The key article in lesson 8, Pioneers of the World Christian Movement is Perspectives Lesson 8 including State of the Gospel by Jason Mandryk
A summary and discussion questions are below:
Population Growth Rate of the World, Christians, and Evangelicals
From Mandryk’s article, we see that the world population and Christian population within the world are both increasing at about the same rate. The percentage of those who identify themselves as Christians is about the same as it has been for over a century. However, evangelical Christianity is increasing about three times the rate of the world population (5% vs. 1.5%). FYI, Islam is growing a at slightly more than the world population, a little more than 2%.
Christianity is the fastest growing religion in Asia and Africa. In Asia, the church grew from 22 million in 1900 to 170 million in 2005. In Africa, the church grew from 8 million in 1900 to 351 million in 2000. Europe is the only continent where Christianity has declined in the last century. Currently 60% of believers around the world are not from “the West.”
An implication of the explosive growth of Christianity around the world is that nations who have received missionaries in the past are now senders. South Korea and Brazil are two of the top three sending countries and Mongolia, Lebanon, Singapore, and Niger send the most missionaries per Christian from their countries; Mongolia sends out one missionary for every 222 Mongolian believers.
Questions for Discussion and Reflection:
- Why is it important to understand the “State of the Gospel”?
- What does Mandryk mean when he speaks of “mission from everywhere to everywhere?”
- William Carey’s motto was, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” Why is the sequence of these two statements important?