“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.”
The church in the Majority World has been growing at a fantastic pace over the past few decades. Many of us in the Canadian church know this. But we need more than a vague sense of the shape and size of the Global Church that we belong to.
We cannot invest ourselves in everything that is going on everywhere. But we also must not allow our vision and concern to be cast only within arm’s reach. We are members of a Global Church and that makes us part of a big and boisterous family. This page exists to help us take hold of this fact.
The church of the West is not Jesus Headquarters. We need to learn to see ourselves as part of a bigger and broader church than what we encounter on Sunday. We need to learn what it means to engage in the mission of God as part of a Global Church. Our hope and prayer is that the resources here will help us to do just that.
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
-Tyler and Christiane Horton
The goal of this workshop on the Global Church is that everyone who attends would take at least one small step forward. Remember, the Global Church is not them but us and we need to be awake to and aware of the reality in which we live. It is only right that our main concern is the ground where we are standing but keeping our broader context in mind will be a great help to our faith and the church of which we are a part. This guide is meant to help you figure out what your next step might be.
Praying for the World: https://www.lausanne.org/pray
Weekly email for prayer
This fantastic new resource is a joint effort of the Lausanne Movement and Operation world. Sign up for a weekly prayer guide that gives information on how to pray well for the world. Each guide can also be printed off and distributed. You will be kept up on what God is doing, where the needs are, and how you can pray.
Pressure Points: Twelve Global Issues Shaping the Face of the Church, by J.D. Payne:
Great first book to read
This book is a very informative but also a very accessible read and balances the challenges with the confidence we have from the Global Church being Christ’s Church.
Joining with God in Local and Global Mission: theglobalchurchproject.com/vid eo/bogunjoko-video/
Video interview with Joshua Bogunjoko (32 minutes)
This website offers a wide range of interviews with Global Church leaders. This one from the current SIM International Director is a great one to start with because of the wealth of his experience and depth of his passion.
Dispatches From the Front: dispatchesfromthefront.com
This is a good option for a small group to watch together and pray over.
“Our view of God's Kingdom is often too small and limited to what we have experienced. Dispatches from the Front highlights the marvelous extent, diversity, and unity of Christ's Kingdom in our world.” This is a powerful DVD series available for purchase. They are up to 10 episodes now and each one is about an hour long. They travel to the places where the gospel is just crossing lines to the unreached and the bonus features are in many ways as good as the episode itself.
Global Christianity Overview, Douglas Jacobsen
This 20 minute video is a really good introduction to the way things stand and how we got to where we are. This is part of a broader series of lectures where the others cover distinct areas of the Global Church. Jacobsen is also the author of Global Gospel: An Introduction to Christianity on Five Continents. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He_wQsqzOzQ)
Pressure Points: Twelve Global Issues Shaping the Face of the Church, J.D. Payne
This 1 hour lecture is a summary of the book by the same title and is a great introduction to the issues. (https://vimeo.com/67811580)
3D Gospel: guilt-innocence, honor-shame, and fear-power worldviews, Global Frontier Missions
This is a 7 minute video summarizing the 3 main worldview categories and how they relate to the gospel. On the home page for their Youtube channel there is a series called GFM 101 from which this video is taken. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2XNoAFtqOw)
The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, by Philip Jenkins:
This is a good option for a more experienced reader.
Philip Jenkins’ book is now it a third expanded edition and has been a key in describing the major shifts in Global Christianity and looking ahead at what these shifts could mean for the future.
Christian Mission in the Modern World, by John Stott:
A modern classic from an important world leader from the previous generation. Brief, clear, easy to read, and moving.
The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative, by Christopher J.H. Wright:
This is a good option for someone who wants to dig deep into the biblical foundations of these issues.
An in depth (and decently large) but very readable book. Wright argues that it is not enough to say that Bible provides a basis for mission but that the entire Bible is generated by and is all about God’s mission.
