I mentioned in the previous post that 3 Worlds brings Europe, N Africa and the Middle East together but there is more to it than that. The 3 Worlds specifically speaks to the different ways that ministry is approached in the various context that make up this part of the world. It is actually a part of our world in the U.S. too.
The first world is the world of historical or classic Christianity embodied by the likes of John Wesley. It is an orderly, theological, well thought-out and structured way to practice your faith. It is at the heart of the church in Europe and N Africa. Although more recently it has become less effective as the world is changing into a post-modern culture. There are some very positive assets this way of practicing faith brings. There is theological correctness, systems and structures that keep the church on the appropriate path and well thought out plans that have enabled this church to send the Good News to other continents. The downside is that it can become stilted, dry, out of touch and ineffective in today’s world. Many if not most of these churches are aging and in decline in the parts of the world where 3 Worlds works.
The second World for the church here is the emergent, post-Christian, young twenties, early thirties somethings who are looking less structure and more of an organic approach. This group tends to be more missional and prefers a house church or a coffee house. Relationships are a higher value than services and small is preferred over large. There is less emphasis on theology and more on practice. All too often the first two ways of doing church clash.
The third world is a world where the Good News comes with power. There is an emphasis on spirited worship, prayer, power encounters, words of God and prophecy. Many of the African and Middle Eastern churches are of this persuasion. Here in Europe, where Belinda and I are this week, you will find all three churches. 3 Worlds works to help the churches learn from each other and work together. They teach them to build bridges instead of walls. They break down the differences and help them to value one another and learn from each other.
We are excited to work with two churches in London at the end of this week. Please pray with us that God will help us to build on the good work Patrick Noctigal is already doing. The earlier part of the week we are just taking some time off to be together in one of the world’s greatest cities. We’re loving it. Thank you. Gary