Today, I am thankful for the shift in the global Church from the Global North/West to the Global South.
As Christian belief declines in the North, it is thriving in places like Africa, Asia and Latin America. And these regions are increasingly sending their own missionaries. Now, before you worry that I’m somehow saying I’m thankful for a decline in Christianity in the West, please hear me. Rising “religious nones” in the West is something we should pay attention to. It demands a renewed attention to our ministry methods and mission practices.
But decline in the West aside, the growth of the Church in the Global South is something for which we can be thankful. As we in the West realize how much we need our brothers and sisters in the Global South, I believe we will become a more fruitful Church. We can grow in humility by seeing what God is doing in and through His people outside the West.
1.Reading Scripture Through Southern Eyes
I’ve gotten to experience this as a TEAM worker in Mexico. Over the years, I’ve learned and grown through my relationships with Mexican church leaders. I need their perspectives, not just to minister in Mexico, but also to help me see what God may want to do in my home country. As I interact with leaders who are serving the Lord in very different contexts than my home culture, I’m learning to read the Bible with different questions. I have friends who pray the Lord’s Prayer, trusting God for their next meal in a very literal sense. I have other friends who understand God as healer on a deeper level than I previously considered — because He is the only hope of healing for them and their families.
2.The questions they ask about God’s power and His faithful presence in their lives are informed by their human experiences.