The world seems to become smaller every day, including the way churches influence each other. For example how many American pastors have trekked to Korea or South America in recent decades to see and learn first-hand about the small group ministries in leading churches there? Or it will be interesting to learn how many North Americans attend the May 26-30, 2010, www.asiaconference.org.sg which combines Yonggi Cho’s Church Growth International with Hee Kong’s City Harvest Church (a church I recently visited and blogged about here).
The 2008 book Beyond Christendom by Sierra Leone-born Fuller Theological Seminary Professor Jehu Hanciles has a fascinating subtitle: Globalization, African Migration and the Transformation of the West. It examines the potential of non-Western movements and initiatives to transform Western society and Christianity. After introducing the idea of globalization in the church world, it proposes the idea of migration as central to the “new world order” being shaped in Christendom. The chapter I found most fascinating was the one on African immigrant churches in America, something I’ve chronicled in several places, including this recent blog and in this article in Leadership Network Advance titled Foreign Soil: Church Planters Coming to the U.S.
Beyond Christendom is a heady book and 430 pages long, but it’s well worth reading if you want examples of the significance of people migrations in the spread of the faith, both historically and recently, and if you want to learn ways we’ve been affected. Preachers will like the many illustrations if you’re teaching a series on a related topic, such as one that talks about how God seems forever to be moving his followers to new places.