Crowdsource new Bibles for your church, school or youth ministry with GivingBibles.com

GivingBibles.com looks a brilliant new website designed by Hodder Faith especially for churches or other organisations that need Bibles but can’t afford them. Perhaps your church needs to replenish its stock of pew Bibles, or maybe there’s a growing youth group you’d like to give youth Bibles to? There are 30 different packs and individual Bibles to choose from, from individual gospels to packs of 20 church Bibles.

Whether you need Bibles for your church or school, or even for an Alpha or Christianity Explored course, Foodbank, Street Pastors’ group or for a local mission, GivingBibles.com is the place to come.

Anyone can set up an appeal, and it takes less than 5 minutes – just select the Bibles you need and write a short pitch as you might on JustGiving if you were running a marathon. Then share your appeal with your friends via email or social media.

GivingBibles.com from NIV Bibles on Vimeo.

Clearing 2016 – A step-by-step guide

Around 300,000 students will receive their A-level results on Thursday, and like every year, thousands of students will suddenly find themselves thrown into the Clearing system.

If you are among them, remember – ending up in Clearing is no reason to panic. University Clearing is there for anyone who has applied through Ucas but is without a place after receiving their results, whatever the reason.  Over 64,000 students found a university place through Clearing in 2015, according to UCAS – more than 10% of all university admissions that year.  So there is a good chance you will too, provided you are flexible and get your research right.

Here is a simple, step-by-step guide to Clearing should you need to get involved on results day:

1. Check Track

On the morning of results day, log in to Track on the UCAS website to see if you are eligible for Clearing. It’s a myth that Track is updated at midnight on results day. Only the Clearing 2016 Vacancy Search goes live at midnight; Track opens at around 8am.  If you’re eligible for Clearing, it will say so and you’ll be provided with a Clearing number which you should take note of so you can proceed (the universities you call up during Clearing will ask you for this).

2. Browse courses

You can browse Clearing 2016 vacancies at any time on results day, but you can’t make a formal choice until around 3.00pm when, if you’re eligible, an “add Clearing choice” button appears on your Track “choices” screen. However, you should call universities or colleges much earlier in the day to secure a provisional offer. Discuss your options with those who know your academic background and have been advising you up to this point. You might also find it helpful to talk to careers advisers on the Exam Results Helpline (0808 100 8000).

3. Be ready to act fast

Vacancies can be filled extremely quickly, and if you’re not around at the start of Clearing places on your chosen courses may have gone by the time you call the universities or colleges. Admissions staff will want to speak to you, not your parents or advisers.

4. Prepare to contact admissions staff

When you have found a course you like, call the university’s admissions office to confirm that places are still available and discuss the course demands. You should prepare for that phone call as seriously as for a job interview. Be ready to ask tutors intelligent questions about the course requirements, and make sure you are a good fit for them. You might want to ask how the course is taught, what assessment model is used, what materials you’ll need to supply, and about the accommodation arrangements. Admissions staff will ask for your personal ID and Clearing number to confirm they can consider you in Clearing (you’ll find these on the “welcome” and “choices” pages in Track). They can then view your complete application immediately on Ucas’s secure online system.

5. Add a Clearing choice in Track

If an admissions tutor offers you a provisional place, you’ll probably be given a deadline for making a formal commitment to the course by adding a Clearing choice on Track. You can only make one choice at a time. Before accepting an offer, research the course requirements and university carefully. You are committing to years of study and should feel confident that you’re doing the right thing.

6. Confirm or pick another course

Ucas tells the institution that you have entered its details on Track. If you are successful, you will see the acceptance in the “choices” section and Ucas will send you a letter confirming your place and giving further guidance. If you aren’t successful the “add Clearing choice” button will be reactivated so you can add another choice, and still more if necessary up until October 22. Vacancies in Clearing are a shifting landscape as people turn down offers and places are filled, so keep looking at the lists.

7. Consider applying again next year

If you can’t find a course in Clearing that matches your aspirations you can always apply again for next year. Courses for 2017 are already available to browse on the Ucas website. You can start work on your new application right now, although you won’t be able to submit it until mid-September.

8. Finding university accommodation

Once you’ve found a place through Clearing, the next challenge is sorting your university accommodation. This blog post from NUS will give you some tips on how to get applying (and why you really don’t need an ensuite bathroom…).