The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures, by Jayson Georges:
This is a good option for someone who wants to explore the relationship between the gospel and different worldviews.
The book further describes how each of these worldview sets function in day to day life and in relation to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Theology in the Context of World Christianity, by Timothy Tennent:
This is a good choice for someone who has already done some reading in theology.
This book is a call to take the theology emerging from the Majority World church seriously and a tool to help us do so well. After introducing the emergence of theological discussion from non-Westerners, Tennent walks through 8 areas of theology where we would do well to learn from the Global Church.
Books for further steps or more dedicated and experienced readers:
Andrew Walls: he is a Church historian who has written extensively but The Missionary Movement in Christian History is a good place to start.
Lamin Saneh: born and raised in Gambia, he has written especially on the Global Church and the relationship between Christianity and Islam. Disciples of all Nations may be the best starting point.
Majority World Theology Series: edited by Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue, and K.K. Yeo, the series attempts to assemble scholars from around the globe to do theology with the Global Church. Current volumes cover doctrines of Jesus, the Trinity, the Spirit, the Church, and salvation.
Jesus of Africa, by Diane Stinton: a really excellent book demonstrating what it means to listen to and learn from Majority World Christians.
Lausanne Movement: lausanne.org
The website houses a host of resources for those who want more information on how to connect with particular issues.
The Lausanne movement was started by Billy Graham and John Stott in response to thinking about what could happen if the many men and women who are working for God’s mission around the world were able to gather together and make working connections with one another. Their goal is to see the gospel for every person, an evangelical church for every people, Christ-like leaders for every church, and kingdom impact on every sphere of society. Once a month they publish the “Lausanne Global Analysis” which contains a few articles around a particular theme and relevant to the Global Church. Lausanne has over 30 “issue networks” which focus in on particular issues such as arts, creation care, Islam, reconciliation, and women in evangelism.
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity: www.gordonconwell.edu/ockenga/research/index.cfm
This is a good option for someone who wants to see the real statistics and get the clearest and most up to date picture of the Global Church.
This is an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity. The academic side of this can be a bit daunting but they are also very good at producing resources to communicate the results of their research (click on the Resources and Downloads tab for really great infographics). There are videos, maps, articles, links, and the site is a launch point for the most accurate and in depth information about the Global Church.
Carto Mission: www.cartomission.com
This is a good option for someone who wants to browse maps and infographics rather than read a lot of information.
Carto Mission exists to provide cartographic (mapping) services to inform and inspire mission and they have made most of the infographics that the Center for the Study of Global Christianity uses. The site hosts the work that they have done for other organizations and hosts a wealth of information.
The Voice of the Martyrs: www.vomcanada.com
This is a good choice for those especially concerned with justice and compassion ministries.
Founded by Richard Wumbrand, the author of Tortured for Christ, the Voice of the Martyrs seeks a world where all persecuted Christians are remembered and supported within the body of Christ. On the site you can get up to date information by clicking on a map of identified Persecuted Nations, watch a large collection of videos, and find steps for how to engage with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.
Operation World: www.operationworld.org
This is a good choice for those who feel they lack good information about the world and who want to be moved to pray more and pray better.
This is the website supporting the well known book of the same title. The book is now in its 7th edition and is meant to be a tool for prayer that covers the entire globe. On the site you can find information to pray for any country you wish and there are great resources for encouraging prayer in your family and church.
The Joshua Project: www.joshuaproject.net
This is a good option for someone who wants to focus on prayer, is interested in statistics, and is especially concerned for unreached peoples.
The Joshua Project works to bring definition to the unfinished task of reaching all peoples with the good news of Jesus Christ. The site is loaded with information and resources to deliver it concerning how many people groups are still unreached as well as who and where they are. There are up to date statistics, maps, and prayer guides to help you get started. You can sign up for an email every day that highlights one people group to pray for.
