We are losing ground in the fight for the eternal souls of people. A new Pew Research Center study has revealed that the Muslim population is going to surpass the Christian population over the next 30 years (Shellnut, 2017). One contributing factor to this shift is the migration of Muslims to younger, growing areas of the world while the Christian population is moving to suburb and rural areas (Shellnut, 2017). Currently, there are 28 mega cities with populations of 10 million people or more with an additional 19 cities expected to evolve into mega cities by 2030 (Michell, 2017). This is not a demographic issue, but it is a Kingdom issue.
According to research, there is a direct correlation with Bible friendliness and population density: as the density goes up, the Bible friendliness goes down (Weber & Wood, 2014). Much of this has to do with the church’s lack of presence the large cities. In Europe and North America, there has been a decline in church effectiveness, and even church presence, in highly populated areas over the last 30 years (Keller, 2015). As more people are migrating to largely populated cities, churches are migrating into the suburbs and rural communities. This does not seem to be an accurate reflection of Christ’s call to reach people.
Though the church’s effectiveness and presence in cities would appear to be at an aristocracy stage in the life cycle (moved out and abandoned the mission), there is a new surge of church planters claiming ground in the cities with new and fresh approaches to ministry. The Doubters Church in Denver and All Saints Church in New Orleans are examples of new ministry ideas providing a reinvention of the church in the city.
What other ministry approaches will change the trend of Christianity diminishing on the global stage?
Keller, T. (2015, January). The City, the Church, and the Future. Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://www.timothykeller.com/blog/2015/1/9/the-city-the-church-and-the-future
Michell, N. (2017, April 26). New Urban Mobility Index released. Retrieved June 28, 2017, from https://cities-today.com/new-urban-mobility-index-released/
Shellnut, K. (2017, April). Muslim Births Will Outnumber Christian Births by 2035. Retrieved June 16, 2017, from http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/april/pew-muslim-christian-birth-rates-2035-2060-demographics.html
Weber, J., & Wood, J. (2014, January). How 100 Cities “Rank and Tank” at Embracing the Bible (Colorado Springs? No. 56). Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2014/january/top-10-most-bible-minded-cities-in-america-2014-abs-barna.html