The church is always only one generation from extinction! But because it is Jesus' church, it is still growing in each generation. But not everywhere or at the same rate.
Persecution has decimated the church in many places, particularly in the Middle East, and the church has become insecure wherever it has lost confidence in the gospel, which is especially true in the once-Christian West.
By contrast, the fastest growing churches in the world are (in order) in Nigeria, China, the Philippines, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania. They have effective Biblical leadership and disciple-making, relevant evangelism, and authentic church life and worship.
Where are the leaders of tomorrow's church? Although Bible Colleges teach the Bible to trainee pastors, the task of evangelising huge and spiritually hungry populations is overwhelming if it is just left to them. And 95% of pastors worldwide have no formal theological training.
Creeping clericalisation has convinced many in this generation that they should leave evangelism and Bible teaching to the 'professionals'. But there are simply not enough 'professionals' to reach the world with the gospel. A whole mobilisation of Christians is needed. Often it is passionate young believers who rise to such a challenge (as they did, and still do with Operation Mobilisation).
Paul told Timothy to teach faithful people who could also teach others. The Apostle was not thinking about a clergy-class (that had not been invented!), but any Christian who would gladly and truthfully share the gospel.
Training and equipping requires dedicated tutors whose leadership will inspire many others. Please pray for those teacher/leader/coordinators, especially those who are partners with BeaconLight and highlighted in this Newsletter - that their work will stimulate fresh cascades of gospel workers.