Unstoppable Growth

Christianity is the single fastest growing religion in the world. For example, in AD 100 there were 360 non-believers for every believer. Today, there are only nine non-believers for every believer, and only four of those non-believers are from unreached people groups.

Considering the growth rate of the world’s religious blocks: Christianity is by far the fastest-growing religion in the world today. The total population of the world increases by 1.72% annually.

The world’s religions growth percentiles are as follows:

  • Buddhists 1.7%
  • Nominal Christians 2.2%
  • Hindus 2.3%
  • Muslims 2.7%
  • Non-religious 2.8%
  • Bible-believing Christians 6.9%

Evangelical Christianity has grown by more than 300 million believers in the past ten years. About 10 million of these new Christians are from North America and Europe, and the rest -290 million-are from developing countries like Nigeria, Argentina, India and China.

Over 700 million people in 220 countries have seen the Jesus film, with 41 million indicating a commitment to Jesus Christ and to follow-up Bible studies.

After the 70 years of oppression in the Soviet Union, Christians number About 100 million – five times the number of the Communist Party at the height of its popularity, and 36% of the population. More than 15,000 public school teachers are now teaching morals from the Bible and the life of Christ in their classes.

In Central Asia, a church planted in Uzbekistan just four years ago Has grown to 3,000 members and has planted 55 other congregations.

Mongolia, which had no church at all as recently as 1991, now has More than 3,000 believers in 17 congregations. And the Mongolians have sent their first missionaries to work with Operation Mobilization in India.

In Nepal, the world’s only official Hindu country, over 100,000 Hindus have met the Savior in the last two decades.

Every month another 15,000 in India are baptized as new believers in Jesus Christ. In India there is 1 pastor for every 7 churches. In Sudan the ratio is one to twelve.

In China, there are now about 80 million evangelical believers – growing at a rate five times that of the general population. Over 30,000 conversions a day take place in China alone.

In just over two years more than 30,000 Chinese Xiao gave their lives to Christ. It all started with a showing of the ‘Jesus’ film and summer teams of 20-30 Christians who traveled there to teach English and witness 1-on-1 to the elite students of the province.

In recent years, the best-selling book in Japan has been the Bible. In a government survey, Japanese citizens were asked to name the greatest religious leader in history. 67% replied, “Jesus Christ.”

In 1900, Korea had no Protestant Church and it was deemed “impossible to penetrate.” Today, six new churches open every day in South Korea, and it is site of nine of the world’s largest churches – some with more than 800,000 members. Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7,000 churches in Seoul alone. Millions of Buddhists have come to Christ.

In 1982 there were 321 Korean Protestant missionaries. By 1992 that number had grown to 2,576. On May 25, 1995, the South Korean Church dedicated 105,000 young people for at least two years of mission service. Another 3,000 Korean missionaries are now being trained to go into China.

The one million Koreans in northern China, in what Koreans call the Kirim-Song area, are experiencing revival. About 100,000 are now believers.

Latin America has over 400 million people, more than 50 million have become evangelical Christians. By the end of this decade, a majority of the people in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will be evangelical believers. Chile, Costa Rica, and Bolivia are about 40% Bible-believing evangelical. Already Mexico’s population is more than 35% evangelical. In Latin America some 34,000 believers are added to the Church per day.

Puerto Rico now has the highest number of evangelicals per square mile of any country in the world. Of the country’s 3.5 million people, one million are evangelicals. They have 7,000 churches, 10,000 pastors, nine Christian TV stations, 13 Christian radio stations, 130 Christian schools and 350 Christian community service organizations. More than 1,000 Puerto Rican young people are now training to go as missionaries to Muslims.

In Brazil one hundred years ago, there were no evangelicals. In 1980 there were about 12 million Protestants. By 1995, that number had increased to more than 40 million, with more than 80,000 churches and 150 Christian radio and TV stations. The number is expected to reach 50 million by the year 2000. At least five new evangelical churches open every week now in Rio de Janeiro. Church growth country-wide has reached over 5,000 new churches annually.

One new church that is just 16 years old now runs 14 Christian radio stations, four TV stations, has missionaries serving in 25 Countries and 6 million members.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the church “Ondas de Amor y Paz” (Waves of Love and Peace) attracts 225,000 people each week. Services take place daily in a converted movie theater from 9 AM to midnight, and every month another 3,000 new believers are baptized.

