When Stephen Kasamba came to the United States last October, he brought a spiritual legacy full circle. Kasamba, a young Anglican evangelist and worship leader, was part of a Ugandan ministry team invited to help foster renewal within Episcopal churches in several American dioceses. The team's charge was to be a spiritual encouragement to flagging U.S. churches. In Uganda, the Anglican Church has been growing phenomenally: there are 5 million Anglicans in 21,000 churches, compared to the United States where Episcopalian membership has dwindled to about 2.5 million in 7,360 churches.
For Kasamba, the task held deep personal meaning. Decades earlier, an American missionary working in northern Uganda had told Kasamba's grandfather, "Today, we are coming to you to preach the gospel, but tomorrow, you shall bring the gospel to us." That day had finally come.
Kasamba's story is a living illustration of dramatic changes occurring within the global evangelical movement—shifts that are forcing new interpretations of missions and ministry.
As recently as 1960, evangelicalism was largely a movement concentrated in Western Europe and North America. Today it has become a global movement with startling new dimensions. Of the world's estimated 400 million evangelicals, 70 percent are non-Western, living in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America. As the new millennium grows nearer, church leaders from around the world agree that such an enormous demographic transformation has significant implications for theology, for missions, and for the future of evangelicalism.
In Abbotsford, British Columbia, evangelical leaders representing 115 nations and 110 organizations in early May will convene the tenth General Assembly of World Evangelical ...1