Why the Church?, Pt. 7
by Dr. Eric Costanzo
For the last several weeks, we have seen how God has chosen the Church, as His bride, to be the instrument by which His Good News is carried to the rest of creation. The Church is an imperfect vessel proclaiming a perfect God. The Church is good because Jesus Himself has made her good. While the Church in America is in decline, the Church worldwide is exploding with growth.
The final point of discussion might sound strange upon first hearing: The Church of the 21st century is absurd.
What do I mean?
Consider some of these facts below…my how things have changed: (Source: David Barrett and Philip Jenkins; globalchurchproject.)
• By 2025, missiologists predict that 2/3 of the world’s Christian population will live in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Throughout the last century, the United States and Europe made up the vast majority of the Christian population.
• Missiologists also say the “average Christian” today is female, black and lives in a Brazilian favela or an African village.
• The Judeo-Christian movement was born in the Middle East and North Africa, a region that now has the lowest concentration of professing Christians in the entire world.
• There are more professing Protestants in Nigeria than in Germany, the birthplace of Lutheran Protestantism.
The definition of absurd is “beyond reason or logic.” Who could have predicted such a thing?
Well, the answer is our missionaries. The men and women on the field have been planting the seeds of faith and planting churches throughout the “majority world” for decades. They have been living out the Great Commission by making disciples who are also living out the GC and making disciples of their own.
This is Good News!
Perhaps in this century we have a lot to learn from the churches and peoples to whom we brought the faith in the last century. My prayer for us at South Tulsa is that we will be described like this: “Every day they continued to meet together…with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47).