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10 Global Churches Larger Than America's Largest

In the years ahead, new global trends in ministry mean the measure of a pastor’s ministry will not be the number of people worshiping at the local church but the number of dynamic partnerships the pastor has built worldwide. God is raising up synergistic leaders to network throughout the Earth.

People often ask me, “What is going to happen to Western Europe? Is there any hope that millions will come to Christ in this world region or that thousands of churches will be planted? Will America cool down spiritually like Europe? Can America be turned around before the culture passes the tipping point?”

Big questions deserve big answers. One thing we can rely on is that the global church will never be any smaller than it was yesterday!

Some missiologists today believe that the “rise of global Christianity” will impact Europe and North America as well as the entire world. I believe this, and I have seen it. We are witnessing before our eyes the rise of a Global Church that is just as committed to fulfilling the Great Commission worldwide as in each individual world region. The Great Commission will be fulfilled! God will keep His promise!

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By 2030, 70% of the global missions force will not be from North America. In the single greatest missional shift in church history, missionaries from every world region are headed to every world region.

In the last six years, the Global Church has witnessed more than 1.4 million new church plants with more than 250 million coming to Christ. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is growing faster than at any other time in history. When one measures the global growth of the Church, we are on schedule to witness firsthand the doubling of the size of the Church, from just over one billion to more than two billion in our generation.

This missional shift for me began on a sunny afternoon in Springfield, Missouri, in 2005.  I had taken my eldest daughter, Olivia, to a nearby park to play.  While I was looking into her laughing eyes, the Holy Spirit quickened to my heart this phrase: “Look at who I have raised up all over the world.”  Since that moment, I have been on a missional pursuit to learn all I can about who the Lord has raised up on the Earth to help fulfill the Great Commission. 

Bigger does not always mean better, and larger does not always mean leader. Our measurement for success is how much we help to fulfill the Great Commission. If our churches and ministries do not measure effectiveness based upon Great Commission fulfillment in our lifetime, then how can we know whether what we are doing really matters to our Lord?

Within this global context, it becomes understandable that great missional-minded pastors in other parts of the world have built churches that are larger than the largest churches in the West. By presenting these pastors and churches, we simply but clearly demonstrate who the Lord is raising up. This strengthens the hope in all of us worldwide that the Lord will finish what He said He would do regarding the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

A tide of evangelism and church planting is rising across the Earth as never before. Those wasting time standing on the beach of time are going to get more than wet. They are going to be washed off the beach without another opportunity to be involved in Bible-based, missional ministry.

David Yonggi Cho, Seoul, South Korea

Beginning in the 1980s, due to rapid growth, Full Gospel Central Church decided to establish satellite churches throughout the city of Seoul. As exponential growth continued, reaching 700,000 by 1992, the need for satellite churches became more pressing. Despite the drain of members to the satellite churches, new recruits by the mother church—brought in through the vast cell network—made up for the losses, and membership stood at 780,000 in 2003. The church was renamed Yoido Full Gospel Church in the 1990s. As of 2007, membership stands at 830,000 with seven Sunday services translated into 16 languages.

Watch the free live broadcast of the Synergize3! Pastor’s Conference today – Thursday, January 19.