Missiometrics 2006: Goals, Resources, Doctrines of the 350 Christian World Communions

Article excerpt

This 4-page report is the twenty-second in an annual series since 1985. It enumerates the major global goals in world mission, with its human resources, and its core doctrines. These are all as promulgated by today's 350 Christian World Communions. These CWCs are distinct and separate organized ecclesiastical bodies each uniting churches and denominations of one single ecclesiastical-cultural tradition. This report hinges on 4 global statistical tables A,B,C and Z, describing the impact of these CWCs.

Global Table A. 50 Shared Goals

The subtitle of this first Table (see next page) is 'Status of global mission, AD 1900-AD 2025'. It sets out the evolution of 78 factors in global mission over the period 1900 to 2025. (Note also the near-final column, Trends % per year). Of these 78 statistical factors, some 50 can be seen as overall challenges and goals that are shared as such by all 350 CWCs. These range from tackling the negative effects reported in Lines 6,9,10,31,59,76, to supporting the positive effects in Lines 27,47,55,66,78. A surprising discovery has been that, as indicated in Line 29, virtually all CWCs today are openly proclaiming obedience to Christ's Great Commission as narrated 6 times in the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.

Global Table B. 50 Shared Resources

The subtitle of this second table is 'The world's 350 Christian World Communions (CWCs), with each's own members in AD 2006'. It lists by name all 350 CWCs at work today. These are listed under 10 categories descriptive but nonjudgmental, moving from 1 = maximum involvement, to 10 = minimal or zero involvement. All CWCs utilize a parallel list of 50 global resources. First is their own committed memberships, listed here after each CWC's name. Each's share of the world's 695 million Great Commission Christians can be approximately calculated by multiplying each's membership by 34%--another startling discovery indeed. Next is each's parallel share of the rapidly increasing annual global giving to Christian causes--from US$270 billion in AD 2000 to $360 billion by AD 2006 (see Table A's Lines 55 to 57). The other 48 major resources, all listed here in Table A, cover human resources (5.4 million full-time church workers, 38,000 denominations), 460 million computers, literature, periodicals, radio/TV broadcasting, audiovisual ministries, scripture distribution, evangelism strategies. Each CWC's share of these massive resources is roughly in proportion to its number of members as listed here. These resources are however not entirely controlled within their CWCs; in practice men, money and machines work across boundaries wherever they wish. Overall, nevertheless, today's resources for global mission are entirely adequate in virtually every detail.

Global Table C. 50 Shared Doctrines

The subtitle of this third Table is '50 core beliefs or essential elements held by 350 Christian World Communions.' Yet another surprising discovery has sprung from a detailed analysis of each CWC's reports, news releases, literature, histories, statistics, and other documentation. This shows that virtually all CWCs today promulgate not only shared goals and shared resources: they also share the major doctrines and beliefs of Christianity in its global mission. In fact, they are found to share 10 basic or major theological or missiological keywords--God, Christ, Mission, Disciples, Church, Outreach (i.e. living for others), Beneficiaries (the poor, the marginalized), Strategies (world evangelization plans), Tribulation (suffering, persecution, martyrdom), Futures (Parousia, Advent, Christ's Return). These 10 keywords are shown in the lefthand column in this Table C. They are then further divided into 50 essential elements or lesser doctrines or beliefs openly acknowledged by all.

Global Table Z. 50 Unshared Operations

This final Table is meant to be read after the reader has digested Global Tables A,B, and C. …