As Philip Jenkins points out â€œthe missionaries wonâ€. They planted the seed of the gospel, it took root and now is growing and multiplying beyond their wildest hopes.
But here's the scandal: the missionized are becoming missionaries to the West.
I was working away on my blogâ€”I think it was last yearâ€”writing about this very subject. There's a knock on the door. It's two mainland Chinese, come to share the gospel with the neighbourhood.
Fifty years ago the fledgling church in China was reeling from the expulsion of Western missionaries and from persecution following the Communist takeover. Today they're on my doorstep.
Ok, they're not going to get far with a guy like me. I'm too sophisticated to listen to someone with an accent. But demographics is destiny. The future of the world does not belong to guys like me.
Martin Robinson talks about church planters he's met in West. They come from Haiti, Brazil, Ethiopia, Columbia, Mexico, Nigeria and the Dominican Republic, to name a few. They often work a job, send money home to their extended families and plant a church at the same time. They are mechanics, cab drivers, and labourers. Their hard work, faith, commitment and exuberance is infectious.
In London three of the four largest churches, all in their thousands, are heavily dominated by minorities from overseas. Churches like these are springing up all over Europe.
Meanwhile, we sit around debating and discussing and doubting the very basics of the Faith. I guess that gives us something to do while we're not planting churches.
Meanwhile the foolishness and weakness of God triumphs yet again (I Cor 1:25).