The Mission

  The 2010’s were a tipping point for global Christianity. In 2020, more than half the world’s Christians live in Africa and Latin America, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. The portion of Christians in Europe has also fallen below 25% for the first time since the Middle Ages.  The change was predicted by historian Philip Jenkins, among others. Jenkins wrote in 2007, “We are living through one of the transforming moments in the history of religion worldwide, as the center of gravity in the Christian world has shifted inexorably . . . southward.” The demographic trends are expected to continue into this decade.

  It reminds me of the story of the two boats that responded to the Titanic when it was sinking.  One ship, the Californian, was about 20 miles away. They turned off their radio about ten minutes before the Titanic hit the iceberg. They saw rockets and flares shoot off in the distance. They couldn’t figure out why another boat was shooting rockets and flares, but they didn’t turn on their radio or investigate. They saw the boat’s light turn off but thought it was just turning its light off for the night. The crew of the Californian were so in maintenance mode with what they were already doing, they couldn’t imagine the Titanic sinking. For the rest of their lives, the crew members of the Californian had to wrestle with why they didn’t go.

But there was another ship, the Carpathia. It was 58 miles away. But its radio was on, and when it got the call that the Titanic was sinking, it powered up all its engines and headed straight for the Titanic, navigating around icebergs in the night. It ran full power ahead for 3.5 hours. When the crew showed up at the scene of the disaster, many had already perished, but they saved 705 lives from the lifeboats.

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