Greetings from Harlingen, Texas, just a few miles from the border of Mexico! This past week I was in Dallas with the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication (GACX) Forum, an annual gathering of church planting organizations from around the world. [GACX is part of Campus Crusade for Christ or CRU.] This year there were 400 people from 50 countries, and as always, it was an inspiring event with very sincere, earnest, passionate believers seeking to reach all people with the love of Christ.
There was a lot of data shared this week, which I found to be very interesting.
It’s not a surprise to most of us that there has been a shift in the population of the church from the Global North to the Global South. Only 18% of Christians lived in the Global South in the year 1900, but today it is 67%. There are 838 million Christians in the Global North but 1.1 billion Christians in the Global South.
But the highest number of Christians can be found on the continent of Africa, with the number at 667 million, compared to 268 million in North America. Europe is the least reached continent – there are more Christians in Saudi Arabia than in Greece!
There are also more females who are Christian than males, so one speaker said that the face of Christianity today is an African woman! We need to begin changing our perception of global Christian leaders to this picture!
Another interesting fact is that while the percentage of Christians worldwide has remained the same (for the past 100 years (around 32%), new data is showing that the global population growth is outpacing the growth of Christianity, which will result in a decline over time.
But here are some other interesting facts:
More than half of all Christians live in countries where mor than 70% of the population are Christian.
More than half of all non-Christians live in a country where less than 8% are Christian.
As one speaker said, “we are good at winning the winnable and ignoring the rest.”
However, the place where Christianity is growing the fastest is in the areas where the Human Development Index is the lowest. This is where I see the capacity of Discipling Marketplace Leaders having a positive impact on the Global Church. We need to teach a healthy theology of work, as well as wealth creation God’s way, and wealth management as God’s stewards. There is no wealth to be shared until there is wealth created. Business has the ability to create wealth, alleviate poverty, create meaningful work, and reach people who would typically never step foot in a church.
This week I’m doing recordings of DML materials for YouTube with a partner organization, Nation To Nation, who allows us to use their studio, and then also sends DML courses to their schools around the world.