The father of modern missions, William Carey, was a man ahead of his time. His book An Inquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen is credited as being the book that launched the modern missionary movement. His sermon: Attempt Great Things for God! Expect Great Things from God! launched the first missionary society:The Particular Calvinist Baptist Society for the Propagation of the Gospel amongst the Heathen.
The Urban World
For the first time in human history, more than 50% of the earth’s population now lives in cities. At the time of the first World Missions Congress in Edinburgh, 1910, London was the only super city in the world. Only 13% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 1950, 27% of the world’s population lived in cities and 73% in rural areas. 2009 marked the dawn of the urban world, when for the first time in human history, more than 50% of the world’s population lived in cities.
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is…you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10
The man who pioneered mass production of motor vehicles, Henry Ford, said that the most successful person would be the one who would fill the greatest need the best.
There is no doubt that Jesus Christ remains the greatest person who ever lived because He made the greatest sacrifice to fill the greatest need for the greatest number of people.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
We need forgiveness for sin and freedom from sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
We need life, love and light. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
A PowerPoint of this article is available here.
Despite the hard realities and desperate needs of the mission fields, we are increasingly seeing the amaturisation of missions. More and more Christians are pouring into the mission fields – but for very short periods of time and for very superficial goals.
“We need to understand and build upon our past.”
The theme of the second full day of the Cape Town 2010 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation focused on mobilising resources for world Evangelisation. The Christian Church is the largest, most diverse and most international movement ever seen in history. When we consider the vast resources available to the church worldwide then it is clear that the potential is enormous. Yet plainly most of this potential is not being realised. With all the buildings, vehicles, printing presses, radio stations, websites, publications, computers, manpower and money available, the Church of Jesus Christ should be having a far greater impact on culture and world events than it is.
The Cape Town 2010 Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation ended on Sunday 24 October with a dynamic celebration of Holy Communion. The two and a half hour service was structured around the Anglican Church of Kenya Liturgy. Unfortunately, the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, who presided over the service, lost his voice and so handed over the responsibility for the readings of the Presiding Minister to Doug Birdsall, the Executive Chairman of the Lausanne Congress Committee.
One of the most moving presentations at the Cape Town 2010 Congress on World Evangelisation was presented by an 18 year old North Korean girl, Gyeong Ju Son.
Gyeong Ju Son was born in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Her father was a high ranking communist government leader, an assistant to the North Korean leader Kim Jongil.
“The most unreached people of the world are most reachable when they’re in cities.”
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to disciple the diaspora. The nations are coming to us.”
“The world of work is critical to city dwellers. What are city churches doing to equip members for their work life?”
“Can we plant urban churches that are committed to Evangelism and to social justice?”
“Nothing less than a robust, Gospel centered church planting agenda is going to address this growing phenomenon.”
“We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. Every generation must discern and engage the world."
These were some of the statements made during the Wednesday sessions of the Cape Town 2010 Congress on World Evangelisation.
The Lord has never commanded us to do anything for which He has not also given us the power. Even when He commanded us to reach every nation He also promised us His own Holy Spirit to empower us (Luke 24:47?49). Many Christians think of parts of the world as unreachable - that is a fallacy! If Jesus commanded us to reach every tribe, tongue, race and nation then it is gloriously possible!
The father of modern missions, William Carey, was a man ahead of his time. In 1810 he proposed a world missions conference, and he suggested Cape Town as the ideal venue! It was 100 years later, in 1910, that the first world missions conference was held in Edinburgh. 200 years after William Carey had proposed it, Cape Town hosted the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation.