Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

What Does a Population of 7 Billion Mean for Church Planters?

From National Geographic

October 31st, 2011 was the date chosen to indicate that our population on planet earth is now 7 billion people. This short video by National Geographic is instructive.  There are a couple of things that stood out to me watching it the first time.  The speed at which the population is growing, the spatiality shift from rural to urban.  And how the problem isn’t about space (all 7 billion people would just fill the city limits of Los Angeles), but balance, or social justice.

So what does this mean for church planters?
It means a lot.  Here are a five things that immediately come to my mind.

1.  We need to be learning to make disciples who rely on the Holy Spirit, so that we can see the Spirit birth multiple multi-ethnic urban churches which reflect our neighborhoods and cities all around the world.

2.  In the West, we need to learn to live simply, so that others in the world can simply live.  We must learn to follow Christ on the downwardly mobile road.

3.  We need people trained in understanding poverty and development in the way of Jesus, where the gospel of Jesus &  Jesus’ gospel are inextricably intertwined.

4.  We need more people trained in urban development and sustainable living, which will require a better life index for the health of countries than simply the GNP.

5.  We need develop more creative approaches to leadership and the way we structure our churches, so that people move from passive observers to active priests.

From National Geographic

There are obviously more things we need to be praying about, thinking about and preparing for.

What are the first five things that come to your mind as you contemplate the rapid population growth of our planet and the increasing urban population?

Check out the many articles on National Geographic about the 7 billion figure to get your mind thinking.  There is an amazing free app for the ipad, for a limited time.

3 Responses to What Does a Population of 7 Billion Mean for Church Planters?

  1. Arlene says:

    Oh I just love when you reference other blogs of yours in your blog…this will be fun…I have to finish up a little bit of stuff but tonight I am going thru and read thru this…thanks for taking the time to do this 🙂

  2. JR Woodward says:


    Glad you find the reading helpful.

  3. JR, love your posts. So helpful. I am connected with Jon Tyson and the team at TGC and joining with their City Collective network. I am 2 years into life as a missionary in LA, based in Santa Monica. Would LOVE to connect with you over coffee sometime soon.

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