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If you want to ask the Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye what's new in his ministry, allow some extra time. As assistant bishop of Kampala in the Church of Uganda, Zac oversees churches that are enjoying tremendous growth and confronting pressing needs. He and his wife, Theodora, counsel Ugandans who have suffered the trauma of war, advise startup businesses throughout Africa, and nurture Christian student movements and evangelistic efforts. His contributions to spiritual and cultural renewal in Africa alone would make him a valuable respondent to our big question: How can followers of Christ be a counterculture for the common good? But Zac, a protégé of evangelical leader John Stott, also has cultivated deep relationships with Christians in the West, beginning with theological studies at Wheaton and Edinburgh. As a senior adviser to Geneva Global—another product of Stott's far-flung network of students and friends—Zac is creating international partnerships that model the candid challenge he offers to American Christians in this interview.

As a longtime friend and partner of North American Christians, what have you noticed about us?

One of the gravest threats to the North American church is the deception of power—the deception of being at the center. Those at the center tend to think, "The future belongs to us. We are the shapers of tomorrow. The process of gospel transmission, the process of mission—all of it is on our terms, because we are powerful, because we are established. We have a track record of success, after all."

Yet recently the Lord led me to an amazing passage, the encounter between Jesus and Nathaniel in John 1. Nathaniel has decided Jesus is a non-entity. Jesus comes from Nazareth, ...

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Experiencing Life at the Margins
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In the Magazine

July 2006

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