Have you noticed something this last week? A trend in leadership choice, primarily the emphasis of the Catholic Church’s election of Pope Francis, but also Compassion International’s choice of Santiago (Jim) Mallado? I remember studying the increase of Christians through missions classes in my undergraduate studies, in recent months studying immigration for the New Wine, New Wineskins conference in April, and the increase in cultural churches and the need to be more multi-ethnically united as the body of Christ.
Richard Rodriguez from the Los Angeles Times reports,
We long have regarded Latin Americans as a morally lazy race, corrupt in their civic life, tolerant of Marxism one day, fascism the next. Now we learn that the beating heart of Christianity is in the south. World Catholicism is centered there. And Protestantism, too, surges throughout Latin America.
Ron Boehme discusses this in his book, “The Fourth Wave” that majority world missions will increase in the future because of the growth of Christianity in the global south. Missionaries and church planters from Latin America, Africa, and Asia are increasing. As of 2012 Brazil became the second largest missionary sending country in the world according to Christianity Today.
What should our response be?
I believe that we must do our best to pray, develop relationships with others, and have an honest desire to learn from them what God has taught them. We need to realize how God has gifted them with their situations in order to bring Christ to their context and ours. Missionary support is also another important aspect that we can contribute to others with.
In terms of youth ministry, a majority of the youth workers that are “professional” reside in North America. We need to pray and challenge ourselves to move out of our comfort zone to these areas- whether that be for a short season or long-term. Youth and children all over the world need to be reached with the hope and abundant life of Jesus Christ!