We as Christians have tremendous financial resources. And that isn’t only true in the wealthier countries of the world. As you explore the global wealth managed by Christians as depicted in the attached infographic, consider how God would have us use these resources and what you can do to mobilize these resources for God’s Kingdom.
Engaging through Prayer
Dear God, I know that how I use my money is a reflection of my heart’s priorities. I confess that so many times my approach to money is not one centered on trust in you and faith in your provision. Please give me the strength to mobilize my resources, and let me never sing “The Battle Hymn of the Bystander,”
“Take his life and let me be,
Comfortable as I can be.
Take his silver and his gold.
None of his would I withhold.
None of his would I withhold.”
Besides motivating us to give generously from a grateful heart and a desire to see God’s name praised, the data in this infographic should drive us to prayer and action about the two huge facts running through all the statistics:
1) There are hundreds of millions of so-called “Christians” who are not disciples, at least not in financial terms.
2) God’s resources are not found only in certain countries or among certain classes of people. They are very widely distributed.
Engaging the Church
Is your church focused on reaching unreached peoples with the gospel? Have you considered that one of the main reasons the unreached are unreached is that so many of the world’s “Christians” are not disciples? What is your church doing to pray for and encourage revival, renewal, and discipleship movements among hundreds of millions of nominal Christians?
Is it not very likely that if the world’s nominal Christians became real Christians (disciples), the statistics in this infographic would drastically change? The unreached would soon be reached because of the huge burst of resources that would be invested into God’s work. While we work and pray for that, we need to be sure that our own church members are true disciples, totally committed to increasing their “net” worth for the fishing Jesus sent us all to do.
As an organization, it is easy to get stuck thinking that you either come from a country that has resources to give or a country who needs to accept resources from others. That dichotomy no longer holds up. In today’s world, God has equipped believers around the world with resources and He is expecting them to use those resources for His purposes. This means that the funding for your ministry can come from anywhere. It also means that countries that used to rely only on gifts from outside their countries need to think differently about funding. God is raising up believers and blessing them with resources in every corner of the world. What can your organization do to think differently about where the resources for your ministry might come from? Also, let’s pray that those believers will respond in obedience as they make decisions about how those resources will be used!
All data on Christianity are found in Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo, eds. World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed January 2015), www.worldchristiandatabase.org.
Additional information on Christian Finance Methodology