In Africa the church is on fire. It’s the first continent to become the majority Christian (over 50%) in a single century. Over 25,000 new believers per day mark the growth of the Church.

In a single summer in Mombassa, Kenya in East Africa, 56,000 Muslims came to faith in Jesus Christ.  In one baptismal service in the ocean on the coast of Angola in Southern Africa, 10,000 were baptized in one day.

In a six-year period in one Muslim country two million Muslims came to Christ, and missionaries in dozens of Muslim people groups are planting small churches of former Muslims worldwide.

More Muslims in Iran have come to Christ since 1980 than in the previous 1,000 years combined. Before Khomeini’s revolution in 1979 there were about 2,000 Iranian believers. After years of intensified persecution, there are now more than 15,000.

There’s a seminary in Indonesia where to graduate you have to do all the schoolwork plus start a whole church plus see at least 15 Muslims come to faith in Jesus Christ. In the past 6 years, these students have started more than 600 churches and seen 40,000 Muslims find new life in Christ.

The government of Papua New Guinea recently mandated Bible teaching in every school in the country.

In October 1993, the Philippines was solemnly consecrated to Jesus Christ in a massive rally around the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park in Manila – a rally attended by a million believers.

In North America, 85 million copies of the New International Version Of the Bible have been sold in the past 15 years; and 42 percent of its purchasers read the Bible every day. Every week 34 percent of the American population reads the Bible outside of church – that’s 75 million weekly exposed to the Word that “will not return void”. On an average day Americans will buy 35,932 Bibles.

Many cities are experiencing a fresh spiritual awakening – mostly among young people. For example, recently in Wichita, Kansas, each of 3,000 Christian high schoolers committed themselves to pray over the lockers of 10 students in their schools and to then invite them to a massive rally. Ten thousand showed up at the rally, where more than 6,000 teenagers came to faith in Jesus Christ.

Prayer groups are getting big. More than 2.7 million gathered at one time in Yoido Plaza in Seoul, Korea -the largest face-to-face meeting of humans in history. About 45,000 gathered for prayer at the national soccer stadium in Guatemala City, Guatemala. And 26,000 gathered in the Blue Jay stadium in Toronto, Canada to pray.

In southern California, about 300 high schoolers gather once a month to pray for the world.

The number of people who are being presented the plan of salvation every day is now at least 260,274. Pray for today’s quarter million plus. May they respond to the call of Christ. Every day now the average number added to the body of Christ worldwide averages 174,000.  3,500 new churches are opening every week worldwide.

Our annual growth rate of church planting is presently at more than 8% per year. We have seen countries like Singapore have a 10% increase of those who have seen Christ come into their lives.

In the 1980’s 10% of Korea and 10% of Chile turned to Christ, and over 10% in Indonesia – the largest Muslim country in the world. Indonesia is now over 25% Christian.

Every 14 days another translation of the New Testament is begun in a new language. If we’re still here, at least some portion of the Bible will be translated into every language on earth by the year 2020.

Join us in our series Unstoppable and learn more about what Christ is doing in our world, our church and our lives.  http://www.RidgeFellowship.com

Source: http://www.thetravelingteam.org/articles/growth-of-the-church

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Unstoppable

In the United States Christianity is openly mocked in most media: television, movies and print.  Nightly News portrays a world seemingly in despair with no hope.  The U.S., Canada, and Europe continue their downward slide away from God in their rejection of anything having to do with Christ and the Bible.  Even common sense and tenets of basic human morality are regularly attacked and vilified.

Yet the truth is that, in our time, worldwide, God is winning.  The Holy Spirit is greatly moving in what was once called “the Third World”. We need to be thankful and even amazed at what God is doing!

Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed.  For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  –Habakkuk 1:5

Every day, 20,000 Africans come to Christ.  Africa was 3% Christian in 1900 and is now over 50% Christian (Vision 2020).

In 1900 Korea had no Protestant church and the country was deemed impossible to penetrate.  Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7000 churches in Seoul alone and several of these churches have over 1,000,000 members (Vision 2020).

On June 15th, 2006, 3,000,000 believers paraded through Sao Paolo, Brazil in the world’s largest “March for Jesus” (William Stearns).

In A.D. 100, there were 360 non-Christians for every true believer.  Today the ratio is less than seven to every believer as the Holy Spirit does more than we could ever ask or imagine (Vision 2020)

There are currently 60-80 million Christians in China with between 10,000-25,000 converts a day (Open Doors).

