Church planting project in Madrid dresses Adventist beliefs with a contemporary approach
An innovative church plant project geared to reach the secular mind is adding up to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Madrid, the capital city of Spain. The “Zero Church” initiative—or simply “Zero,” as its members and supporters know it—looks to connect people who may have never been in a church with their inner need for a Bible-based spiritual experience.
“People may think that they do not need to develop their spirituality, but I think human beings have always been the same,” said church member Ana Lugo. “They need a spiritual life, but we need to connect with them by using their language, and I think ‘Zero’ is fulfilling that role.”
Church plant pastor Jonathán Contero concurred. “The goal of the ‘Zero Church’ is to be attractive for almost everyone, while not giving up our principles and fundamentals as Seventh-day Adventists,” he said. “At ‘Zero,’ we facilitate moments of fellowship, of real brotherhood, when by knowing each other better, we may foster a better relationship with our Lord.”
Countdown to Zero
Contero explained that with its current rejection of religiosity and an overwhelming secular spirit, Europe exhibits great challenges for sharing God’s Word. “The mission Jesus Christ gave us of preaching the gospel ‘to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people’ demands a creative and imaginative effort,” he said, “as we try to reach all those who have opted out of God in their lives.”
So, in the context of “Mission to the Cities”—a world church initiative to reach billions living in urban settings and overseen by Global Mission leaders at the world church headquarters—an initial group of volunteers launched a new church plant by mid-2015. In October 2016, the initiative was relaunched in a remodeled, bigger location. It was also at that time that leaders and members chose to give the initiative an intriguing, distinct name, and so “Zero Church” was born.