In the book of Acts, as the pastors in Antioch were ministering faithfully the Holy Spirit set His seal on a few of them to venture out to new lands and engage areas and people that were ready for harvesting. Paul and Barnabas willingly went out and saw a great work of planting and discipleship that changed the course of the church.
Looking across the landscape of Africa, we see that the possibilities and opportunities at this time are tremendous. A continent of 54 countries and a population of 1.2 billion people, Africa is a horizon of multiple cultures, people groups and traditions, yet it is a people who are hungry for the Word of God and a desire to know Jesus.
In the early 1900’s, the Christian population in Africa as a continent was 10 million. As of 2010, 400 million people consider themselves followers of Christ making Africa one of the clearest targets for fruitful mission.
Well over 85% of the world’s population lives in cities and as people are traveling from villages to cities for education and employment they are statistically more open to the Gospel than when living in their rural homeland. With Africa’s population base changing from village to city this creates a wealth of possibility.
With an existing spiritual worldview, one where Africans start from a framework of a belief in God, there is a sizable opportunity to see God set a continent ablaze for Christ.
The mission has shifted from the West to the South of the globe, the need for Bible training and discipleship is now more imperative than ever. As the prosperity gospel takes root in these lands the need for men who can train and pour into men and women through training and mentorship is great.
Over the last years while travelling through the various regions and interacting with those in the church, the evidence remains that the men are calling out for help. Much like the Macedonian man, they need those with the resources to come and assist them in this wonderful work.
It’s Africa’s moment and as the church we should feel the sense of urgency to rise up.
How can you see this coming year of engaging and entering into what God is doing on the continent? Consider this great challenge!
Your church can adopt and commit to pray for a particular country, city, or people group of Africa and allow God to shape the church’s vision for these people. Make the church familiar with the needs, possibilities and challenges of that area. One group of people can ultimately lead to other people’s lives being changed. Also, prayer can bring to light the potential of people, families or groups called to GO!
One great resource for involving the church is MIA
Relationships on the ground are vitally important and you can connect with both missionaries presently involved in ministry or organizations that have an existing and ongoing presence. It would be ultimately important to go and see who God may connect you with in that country, experience the land, and look people in the eyes to see and hear the needs. This should occur over time as you deepen and discern through relationships and the call of God on the people in that country.
Building relationships within your own churches as well as with those from other Calvary Chapels who are ministering in Africa is equally effective. Missionaries, pastors, and leaders who are sent to work amongst the people are the most plausible way of reaching a nation. Developing and training your own people to have not only a burden, but a call to go is most effective and will produce the multiplication of the work God is doing with your ministry.
With our rich heritage of Bible teaching, ongoing commitment to discipleship, a balanced view of the work of the Spirit and the focus on servant leadership as a movement we could see a tremendous harvest of lives if we sense the challenge of what God is doing here.