Today, we continue in our series examining ways the Global South Church is inspiring churches of the West with their ideals as they grow and mature at a rapid rate.
6) Kingdom Mindset, Holistic View of Spiritual Life
In the Global North Church, we are extremely adept at compartmentalizing the various areas of our lives. We have work life, and we have church life. We have friends, and we have families. We have church, and we have state. Life is quite different in the Global South. They believe all of life is interconnected and is highly spiritual. They see each holistic part of life as a way in which the Church of Jesus Christ can build God’s Kingdom on earth in the present day. Their work becomes their worship. Their churches actively speak out on politics and religion. They lack a sense of Sabbath since they are so invested in using every minute of every day to glorify God. The Church cares for the whole person, and thus, the church is attractive to non-believers in a way that is producing massive growth.
7) Embracing the Active Work of the Holy Spirit
They’ve seen it! The Holy Spirit is alive and well and at work in their culture. Because God is their only source of help in this world, they depend on the Holy Spirit to meet them where they are in life. They pray for their child to be healed? They receive healing. Their buffalo isn’t producing milk? They pray and God sends an abundance. Worship services are filled with the passion of those who’ve come face to face with the Spirit and now want to glorify the name of Jesus. Their cultures embrace the Spirit and evoke a freshness into the scriptures and traditions of old. God has sent his Spirit, and it is drawing people of the Global South to Him.
8) Inter-Generational Fellowship and Church Growth
Another hallmark of relationship-oriented cultures is the value they give to all generations. They have a deep respect for the old, valuing the life experience they’ve gained and honoring them as elders in the community. In the same way, these cultures embrace the passion of the young. They allow the young to be excited, to make mistakes, to learn life on their terms. Those in mid-life take their responsibilities for caring for the old and rearing the young very seriously. They are the breadwinners and the faith leaders. This approach to the generations makes an enormous amount of room in the Church of the developing world for all people of all ages. And those people of all ages are flocking to Jesus because of it.
9) Community-Based Outlook
All of the preceding points stem largely from the relationship-oriented, community-based outlook of the Global South. While there is richness in the individualization of the Western Church, being community-based embraces all parts of the family, all parts of society with supportive care and a sense of built-in accountability. They look after one another’s children, bring meals in time of need, and pray for one another unceasingly. They contribute to the running of the church with anything that they have, whether it be food, skills or cash. These churches embrace new people with a sense of unprecedented love and belonging. The enfolding of people into the church is automatic. Exponential growth seems to be the outcome.
10) Need for God and the Hope of Jesus Seems Greater
Facing the facts, we can easily see that the Global South or the developing world is comprised of some of the poorest nations and most-needy cultures anywhere in the world. The rampant poverty, death and disease is overwhelming. Where can people suffering from these conditions turn for help? Jesus is often their only source of help as He is represented in the Church. In Christ, they can find relief from the discrimination they are facing. In the Living God, they have their dignity restored. They believe their only hope is in Jesus. Therefore, the Church is a place of victory for them. Their passion is increased as a result. That passion for Christ and His provision is contagious. Those who realize God is their strength and their portion, flock to His Church and His people. The Global South Church is truly on the move today.
BONUS: Patience in the midst of trial and tribulation
One of the hallmarks of relationship-based cultures is their uncanny ability to pray and wait in the midst of horrific circumstances. Whether it be poverty, marriage, abuse or schooling, Global South believers are ready to wait on God. Because of a lack of time-orientation, they do not run after quick fixes. They generally leave the miracles of life to God and tend not to take matters into their own hands. This patience is often rewarded in the sweetest of ways, as the Church of the developing world sees God work in His time and in His way. Oh, that we in the West would also grasp this glorious quality, and may the Lord truly teach us to wait.