Young Christian leaders from around the world listened to a mission expert present about the rapid growth of evangelicalism, especially in the global South, at a Lausanne gathering in Malaysia this week.
Jason Mandryk – co-author of the mission prayer guide Operation World – presented on the status of the Christian faith around the world Tuesday during the plenary session “State of the Gospel” at the Younger Leaders Gathering.
Nearly 500 young leaders from over 110 countries have gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for six days, Sept. 24-30, for Christ-centered leadership development. The Younger Leaders Gathering is a ministry of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization where emerging leaders in churches, ministries and the marketplace ages 25-35 convene to learn new leadership skills, strengthen their spiritual life, and form networks with other young Christian leaders around the world.
Mandryk, as part of the session’s feature presentation, pointed out that although Christianity has barely kept pace with world population growth over the last century, evangelicalism is “far and away the fastest growing major religious movement in the world today,” as reported by Lausanne.
Evangelicalism is growing twice the pace of Islam and three times as fast as the overall world population according to Mandryk.
He indicated that a significant growth of evangelicalism is seen in the global South such as Brazil, China, Bangladesh and Nigeria which have “exploding” Christian populations.
According to Mandryk, the Mongolian church is now the most efficient missions force, sending one missionary for every 222 Christians.
“For the first time in my life, I heard that Mongolia is the most efficient mission sending country,” said Tim Im of South Korea to Lausanne. “For me being Korean I was very embarrassed; I thought we were the most efficient.”
Furthermore, the churches in the global South, from China to Nigeria, are now increasingly aiming to spread the gospel and close the gaps of the 10/40 window.
“When they showed the information on the reached and unreached it really touched me and showed me that we have much more work to do,” said Nnaji Chukwuemeka Bidwell of Nigeria who serves on the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students.
The session was followed by an extended time of prayer for the expansion of the church worldwide.
“I believe the older generation has slipped away from the idea of mission, but now I believe God is using a younger generation to renew the church’s commitment to mission,”
The Lausanne Movement was formed in 1974 during a meeting of 2,500 Christian leaders for Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Switzerland. Lausanne has helped launch numerous mission initiatives, organizations, and provided more than 30 Lausanne Occasional Papers which help church and mission leaders understand current missiological issues.