We are one year further from the Great Commission and (maybe) one year closer to its completion – if you believe (as I do) that it can be completed.
With this, the first of the year, I take a moment to review the current Status of Global Christianity, as published by my good friends at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Get the new PDF yourself.
Global population grew from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7.5 billion today, and is currently growing at 1.2% per year. By 2050, it is estimated we will reach 9.7 billion people on the planet (thus adding another 2.7 billion–almost the same as adding China + India AGAIN).
The unevangelized population — the number of people with no access to the Gospel — is growing at 0.88% per year – not as fast as the global population (good news) but still growing (bad news).
So we still have the reality:
the percentage of the world that is unevangelized is dropping, slowly (28.4% today to 28.2% in 2050)
the absolute numbers of unevangelized are growing (2.1 billion now, 2.7 in 2050).
Between now and 2050 we will add another 600 million unevangelized individuals – about twice the size of the United States – who will likely not hear the Gospel once in their lifetime.
One of the key questions at Beyond is not “What can I do about this” but “What’s it going to take to change it.” This is why we are constantly focused on starting exponential movements that get ahead of population growth. That’s our answer. I hope we each ask the question for ourselves.