International (MNN) ― The world has changed dramatically in the last 60 years.
At that time, missiologist Patrick Johnstone put together the first Operation World. It's a compendium that documents the state of Christianity around the world and has provided helpful insight for Christians to pray for the nations.
With his understanding of the changes in evangelism over the last half century, Johnstone spoke this week at Global Advance on the future of the global Church, trends and resourcing challenges.
Very few organizations are training leaders in some of the most difficult areas of the world. The focus of Global Advance team has always been to challenge Christian leaders to use their influence to advance the Gospel. For some, this means planting churches, going as a missionary to a foreign land; for others, it means using business as the stimulus for evangelism and the spread of God's work.
What's more, Johnstone noted the shift of Christianity with which Global Advance has kept pace. He identified the trend as a move away from a Western-centric Christianity toward a Southern and Eastern Christianity.
It's well noted that in Southeast Asia, Christianity is growing at a staggering rate. Despite rising resistance and persecution, these new believers are also starting to take responsibility for the Great Commission. There are more churches being planted in this region of the world than ever before.
Good news, certainly, but it also presents a unique challenge. Young Christians are working to plant and multiply churches, reproducing new churches ahead of Bible training. Over 90% of them have no formal instruction and will never have the opportunity to get that kind of education.
That's why this month and next, Global Advance's team will answer that need. They're sending training teams to India with 4 separate events in 4 different states. In May, they'll return to Southeast Asia for training events in several more restricted access nations.
Several thousand leaders will be trained in Southeast Asia over the next few months -- reinforcing what God is already doing. Pray for wisdom for those involved in the training events. Pray that the new church leaders will understand the material and be able to implement it as they begin their ministries.