2008: The Church in Developing Nations

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Derek asks what we think is the most important issue for the church in 2008.  I would answer that for the entirety of the Church -- that is, the worldwide church -- the most important issue is that we see advance in the biblical formation of churches in the developing nations.  In so many places -- Africa, Asia, South America -- the gospel is seeing a rich harvest, but the challenge is that the doctrine, organization, worship and mission be established on a biblical basis.  There are many facets of this.  For one thing, in many massive denominations there is a paucity of qualified pastors.  An example is the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (in Kenya -- pray for them these days), which has over 4 million members but only 400 ministers.  Do the math, and you will see that most churches do not have a pastor, and I can tell you from personal experience that the preaching and doctrine suffers greatly.  In other countries, the church is under such severe and violent assault that they are holding on for dear life.  I don't think it has been widely reported, but understand that in the past year or so the church in Pakistan has been horrifically savaged by radical Moslems, with the government suddenly turning a blind eye.  That is just one of many examples.  So anything we can do to serve and bolster our brethren overseas will be a tremendous service to Christ.  Another way to say this is that the greatest need of churches in the West is to radically recommit to the support of church partners overseas and of heroic missions organizations who are playing so vital a role in the worldwide church.

The other dire issue in the American church is our continuing and worsening need for a biblical reformation, along with a heaven-sent revival to our churches.
Posted January 7, 2008 @ 11:54 AM by Rick Phillips
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