International (MNN) — The year 2010 saw growth in the Christian church
and growth in opposition to the church, said David Shibley of Global
"I believe that we have seen exactly what Jesus said we would see,
which is the wheat and the tares growing up together," Shibley explained. "There is tremendous advance for the Gospel
in many parts of the world, at the same time there's increasing hostility. Part of the reason for that increased
hostility is because of the growth of the church worldwide."
In the year 2010, Global Advance provided training initiatives in 33 of
the nations that have the most need for the Gospel. It also held 95 training events for 50,000
pastoral leaders and business leaders around the world.
"I'm honored to lock arms with some of the most courageous people in
all of the world. We've seen that in the Middle East and Southeast Asia and
other Asian nations where the Gospel is often restricted, the church continues
to grow," Shibley said.
Although many of Global Advance's training events are held in areas
that can be very dangerous for Christians, its teams have come home safely
every time for the last twenty years. Shibley credits this fact, as well as everything God has accomplished
for His kingdom through the ministry, to the power of prayer.
"Psalm 2:8 is one of my favorite verses," Shibley said. "It says, ‘Ask of Me, and I will give you
nations for your inheritance, the ends of the earth for your possession.' I'm very grateful for a vigorous prayer team
that voluntarily prays hundreds of hours every week."
Events of 2010 also included a transition of leadership from David Shibley
to his son, Jonathan Shibley, and participation in the Third Lausanne Congress
in Capetown. David Shibley said the theme
for the year was a heightened recognition that the calling to follow Jesus Christ
is a radical calling.
"The great thing that is coming into focus for the church worldwide,
even here in the United States, is the radical nature of the Gospel and that
it will take radical obedience for the fulfilling of the Great commission,"
Shibley said. "Privileged as I was to be
part of the great Third Lausanne Congress in Capetown just a couple of months
ago, I saw this strong commitment to the fulfilling of the Great Commission,
but also a very clear-headed, eyes-open understanding of something of what that
cost will be."
Moving into 2011, Global Advance plans to continue to pursue the call
of Christ by building up church leaders all over the earth. It has plans for a large gathering of all the
strategic leaders and for initiatives to more deliberately pursue discipleship
"We are convening next year some of our strategic leaders around the
world who partner with us and are door openers for the ministry of Global
Advance," Shibley said. "Built upon a
stronger-than-ever network of relationships that have been forged, often in the
fires of the challenges that our brothers are meeting in many nations, we look
forward to even greater advance in the coming year."
You can join the Global Advance Prayer Force team here. Shibley is confident that the Lord will
prevail in building His church, no matter the times or the opposition.
"Our warfare is against demonic spirits that have postured themselves
all over the world against the Gospel," he said. "But there is no force that is capable of
stopping the advance of the Gospel worldwide. One of the wonderful prophecies concerning the coming of Emmanuel–given 700
years before Jesus came to the earth–God promised that of the increase of His
rule over the earth, there would ultimately be no end. We stand in that faith today."