The Lost History of Christianity 99c on Kindle

According to Phillip Jenkins, the particular shape of Christianity with which we are familiar is a radical departure from what was for well over a millennium the historical norm: another, earlier global Christianity once existed. 

For most of its history, Christianity was a tricontinental religion, with powerful representation in Europe, Africa, and Asia, and this was true into the fourteenth century.

Christianity became predominantly European not because this continent had any obvious affinity for that faith, but by default: Europe was the continent where it was not destroyed.

“The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia–and How It Died” (Philip Jenkins)

via Tim Challies


While you’re there, a well recommended study of the questions that Jesus asked is just $1.99.

“All That Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us by Guthrie, Stan (2010) Paperback” (Baker Books)

The Illustrated Life Of Paul on sale (US and UK Kindle)

“The Illustrated Life Of Paul” (Charles L Quarles)

via Tim Challies

Jeff Sundell — how he got started pioneering movements [video]

Jeff Sundell tells the story of how he got started pioneering movements in South Asia and in the US.

3 Circles Life Conversation Guide [updated]


We’ve just finished a week of mission in Leicester. More to come on that.

A quick update to this post to say that the Three Circles gospel presentation served us well during the mission. It’s easy to train people to use it. It’s culturally relevant in the way it picks up the theme of “brokenness.” It’s easy to drop in your own story using the Three Circles. We’re going with Malachi’s version that replaces “Gospel” with “Jesus” as the title for the third circle and includes the graphic of the Cross. He also uses “Turn and Believe” rather than “Repent and Believe.”

Soon I’ll be introducing the Three Circles into our Following and Fishing training.

I suggest you learn the Three Circles and begin using it. Talking about Brokenness is a great lead in with people.

I’m learning this gospel presentation demonstrated here by Jimmy Scroggins. I’ll learn it, practice it, then use it and see what happens.

Visit LifeOnMission to find out more.

UPDATE: Listen to Jimmy Scroggins casting vision for multiplication movements.

UPDATE: Malachi Cooper shares the gospel using the Three Circles.

Malachi and his dad Troy are with us this week in Leicester for the Mission Breakout.

092-Pioneering Movements in the West (2) Jeff Sundell [podcast]


Jeff Sundell on Pioneering Movements in a Western setting. This is the second of a two-part update he gave via Skype to the NoPlaceLeft conference in Sydney.

Jeff’s two previous updates:


Help us reach Leicester, Britain’s most diverse city

Diwali Leicester

Last weekend we trained seventy people in our home city of Leicester. We taught them how to connect with people, share the gospel and train new disciples. On Saturday afternoon everyone went out in pairs praying for people on the streets and asking, “Are you near or far from God?” and “Would you like to be near?”

I met a Nigerian couple with a Muslim background. We had a great conversation and plan to get together and talk again. So many others had similar experiences.

From July 6-11 Christians from around Leicester and Britain will gather for a week of Mission. Each morning there will training. In the afternoons and evenings we will go out into the community searching for “houses of peace.”

When Jesus sent out his disciples he told them to look for God-prepared people who would open their homes to the messengers and their message (Luke 10).

We’ll be going out with a small gift of cookies and an offer to pray for any needs in the homes we visit. We’re looking for people in whom God has been working with the intention of starting neighbourhood Discovery Bible Study groups in homes.

We are planning for 40-50 workers to join us on this mission.

Over the last half-century Leicester has been transformed through immigration of people from the far corners of the former British Empire. Leicester was the first city in England in which ethnic minorities have become more than 50% of the population of 330,000. In 2011 white Britons accounted for 45% of Leicester’s population (down from 61% in 2001), while Asian Indians (including British-born Indians) accounted for 28% of the population – up from about 26% in 2001. Most of the South Asians are Gujarati Indians who were expelled from Uganda and Kenya in the late 60s and early 70s.

Christianity has been declining in Leicester. Islam, and “no religion” are on the increase. Hinduism has remained constant.

Leicester is home to the largest Hindu Diwali festival (Festival of Lights) outside of India (photo above).

What to pray for ….

  • the 40-50 workers from Leicester and around the UK
  • God-prepared people
  • open doors to return and begin Discovery Groups in homes
  • pray that the fruit of this Mission would be new disciples who are learning to follow Jesus and share the good news with their family and friends
  • pray that the training and the outreach would continue in Leicester beyond this event
  • pray that other cities in Britain would open up to training and mission pushes

You can sign up to receive prayer updates.

091-Pioneering Movements in the West (1): An update from Jeff Sundell [podcast]


Jeff Sundell on Pioneering Movements in a Western setting. This is the first of a two-part update he gave via Skype to the NoPlaceLeft conference in Sydney.

Photo: Jeff hails from Bugger Hollow, North Carolina. That’s Jeff on the left, but who is that guy with him?


Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

An amazing price ($1.99) for a great book on Kindle (US).

“Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery” (Eric Metaxas)

via Tim Challies

Majority-minority counties in the US have doubled since 1980

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According to Pew Research:

Last week’s Census Bureau release of 2014 population estimates confirms that the U.S. is becoming ever more diverse, at the local level as well as nationally. As of last summer, according to a Fact Tank analysis, 364 counties, independent cities and other county-level equivalents (11.6% of the total) did not have non-Hispanic white majorities – the most in modern history, and more than twice the level in 1980.

FT 15 06 29 minorityCounties 200px1

That year non-Hispanic whites were majorities in all but 171 out of 3,141 counties (5.4%), according to our analysis. The 1990 census was the first to break out non-Hispanic whites as a separate category; that year, they made up the majority in all but 186 counties, or 5.9% of the total. (The Census Bureau considers Hispanic to be an ethnicity rather than a race; accordingly, Hispanics can be of any race.)

While the single biggest Hispanic-majority county is in Florida (Miami-Dade, 66% of whose 2.7 million people are Hispanic), most are concentrated in the Southwest: 60 are in Texas, 12 are in New Mexico and 11 are in California. All but two of the 93 black-majority counties are in states of the old Confederacy (with 25 in Mississippi, 17 in Georgia and 11 in Alabama). In 26 counties, Native Americans or Alaska Natives (who are combined into one group for census purposes) comprise the majority; aside from eight lightly populated boroughs and census areas in Alaska, most of the other counties overlap with reservations in the Southwest and Great Plains.

Non-Hispanic whites are less than a majority in four states – California, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii – as well as the District of Columbia. In fact, in none of those places does a single racial or ethnic group have a majority: California has almost equal shares of Hispanics (38.6%) and non-Hispanic whites (38.5%); non-Hispanic whites are the plurality in Texas (43.5%); Hispanics in New Mexico (47.7%); blacks in D.C. (47.4%); and Asians in Hawaii (36.4%).


How the first American missionary movement finally lost its way

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The American missions movement has experienced two distinct waves. A first wave of effort originated in the early nineteenth century during the Second Great Awakening and largely collapsed amid theological controversy after World War I; a second wave began after World War II and continues today.

John Barrett examines the role played by World War I in the demise of the first wave.