John Orchard a friend who is the Education Outreach Officer at the University of Essex, wrote some comments from his perspective as someone who works at a university and will be answering clearing phone calls this week:

  • It is SO important to read up on courses and universities BEFORE making any phone calls. We don’t mind answering specific questions but it’s really important that students have a good idea of what they’re applying for before they ring.
  • If you’re applying to a university through clearing find out if they have a clearing open day or tours running and make it a priority to go if at all possible.
  • Please be patient with us. We will process applications and get a response to you as soon as we can Sometimes taking time out to reflect and re-applying the following year is the best thing. Rushed decisions are more likely to be wrong decisions.
  • Please be patient with us. We will process applications and get a response to you as soon as we can”

A-level results – how to help your teenager

Here are some top tips on dealing with A’ level results:

For parents:

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about the results, either before or after.
  • Don’t shy away from the disappointment your child is feeling. Encourage him or her to talk about it.
  • Keep talking about the many possible future paths available.
  • Emphasise how hard they’ve tried and the work they’ve put in – and why this shows they have qualities that can take them far.
  • Explain – preferably with real examples – that many successful people have taken “a zig-zag route” to reach their goals.

For students:

  • If you’re worried, don’t wait till the last minute. Ring up and ask for an appointment with your tutor or careers adviser to look at options in case you drop a grade, so you have a real plan B. Find out too if there’s someone you can talk to at school or college in the days and weeks after results.
  • Be aware of the hype around A-levels day – TV images of ecstatic students, for example – which can inflate the importance of the results beyond the reality.
  • Develop a broader perspective on your future – talk to your friends, your family and especially your teachers or tutors, who may be well placed to help you think about alternative but equally rewarding ways forward.
  • Plan to do something positive on results day, whatever your grades. And stay in touch with people, to remind yourself that there is more to life than A-levels.

Reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect

The Home Office and the Department for Education have launched a consultation on reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect.

They are seeking views from the public on the possible introduction of a mandatory requirement for teachers and other professionals to report child abuse and neglect. Read the consultation documents and fill in the survey using the link above before the deadline on October 13th 12pm.

 

Fight for Justice over the Olympics

The It’s a Penalty campaign harnesses the power of sport to protect children from exploitation and abuse around the world, and at major global sporting events.

Throughout the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, It’s a Penalty reached over 300 million people globally. There were 11,252 calls to the Brazilian national crisis line reporting child exploitation.

For the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games, they’re striving to do the same.

It’s a Penalty Informs, Equips, Educates, Spreads Awareness and Communicates about how to make a difference in the global community to protect these children.

Together we can put an end to it.

Recruiting: Head of Alpha Northern Ireland

Interesting in working for Alpha?  They are recruiting a Head of Alpha for Northern Ireland.  Here’s some of the information they sent out:

We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore faith, ask questions and share their point of view; wherever they are in the world. We are looking for someone passionate about Alpha and the local church to head up Alpha in Northern Ireland. If you are living in Northern Ireland and are already involved with Alpha we’d love to hear from you.

As a team we strive for excellence and endeavour to be gracious and professional in everything we do. Alpha is an exciting and challenging place to work, where innovation, initiative and creativity are encouraged. As a Christian community, faith is an integral part of our working culture.

You can find out more details about this role here and, if you are interested in applying, further information is available from the people below.

Christian Selvaratnam – Head of Alpha UK Regions
christian@alpha.org

Amy Walker – Head of Alpha UK Operations
amy.walker@alpha.org

Youth Evangelism Officer appointed

jimmy_dale__002_Jimmy Dale has been appointed as the Church of England’s first national Youth Evangelism Officer.

In response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s focus on evangelism. Jimmy will take up the role in October. He will hold a national remit to develop and disseminate models of evangelism among 11 – 18 year olds.

This new role aims to promote the mission of the church to and by 11-18 year olds. In collaboration with Dioceses, Jimmy will develop, pilot and evaluate effective models of youth evangelism that enable young people to reach their peers with the Gospel. Working alongside bishops, clergy, youth advisers and youth workers, he will then ensure that parish leaders have ready access to those models.

Speaking after his appointment, Mr Dale said:

“I’m so excited to be starting in this new role and the potential that it brings. It’s brilliant to see young people as they evangelise to their friends and support them in that, and helping churches reach young people with the good news of Jesus. I am really looking forward to working alongside people across the country as we seek to support and promote where youth evangelism is working well, as well as dreaming together of new ways to reach young people with the gospel.”

Mr Dale will work with both the Mission and Public Affairs Division (MPA) and the National Education Office of the Archbishops’ Council, as part of a small team focussed on youth evangelism.