About 500 Muslims come to faith in Christ every month in Iran–a country ranked among the top ten persecutors of Christians in the world.  Many of the new believers are young, since 70% of Iran is under the age of 30 (Vision 2020).

The number of Christians in Indonesia has grown from 1.3M forty years ago to over 11M today.  (Operation World).

The Jesus Film has been translated into nearly 1000 languages and over 200,000,000 people have indicated decisions for Christ as a result of the film (Campus Crusade).

If Bible translation had continued at its historic pace, providing a Bible in every people group’s heart language would have been accomplished in 2150.  Thanks to God’s working through Wycliffe’s Vision 2025, the work has been accelerated by over 100 years and is now on pace to be completed in 2042 (Wycliffe).

Missionary-founded churches in Japan are being turned over to nationals to lead, so missionaries can plant other churches.

No Christian was officially allowed to live in Nepal until 1960.  Now there is a church in every one of the 75 districts of Nepalwith estimates of over half a million believers (Operation World).

Are we seeing a Bangladesh “Book of Acts”? A Church leader there wrote to a friend recently: “By your strong prayers the Lord has saved 4,452 people and planted 150 churches from January to June, 2006. Prayer request: Our goal is to plant 300 churches and see 9000 saved in 2006.” (Vision 2020).

Christian radio through HCJB is being invited into places such as Russian prisons that would not allow missionaries.  Soldiers are abandoning pillaging missions when they listen to the stolen radios HCJB had distributed to the people and they are accepting the Lord.  These “fixed-tune” radios are broadcasting Christian programming in native languages (HCJB – Truth in Motion).

Every day 50,000 people in countries served by Asia Access come to Christ (Asia Access).

In 2005, Fellowship of Christian Athletes had over 5,500 campus clubs called “Huddles” with more than 275,000 participating (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).

The government of Papua, New Guinea recently mandated Bible teaching in every school in the country (Vision 2020).

2006: FCA receives above 100,000 at over 150 “Fields of Faith”events around the country.  In 2004 this was initiated with 6,000 people (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).

More people worldwide are committed to praying for worldwide revival than ever before.

Based on forecasts from organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations, the world net population is forecasted to grow at less than 2% annually.  In other words, if Christians can lead others to receive Christ faster than that, the lost can be reached at an increasing rate.

If only 1 out of every 6 believers “reproduced” themselves one time each year, the entire world would be reached for Christ by the year 2020!

Our Lord’s Great Commission can be accomplished…people from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation can be told about the awesome grace and mighty power of God…and God is giving His people the opportunity to be a part of making it happen in the lifetime of this current generation!

Join us to learn more about what God is doing in the world, our church and our lives in our series, Unstoppable based on the book of Acts.

http://www.RidgeFellowship.com

Source: http://www.prayerfoundation.org/world_christian_growth_statistics.htm

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Connected in Unity

Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin had every reason as teammates to be friends, but they were not. Incognito harassed and bullied Martin. He called him a racial slur in a voicemail played by every media outlet in the country. He threatened to kill him and his family. Incognito claimed all of this was just locker room talk.  It is the way the guys talk to one another in the NFL.

Apparently, Martin didn’t get the memo. Jonathan Martin left his lucrative job citing emotional issues and fearing for his life. Though we don’t know all the details, it appears as if Martin has some culpability, as well. He was far too passive in dealing with Incognito’s threatening behavior. As a teammate, it appears, he should have expressed how troubling Incognito’s threats were to him. These two men had many more reasons to get along than to have a toxic relationship. Consider all the reasons they had to be friends.

They were both professional football players.

Both on the same team, the Miami Dolphins

Both had the same head coach and position coach

Both were offensive linemen.

Both played on the same side of the line.

Both were starters.

Both wanted to win.

Yet somewhere along the way one or both of them forgot they played for the same team and began to treat the other like an opposing team member!  They forgot the enemy was in another city. They forgot enemy is on another team.

Similarly, we have many more reasons to honor one another as Christ followers than to dishonor one another.

We have the same owner!

The same Father cheering us on from the press box.

The same Savior who scouted us and forgave us.

The same Spirit within.

The same playbook.

The same purpose.

We are going to same place when life is over.

In Ephesians Paul urges us as believers to remember that we are on the same team.  We are urged to get along:

3  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:3

Why should believers diligently maintain their unity (as described in 4:3)?  Christians belong to one body, through one Holy Spirit.  In the Roman-Greco world there were many gods to worship and sects to join. For Christians, however, there is only one body, unified by one Spirit.   Christianity is not a club to join, instead, true Christianity is a spiritual relationship with Christ as well as with other believers. Through the Spirit, all believers are united in one universal body.

