Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On being evangelised

The global Christian missionary movement has begun to turn on its head in the last 20 years. Whereas Britain was the first modern missionary nation (thanks to the 18th century revival, the vision of William Carey et al., and of course our cultural hegemony), we now send many fewer missionaries abroad than some other countries.

This is, I must remember, a Good Thing. The more international mission-sending becomes, the more mission reflects the church, especially her final reality - when we will be gathered from every tribe, language and nation.

The shift also means that the West's missions have been successful, to an extent. Nigeria has the world's largest Christian student community, from a much smaller university population. There are 50 times more Christians in China than in the UK. Of the five countries with the most Christians, none are in Europe - I believe they are China, the USA, Brazil, Nigeria and Korea.

Today, despite the fact that our nation is leading the charge towards post-Christian society where the mass religion is atheism, my national/cultural/religious pride is challenged when, for example, a group of Canadian students spend $thousands and fly across the ocean to help student evangelism here. What's wrong with the CUs' mission weeks? Can we possibly have anything to learn from foreigners!?

The answer is clearly YES. Thanks for your dedication to mission. Thanks for coming over here. Please keep praying for our nation and your own.

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