By Joel Iyorwa
In some ways, this title is misleading. It is misleading because biblically, there is nothing like a ‘local Christian.’
Ideally, all believers are supposed to operate ‘globally’ but in reality, most are not. Becoming a born-again Christian is an initiation into a Global movement.
But the number of believers who are operating at this level remains very small. We can’t read our Bibles and miss out on snapshots of the global nature of Christianity like these:
“Ye are the Salt of the earth” Matthew 5:13
“Ye are the Light of the world” Matthew 5:14
“…And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” Acts 1:8
The Bible has literally hundreds, if not thousands of leads like this that spell out in a pellucid way the scope of authentic Christian living.
Men like John Wesley understood this. Here is one of his famous statements,
“I look on all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty, to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.”
None of us is called to be a ‘local believer’ even though that calling may have a local expression or location. So what does it mean to be a ‘global Christian?’
Does it mean getting on a plane every few weeks with a busy international ministry itinerary? Does it mean inserting the word ‘international’ in your ministry name?
We must not confuse the terms ‘international’ and ‘global’ even if we sometimes use them interchangeably. Our call is not necessarily to be ‘International Christians’ but ‘Global Christians.’
Global Christianity is really about a conscious understanding of our calling as individual and corporate Christians to act and interact in ways that directly or indirectly affect the nations of the world and bring them under the influence of the gospel.
Whatever our vocation, wherever our location, however small or huge our budget and income, whichever education we have or do not have, we have a global mandate in God’s global agenda.
The problem comes when we become over absorbed within our immediate surrounding and circumstances of life and estranged by our own selfish personal agendas and pursuits that we loose sight of that global mandate.
Here are some important ways of global Christian living:
1. Prayer: Prayer is one of the most powerful ways to unlock the potential of global Christianity. I am not just talking about any kind of prayer. Some people pray, but all they pray about are small, selfish issues. Only prayer that moves beyond a selfish focus to God’s agenda in the world and the issues on His heart for the nations can make us truly global Christians. It is not a one-off or once-in-a-while kind of prayer, but a lifestyle. 2. Scriptures: The posture of global Christianity is not one we gain by education (secular or seminary) or just by cross-cultural or international exposure. The Scriptures are the bedrock foundation upon which a truly global Christian living is built. Nowadays, there are many young people who are engaging in short-term missions abroad but who lack a personal connection with the Bible. This cannot produce a global Christian. 3. Giving: Another exciting way to live as a global Christian is to generously give. Global Christians are those who understand that all they have is held in trust to God for His global purposes. They have taught themselves to live and give sacrificially. They don’t just give leftovers or out of convenience or haphazardly. Such giving is targeted deliberately to ministries and causes that impact the nations. Statistics show that less than 5% of Christian giving goes to causes that really matter in making global cross-cultural impact.We cannot exhaust the list in a short article like this. However these are three very crucial steps that everyone who would become a global Christian must take.May God deliver us from our selfish pursuits and small ambitions, and may He release to us a passion to seek out our own niche in His global purposes upon the earth today in Jesus name, Amen.