Jimmy Dale comes to the post having worked as Centre Director and founder of Newham Youth for Christ and with previous experience in youth work. He holds a BA (Hons) in Youth Work and Applied Theology from the University of Gloucestershire.

Welcoming the appointment, the Director of MPA, the Revd Dr Malcolm Brown, said:

“I am very pleased that we have appointed Jimmy Dale to this important new post. It represents a creative response to the priority of youth evangelism which combines the resources of the Education Office and the Mission and Public Affairs Division and will start to address the challenges of reaching out to a generation which can confound our assumptions about how they see the world, the church and the gospel.”

Chief Education Officer, the Revd Nigel Genders, added:

“The priorities set out in Going for Growth include every young person having a life enhancing encounter with Jesus Christ and the Christian faith and recognises the vital need to enable the capacity of young people as agents of change and transformation. We are delighted to welcome Jimmy to bring a specific focus on youth evangelism to this work and look forward to working with others across the church as we seek to enable young people to reach their peers with the good news about Jesus.”

Information about Going for Growth can be found here

Naked Attraction and Holy Lust

Rachel Gardner has written a brilliant blog on ‘Naked Attraction’ the latest Channel 4 trashy attempt at a programme linked to sex and relationships:

the problem with ‘Naked Attraction’ is that it hasn’t been done out of this spirit. The progressive liberal spin that says ‘this is art’ seems blind to the blatant fact that people will be getting a kick out of seeing full frontal nudity of bright young bodies. The creators of the show may be using nudity as a tool to provoke us to explore the true identity of the people we date, but how does focusing on the girth of a penis help anyone discover the hidden depths of someone’s character? Are they less likely to emotionally scar you if they have good pecs? Are they more likely to cherish your hopes and understand your insecurities if they have huge breasts?

The truth is that the internet has killed the idea of censorship, so if you’re a producer wanting good ratings why try and beat porn sites that blow your viewing stats out of the water when you can join them? Programmes like ‘Naked Attraction’ and ‘Sex Box’ aren’t about addressing the relational well- being of young people. They’re not about helping young adults find love in uncertain times. This isn’t a positive contribution to empowerment or education or art. This is voyeurism dressed up as freedom. This is our ongoing submission to the pornification of culture. It’s about broadcast numbers and money – and it’s a dull exchange.

But as shallow and distasteful as these shows invariably are, they none the less demonstrate something unknowingly redemptive.

Go read the rest of her blog to find out how the show unwittingly brought something redemptive to our screens.

YLG2016: Lab Session 2

The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta.  YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission.  It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes from the 2nd Lab Session with you.

Churches are notoriously slow at planning. Planning in churches often seems to be done backwards – looking back at what you did last year. You get constrained by history. Other organisations such as relief organisations are much more reactive and can find it challenging to plan in advance.

 

The questions on service and value need more time than we have available here but do take them and continue to wrestle with them.

 

This template is based from a friend who led planning for a complex large organisation. It is key that if you’re not clear what your purpose is – not what to do you want to accomplish in life – but a 3-6 months time frame of what you want to accomplish and why. For example, in October I want to come back to Indonesia to celebrate my birthday. The “what” is in Indonesia, the “why” is my birthday, the “when” is in October. Then in Priorities I find out it takes 6 months to get a visa so then I either have to go somewhere else for my birthday or go to Indonesia later on.

 

The timeframe can then cause problems, especially in a large organisation or if a committee manages you. It is important that we have a timescale to make things more concrete, but it can be adjusted.

 

Either leaders end up with 50 items to do or you assign it someone else in a large organisation. What does it look like to have 3 priorities, e.g. travel arrangements, visa, and what activities I want to do. Which of those is most important, in this case 1 or 2. Under these big buckets you can then chunk down such as airfares, other connections, buy a new suitcase. If I can only do one, what would help me get started and keep me on track?

 

Focus on the purpose statement and the 3 priorities in your groups as there may be some divine appointments with resources and experiences others can share.

YLG2016: Lab Session 1

The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta.  YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission.  It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes from the 1st Lab Session with you.

 

Churches are notoriously slow at planning. Planning in churches often seems to be done backwards – looking back at what you did last year. You get constrained by history. Other organisations such as relief organisations are much more reactive and can find it challenging to plan in advance.

 

The questions on service and value need more time than we have available here but do take them and continue to wrestle with them.

