In a conversation with a new friend, I was elated to hear of his excitement and passion for what he describes as a miraculous opportunity for the American church. You heard me right, he is excited about the potential and possibilities despite the fact that many continue the laborious wail over the western church going the way of Europe in the decline of evangelical Protestantism.
Dr. Jehu Hanciles is the Director of World Christianity at Emory’s Candler School of Theology and when he speaks about the possibilities people get excited. A native of Sierra Leone, Dr. Hanciles has taught at Africa University, Fuller Seminary and now has come to the metro Atlanta area.I think Dean Jan Love and Candler made a brilliant move in inviting him to join the team there.
The factor that makes our opportunity miraculous according to Dr. Hanciles is the unique influx of immigrants by the tens of millions who are 70% Christian in their collective makeup. The challenge? Equipping the American church to be inviting, globally aware and sensitive to the needs of this burgeoning influx of God’s children from all over the world and doing church and ministry differently. We have prayed that the Gospel of Jesus Christ be taken to the world, but equally important is how we respond to the world that God is delivering right to our community. Lord, give us Your eyes to see, Your ears to hear, and Your Holy Spirit to lead us to even greater things ahead in Jesus’ name!