This coming Sunday is “World Communion Sunday,” when we give special attention to the global breadth of those gathered at the Lord’s table.
Have you heard the phrase “world Christian?” Many use the phrase to emphasize the importance of expanding our vision of Christianity beyond our immediate experience of the faith here in America. It’s high time that we do so.
Consider the following (courtesy of church historian, Mark Noll):
- Last Sunday more Christians attended worship in China than in all of so-called Christian Europe.
- Last Sunday more Anglicans attended worship in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda than in Britain and the U.S.A. combined.
- Last Sunday more Presbyterians attended worship in Ghana than in Scotland, and in the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern African than in the U.S.A.
- Last Sunday more people attended worship at a single church, the Yoido Full Gospel Church of Seoul, Korea, than in several whole denominations of significance in the U.S.A., such as the Christian Reformed Church and the Presbyterian Church in America.
And that’s just a sampling of how things stack up in the church around the world! Considering the way the gospel is galloping in Asia, Africa, and South America, we who live in the land of the crawling gospel had better take note. How might we American and European Christians regain our stride? Might it be that our primary tutors in this season will be those in the very lands to which we once sent the gospel message?
The very upside-down quality of this “world Christian” business sure does makes it sound like a God thing. Let’s see what we can learn from a whole world of Christians, and maybe we will see the gospel gallop again in our land!