Can children have a global missions experience at VBS?
Here’s an interesting fact: in 1980 the number of Christians in the global South (Africa, Latin America, and most of Asia) surpassed the number in the global North (mostly Europe and North America).
By Andrew Needham
One hundred years ago 80% of the world’s Christians were in North America or Europe; now it’s 40%. One in four Christians now lives in Africa; that might be 40% by 2030. In Asia Christianity has grown twice as fast as the total population over the last hundred years.
Those numbers should excite us. Christ commissioned His followers to take the Gospel to every nation in every language, and it’s happening today! The church is really growing into the multicultural, multilingual body that John witnessed in the book of Revelation.
New generation, new church
Now think for a moment about today’s children. They are growing up in this globalized, interconnected world, with a church that doesn’t necessarily look like them. They have plenty of cross-cultural encounters in their future.
Do our church children’s programs reflect this?
Our podcast host Joel Maas interviewed four individuals at a church that just used ANM’s missions-minded curriculum for its VBS. They reflected on what it was like for the kids to have a global missions experience at VBS, seeing the diversity of God’s kingdom and learning about what God’s people are doing in places that didn’t even have a single church not too long ago.
You can listen here, and check our Podcast page for additional interviews. The ANM Podcast is available on iTunes.
Numbers come from Wes Granberg-Michaelson’s article last year in the Washington Post, “Think Christianity is dying? No, Christianity is shifting dramatically.”