Global Church Project: www.theglobalchurchproject.com
This is a good option for someone who would rather listen than read and has a broad range of curiosity.
Graham Hill has written a number of books on the Global Church and also spearheads this site which aims to help local Christians learn from diverse, multiethnic, and global voices and trends so that they experience renewed mission and revitalized churches. There are resources and a blog at the site but the core content is over 140 video interviews with Global Church leaders providing us with the opportunity to listen and come under their influence. The topics can be very broad and introductory but also specialized and academic. We would recommend starting with the interview with Joshua Bogunjoko from Nigeria, who is currently the International Director for SIM.
The Unfinished Story: https://simplymobilizing.com/courses/the-unfinished-story/
This is a good option for those who are looking for a simple next step.
The Unfinished Story provides an exciting overview of the mission of God from Genesis, through the gospels and more than two thousand years of the world Christian movement to our world today. This course is aimed at a small group setting with 4 sessions.
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: www.perspectivescanada.org
This is a good option for someone who wants to dive into the ‘deep end.’
Perspectives is a dynamic course where you’ll discover what God is doing around the world and consider your part in His purposes. This course is designed around the ‘perspectives’ of Bible, History, Culture, and Strategy. It is a 15 week course and while it is a substantial commitment it also pays high dividends. There are no courses being offered currently in the Maritimes but an online version is available.
This is a good option for someone who wants to go a bit deeper.
This course is a step back from the depth of Perspectives but is very similar and is organized around the same 4 topics. Kairos is organized into 9 sessions and there is also a Youth edition of the program.
World Mission of the Church: biblicaltraining.org/world-mission-church/timothy-tennent
This is a great option for the podcast consumers.
This is a course by Timothy Tennent recorded at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Parts of it might be a bit tough if you think of yourself as ‘not a school person’ but he is a very good and accessible teacher. This course considers biblical and theological foundations, history, and strategy of missions. It is 12 lectures and takes about 15 hours to listen through. This site also hosts a number of other relevant courses on missions and world religions.
God’s Mission and Christian Missions: www.bcsmn.edu/profile/gods-mission-and-christian-missions-pdf-download/
This is a good option for someone with some knowledge/experience who is looking for curriculum to lead a group through.
This is a 6 week course aimed at showing that God is on a mission to fill the earth with his glory through his redeemed people. It is produced by Bethlehem College and Seminary and leans heavily on material produced by John Piper. There is an Instructor’s Guide and Student workbook available for free download.
One of the lessons we learn as we listen to our brothers and sisters around the world is that God is more alive, more active, and more responsive to the prayers of His people than we tend to assume here. Use some of the resources above (especially the websites) to help guide you and your church to pray well. Consider focusing on one country a month with your family or small group, pray for an unreached people group through the Joshua Project, have your church select an area of concern to pray for during the morning services, set up a 24 hour prayer vigil for the Global Church…
Attend a Conference:
The big one in the Maritimes is Jesus to the Nations in Halifax (jesustothenations.com) which takes place on March 29-31 this year. But there are also smaller conferences put on by mission agencies and churches.
Take a Trip:
Do not let yourself off too quickly by saying that you couldn’t or wouldn’t. There are lots of opportunities to go and be part of what God is doing all over His world.
Harvest Worker Project (SIM South Sudan): https://www.sim.co.uk/stories/harvest-worker-project-raises-gospel-workers-south-sudan
This is a good option for those who want to give financially.
One of the issues facing the Global Church is that as missionaries are sent from Majority World countries, those who are sending them do not have as easy access to resources as churches in the West. This project gathers financial help for Majority World missionaries serving on the SIM South Sudan team. Note that the story in the link is to the SIM UK site and you may need to donate through the SIM office of your own country. The project number you need to use is
Create a Church Partnership:
Reach out to an organization like SIM and work at building a real partnership with a church in the Majority World. Not like an ‘adoption’ but a partnership where you both gain and learn from each other. How can you serve them? How can they serve you?