 

This template is based from a friend who led planning for a complex large organisation. It is key that if you’re not clear what your purpose is – not what to do you want to accomplish in life – but a 3-6 months time frame of what you want to accomplish and why. For example, in October I want to come back to Indonesia to celebrate my birthday. The “what” is in Indonesia, the “why” is my birthday, the “when” is in October. Then in Priorities I find out it takes 6 months to get a visa so then I either have to go somewhere else for my birthday or go to Indonesia later on.

 

The timeframe can then cause problems, especially in a large organisation or if a committee manages you. It is important that we have a timescale to make things more concrete, but it can be adjusted.

 

Either leaders end up with 50 items to do or you assign it someone else in a large organisation. What does it look like to have 3 priorities, e.g. travel arrangements, visa, and what activities I want to do. Which of those is most important, in this case 1 or 2. Under these big buckets you can then chunk down such as airfares, other connections, buy a new suitcase. If I can only do one, what would help me get started and keep me on track?

 

Focus on the purpose statement and the 3 priorities in your groups as there may be some divine appointments with resources and experiences others can share.

YLG2016: Evening session: Our True Story

The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta.  YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission.  It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes of Tracy Trinita, Nick Hall and Ravi Zacharias from tonight’s evening session with you.

Tracy Trinita

How do we communicate the Christian faith to a generation who is easily bored, and pursue happiness through looking good, who are often lost in the kingdom of money, experience and fame, how do we share the gospel in a world of instant gratifications?

 

There is no simple answer to these questions.

 

One potential answer is speaking true stories.  Stories have the power to open up minds, and breakdown barriers.  Every culture loves stories, but not every story is true.

 

As someone who was bullied for being tall and having a funny name I was thrilled when I became a model.  But I realised that money and fame made no difference.  Started shopping around the world religions.  The Christian faith had something different.  The more I read the gospel the more I realised Jesus was not boring.  I was showered with genuine love by Jesus who died on the cross for me.

 

Years gone by since joining God’s mission I’ve spoken with lots of young people, especially in Asia.  Listening to the angst of a girl in Japan who wants to commit suicide, looking into the eyes of a girl in Hong Kong who has to get straight As, a girl in Cambodia who desperately wants white skin, a girl in Shanghai who is exhausted from trying to please her parents.  They are young in age, but tired and old in souls.

 

Many of the young people can relate to my story they are pursuing happiness in ways that do not work.  I can chat, share the gospel and pray to close with these girls.  The tears shine in their eyes and I know Jesus has come, their life will never be the same again.

 

We all have a unique story to share about what Jesus Christ has done, we al have the Holy Spirit to guide us, we have resources to equip us.  1 Corinthains 1:6 it is the Lord that makes it grow.  Let’s plan the seed of the gospel and water it with true love and compassion.  We know God will make it grow.

 

Nick Hall

The time is now.  The time is now.  The time is now.  Does anyone believe it?  Is anyone excited tonight.  Of all the time in history God placed you in this moment, on the edge of the commission being completed in our lifetime.

 

1974 two gatherings – the first one was a gathering in Lausanne, as leaders met to commit together resources, partner together to share the Gospel.  We are sitting here because of that evening.  Tonight I want to propose we use events in public places.  The other gathering was in South Korea in 1974 of young people called Explode as 300,000 young people gathered.  A catalytic event for the church in Korea.  No matter what time zone your body is on, God’s time is now!

 

5 years ago we had a passion that we would take a message across the USA.  Started in North Dakota, the place where no one is from.  The place where no one belongs.  God gave a message offering a reset to young people.  To start again, to move passed errors, and to get it back to the way it was created and designed for.  As we looked at our generation we saw God created us to work in a certain way.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made but so many of our generation don’t know what it means to live out your life for Him.  Jesus came and offered this reset, and so we felt a need to share it across our country.

 

We want the largest places in our culture to be full of people.

 

Coca Cola in 100 years has evangelised the world.  Which of our nations does not believe in Coke, is not selling Coke, does not have it every restaurant, bar and café.  Their product is for everywhere, not just for small gatherings – which is why they are on every stage and platform.  Do we believe our message is for everywhere or do we just believe it is for the small places.

 

We want to fill the stadiums and the classrooms, the villages and the cities.

 

All the time people say events do not work, but ironically they say it while they are at an event!

 

Habakkuk 3:2

Stand in it

In awe of it

Renew it

 

Lord would you renew it in our day, and so we booked the National Mall in Washington DC for Jesus.  People said we were crazy, I don’t want to be normal, I want to be sold out for Jesus.  We had 500,000 young people come together.  But the key to any event is the send off.

