Equipping For Ministry

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And our tagline has been “The Unstoppable Movement of God”. And that was easy to see in the early miraculous stories of the New Testament but sometimes it is harder to see how that is still true about the Church today.
But it is true. The movement of the Christian Church is growing like crazy right now…just not as much here in the West.
The International Bulletin for Missionary Research (IBMR) has produced its state-of-the-globe report on religious statistics for the past 31 years. Their most recent report tells us that while America and countries in Western Europe are still reporting just nominal growth overall, Thee Church is seeing dramatic and explosive growth in countries in Asia, Africa and South America.
And I know that even I say that, some of us hear those statistics and we are thinking… “Yeah, ok so there is some missionaries doing some great work over there... but they aren’t…you know…Christians like we are Christians…right?” Do you discover some of that in you when you heard those statistics? Like somehow the fact that their daily lives look drastically different from our daily lives causes us to be somewhat sceptical as to their Christianity-ness.
We know that we didn’t invent Christianity. We know we didn’t invent the Church. But somehow, if we are honest, when we hear that Church or Christianity is growing in other cultures around the world we see that as somehow different.
Or maybe that is just me…but I don’t think that I am alone in this. I don’t think that we as a Church are alone is in this, it is something that those who study Christian responses have long warned us about. That some where along the way, we picked up this idea that Christianity expressed in the western Church context is somehow superior to the one that is believed on and expressed in jungles, rice fields or crowded cities on the other side of the world.
And it is good that we stop to recognize this. To learn from it. To pray into it. To repent of it...because we need to learn from our bothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Christians in places like Nigeria and South Sudan are facing extreme levels of persecution and yet the“unstoppable movement of God”, the Church that we are a part of with them, is growing there even as it slows in our part of the world.
And we can trust that God is doing the same kind of life-changing, born again, regeneration on the other side of the world that He is doing here. Because truth is NOT relative to a particular “time” or a particular place or a particular culture. Truth is that which corresponds to fact and reality, and the regenerating power found in the truth of the Gospel does not change.
Romans 1:16
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
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