The Church has survived persistent abuse, horrifying persecution, and widespread neglect. Yet despite its faults (due to our sinfulness), it is still God’s chosen instrument of blessing and has been for 2,000 years. Here are four exciting things about the church you may not know…
- Its Size
More than 2 billion people claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. That’s one third of the world’s population! The Church has about a billion more people than the entire nation of China.
For example, about 100 million people in the United States went to church this past weekend. That’s more people than will attend sporting events in the U.S. throughout this year! The Church is the largest force for good in the world. Nothing else even comes close.
- Its Distribution.
The Church is everywhere in the world. There are villages that have little else, but they do have a church. You could visit millions of village around the world that don’t have a school, a clinic, a hospital, a fire department, or a post office. They don’t have any businesses. But they do have a church. The Church is more widely spread — more widely distributed — than any business franchise in the world.
Consider this: The Red Cross noted that 90 percent of the meals they served to victims of Hurricane Katrina were actually cooked by Southern Baptist churches. Many churches were able to jump into action faster than the government agencies or the Red Cross.
Why? The Church is literally everywhere, and Christians who could provide help to the Gulf Coast communicated with Christians in need of help so relief could be sent immediately.
3. Its Growth
Did you know that every day 60,000 new people come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? By the end of today, thousands of new churches will be started throughout the world, and that will happen tomorrow and the next day and the next.
In one country that is closed to traditional Christian missions, more than 60,000 house churches have been started in one province by the work of people like you and me.
Why is fast expansion important? If you’ve got a problem that’s growing at a rapid rate, then you need a solution that will grow even more rapidly. For instance, HIV/AIDS is growing at an incredibly fast rate in the world. Yet thank God the Church is outgrowing the disease, so more and more believers can help minister to those with HIV/AIDS.
4. Its Stability
The Church has been around for 2,000 years. We’re not a fly-by-night operation. The Church has a track record that spans centuries: Malicious leaders have tried to destroy it, hostile groups have persecuted it, and skeptics have scoffed at it. Nevertheless, God’s Church is bigger now than ever before in history.
Why? Because it’s the Church that Jesus established, and it is indestructible. The Bible calls the Church an unshakable kingdom. In Matthew 16, Jesus says, “I will build my Church and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” All the powers of Hell — in other words, no hurricane, no earthquake, no tsunami, no famine, no pandemic, no army will ever conquer the Church established by Jesus Christ. It will last forever.
It is a great privilege and an awesome responsibility to be a part of The Church!