What do the sounds of Gregorian chants echoing in a European monastery chapel, the shouts of “Sí, Señor Jesucristo!” in a house church in Mexico, the rich, layered harmonies of gospel music from an African chorus,  reverent hymns with a pipe organ in a stained-glass church all have in common? “There is one body and one Spirit, . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.” We, the body of Christ, come in all the colors of the rainbow and with as many different ways to worship him. Rather than let those things act as barriers between us, why not celebrate our diversity, our different-ness?  We are different, but we are one body in Christ.   Let be connected in unity!

Darrell

www.RidgeFellowship.com

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Connected to Peace

During World War II a group of American soldiers was exchanging fire with some Germans who occupied a farm house. The family who lived in the house had run to the barn for protection. Suddenly their little three-year-old daughter became frightened and ran out into the field between the two groups of soldiers. When they saw the little girl, both sides immediately ceased firing until she was safe. A little child brought peace, brief as it was, as almost nothing else could have done.

17  He (Jesus) came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:17

Jesus Christ came as a baby to earth, and through His sacrifice on the cross He Himself became peace for those who trust in Him. His peace is not temporary but permanent. He made both sides, Jews (those who were “near”) and Gentiles (those who were “far off”), into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.

We are quick to put up walls or barriers between us and others.  Religious walls, racial walls or economic walls but in Christ walls should come down.  When we place our faith in Christ, the only identity that matters is our identity in Him. There is no Jewish or Gentile Christianity, black or white Christianity, male or female Christianity, or free or slave Christianity. There is only Christianity. Our one Lord has only one church.

In 1949, following the defeat of Nazi Germany in WW II and the re-organization of Europe, the nation of Germany was divided into East & West. In the East a communist government was set up under the influence of the Soviet Union. In the West a free, democratic government was set up and benefitted greatly from the Marshall Plan & the economics of free enterprise. Life became much better in the West for German citizens. The city of Berlin became a crucible where these divided philosophies would literally divide the city. Fearful of losing many of its citizens, East Germany closed the border between the two states in 1952. But that didn’t keep an estimated 2.5 million East Germans from fleeing to West Germany between 1949 -1961. So, in 1961 the East German government built the Berlin Wall strictly enforcing such defections. The wall stood for almost 30 years as a very real and symbolic divide between the East & the West.

I still remember a speech given by President Reagan in 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate- a section of the Berlin Wall in West Berlin. At the height of the Cold War, the President used the opportunity to encourage freedom and a new peace. As he spoke about the wall behind him which separated West Berlin from East Berlin for decades, I still remember his words, “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!”  I can’t help in hearing those words, from recalling images we saw just a few short years later when the wall was torn down.

In November of 1987, the East German government held a press conference and lifted travel restrictions between the two Germanies. And Germans (both from the East & the West) scaled the wall and danced in celebration! Today nothing of it remains in a united Germany and a whole Berlin. The wall is just gone, a thing of the past.  (To see a section of the wall today visit the George Bush Library in College Station TX.)

Christ has torn down that wall that had divided Jews and Gentiles for so long!  We can have peace with God which should also translate to peace with others.

Because as Christ followers we have made peace with God, we can begin to live at peace with one another as brothers & sisters in the family of God.  The church is the oasis of peace in a war-torn world. Jesus said to His disciples, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We naturally we do not get along with each other. Our courts are full of people who cannot get along. So they go to court to find someone to resolve the differences between them. We fight & we bicker. We criticize each other. We tear each other down. There are wars and fighting all around us at all times in history. On our own naturally we have difficulty living in harmony & peace with one another.

Into this squabbling war-torn world, God sent His personal, visible representative of “peace on earth, good will toward men.”

We can’t naturally get along which is why we need a supernatural love that comes from Christ.

People are looking at you, they are looking at this church, and they are trying to figure out if this Jesus guy is worth following. And the way that you and I act, the things we say, the way we handle conflict is telling people something about God. Let’s make sure what we are telling them and showing them Christ.

Can we love the people that are different than us? Can we pursue unity with each other? Can we live in peace with each other? Can we show this community that Jesus is for all people?

I think we can.  I pray we can.

Darrell

http://www.RidgeFellowship.com

 

 

 

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