The decline of Christianity in the West has been met with a rise in Christianity in the global South and East. Ministers from other countries are coming to the United States to teach us principles they have learned in multiplying movements. I heard of this possibility a few years ago but I had no idea the degree to which this is actually happening. While Western Christianity has had a lot of ministry drift toward attractional, big box models…the church in South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East is growing like crazy. Here are a few of the shifts that have slowed us down:
In the West we give permission to ministry to the highly trained. In other parts of the world ministry is expected from day 1, especially evangelism, making disciples and planting churches.
In the West the price of admission is high: buy land, hire an architect, raise millions, take a few years to build, go into debt and service the debt from the budget. In other parts of the world they are meeting in homes where there is no need to build or go into debt to advance the kingdom.
In the West we teach information. In other parts of the world they train specific skills.
In the West we consolidate authority. In other parts of the world authority structures are more diffused among more people.
In the West we pray. In other parts of the world they are fasting and praying.
In the West we have little belief in miracles and have more of a secular view of life. In other parts of the world they are seeing miracles with regularity.
These are all broad generalizations so they may not be perfectly accurate for all…but they are generally true. There is a lot we can learn from what others are doing around the world…instead of them looking to us for training we are and will be looking to them for training.
If you want some examples of this look up Shodankeh Johnson in Sierra Leone and Ying Kai and his work in China. Millions are being reached with the gospel, while the church is in decline in the West. It is important we pay attention to this.
If you want a front row seat to sit at the feet of someone who has been part of huge movements, here is Ying Kai. Let me know what you think about his presentation in the comments!