include replicating what we’re doing now. But we do expect that what we have learned about working in cooperation with local churches and finding the most effective ways to engage people in the neighborhood in gospel conversations will prove helpful as we seek to be salt and light in other areas of the city.