Who “Went to Church” Last Sunday?

Where did the church goWho “went to church” last Sunday? Maybe your trying to recall the people you saw, sat beside, talked with or noticed were AWOL. But think bigger! Think bigger than just our church. Think THE Church, Christ’s Church! As difficult as it is for Christians from the “Whitest” state in the USA to imagine, we are the minority. In fact, Christians in the USA, Canada, and Europe are the minority.

Sit down and let these facts about the Church that Jesus is building all over the world sink in. Be humbled, be thankful, be convicted, be encouraged that THE Church really is thriving and exploding among those who were not “Born…in the USA!” It’s all part of Jesus’ plan (Revelation 5:9-10).

Mark Noll points out in his recent book, The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith,

  • This past Sunday it is possible that more Christian believers attended church in China than in all of so-called “Christian Europe.” Yet in 1970 there were no legally functioning churches in all of China; only in 1971 did the communist regime allow for one Protestant and one Roman Catholic Church to hold public worship services, and this was mostly a concession to visiting Europeans and African students from Tanzania and Zambia.
  • This past Sunday more Anglicans attended church in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda than did Anglicans in Britain and Canada and Episcopalians in the United States combined–and the number of Anglicans in church in Nigeria was several times the umber in those other African countries.
  • This past Sunday more Presbyterians were at church in Ghana than in Scotland, and more were in congregations of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa than in the United States.
  • This past Sunday the churches with the largest attendance in England and France had mostly black congregations. About half of the churchgoers in London were African or African-Caribbean. Today, the largest Christian congregation in Europe is in Kiev, and it is pastored by a Nigerian of Pentecostal background.
  • This past Sunday there were more Roman Catholics at worship in the Philippines than in any single country of Europe, including historically Catholic Italy, Spain or Poland.
  • This past week in Great Britain, at least fifteen thousand Christian foreign missionaries were hard at work evangelizing the locals. most of these missionaries are from Africa and Asia. [pp. 20-21]
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