 

We have filled the mall, now let’s fill them all.

 

Ravi Zacharias

I graduated alongside Alexander the Great, you’re inviting young leaders, but to try to persuade Nick is difficult.  I told him that August is my writing month but here I am.

 

Acts 24 would love to see an artist capture it, what an incredible moment.

 

He shook and trembled, whether or not it was a sense of fear, the power of what he was listening to.  All along his goal was to trip up the messenger as he could not contend with the truth.

 

1974 Lausanne: the words of Os Guinness :

 

“Why is there such constant disparagement of the mind? Why so much appeal to the emotions? Why so little content presupposed on which to decide? Why all the talk of “souls” and so little talk of whole people? Why the obvious exploitation of the testimony of the famous? Why is it so often a case of the most simplistic the message the most sophisticated the techniques? Why is there the need for always being bigger and more successful? Why the creation of Christian “celebrities” and “one man denominations”? Why the unconscious manipulations or the open fraudulence in public appeals for money or in prayer letters?

 

…Part of our failure to get thinking people to take the Gospel seriously is born of a credibility gap. We claim Christianity is true – a claim which is awesome by contemporary standards, but then we whittle down our claims by the patent incongruity of our practices of the truth. The way we operate speaks louder than what we say. Without the practice of truth, evangelism is in danger of becoming a giant institutional mouth or as E.M. Forster dismissed it scornfully, “poor, talkative, little Christianity!”

 

How do we bring what one startling coalescence of contrarieties?

Here we are making a choice in one of the most powerful countries ever. Rome is no less significant and clever than the original story.

 

He found a point of reference

He talked to Festus about righteousness.  What is it about the listener where you can find a point of reference?  At the time arguing from Causality was a strong argument, now they will laugh at you.  So then we always assume intelligence.

 

Moral reasoning

There is one argument that they all use now, trying to eliminate the ultimate cause, designer and we wonder how we split.  Joseph Stalin killed 15 million people, he was once a seminary student, when asked how long people

 

Point of relevance

Paul was a Hebrew by birth and a student of Rome.  Night, lightness, God has caused to shine light on Festus’ weaknesses.  Our current biggest issue is pornography.

 

Pont of disturbance

We cannot win crowds.  Young people are ready to pick it up when you are.  But we have compromised the gospel so much there is no gospel left.

 

General Romeo Dare said a key government leader kept the engines running had a quick look and as he left said he didn’t know it was so bad in a Middle Eastern war zone.  You didn’t know, you can’t simply Pontius Pilate 800,0000 people.  How do you reach a place like that?  You are talking about a womb, a womb so large it will hurt.  1 pulled muscle changes how you view everything, your life is changed.  When 800,000 are killed you are speaking through gaping wounds.  The only one who can do that is for the wounded to hear a wounded saviour.  Forms can change but substance cannot change.  If you can reach the youth they are the ones who can be game changers.  I like the idea of Nick’s gatherings.

 

Wesley was in a burning house.   The family and neighbours thought he was outside, men stood on shoulders to get him, none of them knew they would be standing on his shoulders to get to heaven.  When the disciples met Paul they didn’t realise he would be writing a third of the New Testament and planting churches.  You never know what that one person saved might do.

YLG2016: State of the World

The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta.  YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission.  It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes of Jason Mandryk and Molly Wall from Operation World as they give their State of the World address.

Largest religion by country & population

Most religions still tend to be concentrated in particular regions, especially Hinduism, Buddhism and to some degree Islam.  Christianity is the most global religion, 2.3 billion Christians in 38,000 denominations in every single country, with more cultures, ethnic groups, languages represented.  It is easy to see the prayer Jesus prayed for his disciples to have unity is still as challenging as before.

 

For about 100 years Christianity represents one third of the world population.  In 1960 29% of Evangelical Christians were living in Africa, Asia and Latin America, now in 2016 it is 78%, by 2020 it will be more than 80%.  This is true not just for evangelicals but every stream of Christianity.  We see that Evangelical Christianity is growing in 1960 there were 91 million (3%) now in 2016 there are 600 million + (8%).

 

Partnership

There is a greater degree of partnership and collaboration.  This is partly due to the size and complexity of the church and mission but also an increased willingness and even desire to partner together.

 

Prayer

The global church is seeing a deliberate focus on prayer, for every one initiative you know there are ten you probably don’t know such as the Holy Ghost service in Nigeria seeing 1 million praying together, and others much smaller.  Prayer is changing the church and the world.

 

Mission

In the last 25 years more people have entered the kingdom than in any other point of history.  A lot of this has happened in the context of persecution and suffering.  In 1960 50% of the world had never heard the gospel, now in 2016 it is about 29%.  There are 600-650 ethno-languages that have not yet received any part of the gospel.  Definitely mission has shifted from the West to the rest onto everywhere to everywhere – polycentric mission.  There is also a lot more reverse mission, former receiving fields are sending missionaries to the sending countries, a lot of people trying to reach places such as London.  The world’s mission force is more diverse in nationality, location, organisations and the range of activities we engage in.

 

Global Context

The story of humanity is a story of urbanisation from the garden of Eden to the City of revelation.  From 2008 the world population shifted over 50% urban population.  Cities contain not just the most people, but influence, energy, and more.

 

Human lifespan

Human lifespan is increasing, and the birth-rate is decreasing.  By 2050 there will be as many people aged 60 and over as those aged 15 and under.  In 1980 there were 100,000 who reached the age of 100.  By 2050 there will be 4 million who reach the age of 100.  This will impact employment, retirement and pensions, medical care, but also our Christian service opportunities.

 

Population Growth

As populations of global north decline (Japan, Germany etc.), half of all population growth will be in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, D.R. Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia and Uganda.  Or in other terms half of all population growth will be in Africa.

 

Poverty

Only 10% of the world lives in ‘extreme poverty’ according to the UN.  That still means over 700 million are living in injustice, exploitation, environmental degradation.  The 62 richest people in the world own as much wealth as 3.6 billion people (50% of the population).

 

Migration

Migration factors are the tip of the iceberg of the next 40 years.  They will be the context for much of the most fruitful ministry.

 

Data

Which movie gets 7 sequels in the cinema and which one goes straight to DVD, which advertisement and posts you see in social media is decided by data.  As the volume of data increases we are relying on others to prioritise and sort this.  We are influenced by those most closely aligned to our own values which narrows our learning and prevents us from relating to those who are different to us, and so we then abuse them.

 

What does it mean to be human?

This is increasingly important to us as morals, ethics, science and technology pushing up against boundaries.  Forming a sound biblical world view and ethic is essential.

 

As we look ahead we are facing critical unprecedented change.

 

The first Human Geno was sequenced in 2004 and cost hundreds of millions and took years.  Machines can do 18,000 genos in 1 year.  Long term strategic planning is nearly impossible

 

Complexity

The world is getting increasingly complex.  It is impossible for one group to understand everything.  Increasing uncertainty as the push of a button can end the world or the release of a virus.  Our lives have never been more secure and comfortable and yet insecure.  Terrorism happens everywhere.

 

The capacity to do the most good: all these technological changes mean we can communicate the good news to more people.

 

Secularism

We hear the narrative that religion is dying out but the global statistics doesn’t show that, in 2025 around 90% of the world will be religious.  Secularism declined since the 1980s due to China and Russia.

 

Future Growth

Most future growth of the church will happen in Africa, Asia and Latin America, partly due to higher birth rates as well as large numbers of conversions.  The global south will become an ever larger majority of the church.  They will increasingly provide leadership and set the agenda for the global church.  This is delayed somewhat from being proportionally represented as Western Christianity is very comfortable being in charge.  But many current key leaders are from all over the global South: Pope – Argentina; World EA – Filipino, IFES – Chad, OMF – Hong Kong, SIM – Nigeria, Interserve – India, OM – Singapore

 

The % of unevangelised is smaller (50% down to 29%) but due to population increase it is actually 600,000 more people (1.5 billion to 2.1 billion).  80% of those working in cities live in a slum context and yet only 1 in 6 Christian missionaries work in a slum.  Rural ministry can’t be ignored yet either.

 

There are 230 million migrants (5th largest population by country size) with an average stay in a refugee camp of 17 years.  They are not camps but cities.

 

81% of the world’s non-Christians don’t personally know a Christian.  For hundreds of millions of people they are the only gospel they may encounter.  There maybe Christians in every country but the spread is very uneven 90% to 0.001% of population.

 

Our Response

It is about the tough slug of discipleship and making disciples throughout the body of Christ and the world.  We have to radically demonstrate the power and the love of the gospel.  We must do it because the King of Kings has commanded us to do it, we must obey; but we can do it as the one with all power has commissioned us to do it and therefore we can.