In 1945, 30% of England attended church. In 2018, less than 7% attend church in England. In Europe, fewer than 3% of the population attend church weekly. They have become secularized and now live in a post-Christian era.
Africa has come to Christ faster than any other continent in history. In 1900, fewer than 5 million in Africa were Christians. In 2010, 45% or 500 million Christians were in Africa. By 2050, it is projected that there will be one billion Christians (out of the projected population of 2.5 billion) in Africa. However, Church size is not necessarily indicative of Church health. The question we are asking African Church leaders is will they equip the "laity" to use the opportunities afforded to them daily through their work to be the Church every day of the week?
We are in Ghana where a Discipling Marketplace Movement was born in June, through a number of key strategists who desire to see the message of DML move from border to border in Ghana and beyond.
These leaders in Ghana wrote me in July to request if DML could start working in Burkina Faso. We said no, as we don't have the time or the resources to add that country. They said, "We can't wait. We won't wait. When you come to Ghana next, we will have them come. The Church there needs this, especially as Muslims have taken over the Marketplace and the Church doesn't know what to do about it." We are having two very key leaders of church and missions in Burkina Faso join us on Monday.
Then some leaders from Liberia came and asked if we are going to work in Liberia. We said no, as we don't have the time or the resources to add that country. They essentially said, "We can't wait. We won't wait. Where are you speaking in the area that we can come and listen?" We are having three people from Liberia join us on Monday.
Suddenly, what was a key event for significant leaders in Ghana has turned into an international event with leaders from five countries in attendance.
On Friday night, we met with a couple of the leaders in the movement and heard their passion for this message. But mostly what we heard is that God had been calling them into this area of ministry for longer than DML has existed. Let me repeat that: THIS CALLING HAS EXISTED ON THEIR HEARTS LONGER THAN DML HAS EVEN EXISTED. And that is what is so exciting to us. This isn't a DML message. This isn't my message. This is God's message. We are a tool to be used in the purpose of fulfilling what God has called the Church to do, and for many years the Church has forgotten this component.
Of course, we also tremble a bit at this. Because we know that after this next week of intense meetings and workshops, the requests will come with a bit more passion for us to go to these countries. And it's more difficult to say no when you have a relationship and hear the need.
BUT we also know that God continues to raise up leaders who can take up the call. Our focus in this next year is to be equipping leaders. That is why we are doing a Training of Trainers in Ghana this next week. We will be doing a Training of Trainers in Nigeria in January and in Cameroon in February. We just did a training of trainers in Ethiopia. And Kenya DML just did a training of trainers for Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. So the team is growing and we are thankful!
Please pray for the Holy Spirit to be very present this week in the hearts and minds of those who will be with us this week - that this attitude of "we can't wait...we won't wait" may be fanned and fed by the Spirit of the Living God!