Monday, February 05, 2007

Tuesday morning evangelistic smack-down, #19

Global Christianity changing.

“The map of global Christianity that our grandparents knew has been turned upside down. At the start of the 20th century, only ten percent of the world's Christians lived in the continents of the south and east. Ninety percent lived in North America and Europe, along with Australia and New Zealand. But at the start of the 21st century, at least 70 percent of the world's Christians live in the non-Western world—more appropriately called the majority world.

“More Christians worship in Anglican churches in Nigeria each week than in all the Episcopal and Anglican churches of Britain, Europe, and North America combined. There are more Baptists in Congo than in Britain. More people in church every Sunday in communist China than in all of Western Europe. Ten times more Assemblies of God members in Latin America than in the U.S. Christopher J. H. Wright, "An Upside-Down World," Christianity Today (January, 2007)


Tiger Woods was put on the spot by an evangelical guest of Nike on
October 9, 2006, during an exclusive golf outing for top business and entertainment executives.

That day, 30 people gathered at the Trump golf course in Los Angeles for the 2006 ''Tee It up with Tiger Woods'' event, which included a private golf session and lunch with the living legend. During the lunch, there was a question-and-answer session with Woods. Most people asked about their swings or golf questions.

However, one guest of Nike stood up and asked two questions: "Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? And if not, prayerfully, would you?" A source present at the lunch later said: ''You could have heard a pin drop. People were mortified. But Tiger was as unflappable as he is on the golf course."

Tiger said: "My father was a Christian—of course Christianity was part of my life. But my mother is Asian, and Buddhism was also part of my childhood. So I practice both faiths respectfully.'' Mike Herman, Lisle, Illinois; source: Elliot Harris, "Woods Takes Evangelical to Sunday School," Chicago Sun-Times (10-19-06)


"I go out to preach with two propositions in mind. First, every person ought to give his life to Christ. Second, whether or not anyone else gives him his life, I will give him mine." Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

"Mission is not a burden laid upon the church; it is a gift and a promise to the church that is faithful. The command arises from the gift. Jesus reigns and all authority has been given to him in earth and heaven. When we understand that, we shall not need to be told to let it be known. Rather, we shall not be able to keep silent." Lesslie Newbigin, from
Mission in Christ's Way

“Do you think any farmer would have a crop of corn next year unless he plowed now? You may as well expect a crop of corn on unplowed ground as a crop of grace until the soul is convinced of its being undone without a Savior. That is the reason we have so many mushroom converts, so many persons that are always happy, happy, happy, and never were miserable. Why? Because their stony ground is not plowed up; they have not got a conviction of the law. They fall away. That makes me so cautious now, which I was not 30 years ago, of dubbing converts too soon. Now I wait a little, and see if people bring forth fruit; for there are so many blossoms which March winds blow away that I cannot believe they are converts till I see fruit brought forth.” George Whitefield, "The Gospel Is a Dying Saint's Triumph"

Dear Sir:
Unless the divine power has raised you us to be as Athanasius contra mundum, see not howyou can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be fore you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a "law" in our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this?

That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,

Your affectionate servant,
John Wesley
February 24, 1791

A few stats:
$.02—The amount spent on overseas missions for every dollar donated to a congregation, based on a survey of 28 Protestant denominations.

$.10—Amount spent on overseas missions for every dollar donated in 1920. Ted Olsen, "Go Figure," Christianity Today (December 2005), p. 22

Prayer changes things. That’s what a church in
Phoenix discovered after the pastor asked members to randomly choose 80 people from the telephone book. He then requested daily prayer for each person for 90 days. At the same time, he asked members to choose another 80 names from the directory, but the second list was simply laid aside and nobody prayed for those people. After 90 days, members called all 160 people on the lists, asking them whether they would allow Christians to visit them to pray for them.

“The amazing result,” says Alvin VanderGriend of the American Lighthouse movement, “was this: only one person on the list of people who did not receive prayer was prepared to allow Christians to visit, whereas 69 of the 80 people for whom the church members prayed were prepared to allow Christians to visit, and 45 even invited them into their houses, offered coffee and named special prayer requests.” Jay Dennis and Jim Henry, Dangerous Intersections: 11 Crucial Crossroads Facing the Church in America (Broadman & Holman, 2004)

A survey from the Barna Research Group has discovered that in a typical week more than 100 million adults discuss political issues with others while about 90 million adults delve into religious or spiritual matters.

Of the topics of conversation raised during a typical week, the percentage of adults who discussed:

Movies or television programs: 66
Money: 57
Sports: 55
Politics: 51
Parenting: 50
Moral issues or situations: 49
Spiritual issues and beliefs: 42

Hmmm. Whatever happened to not bringing up money, politics or religion in polite conversation? Barna - Four Out of Ten Adults Discuss Religious Matters During the Week (6-9-03)


At 5:11 PM, Blogger Pastor Chris said...

I've been lurking for a few weeks and enjoying what I read. I enjoy these little statistical snippets and will use them in my workshops. Thanks for posting these.

Pastor Chris
Evangelism Coach


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