Anytime I watch Business International on CNN or Business News on BBC, I am always fascinated by the mergers and takeover bids of companies and corporations. Across the Atlantic, and from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, business empires are being built to dominate the globe. The trend these days in the business parlance is to keep the globe in view.
In my home country of Nigeria, we have also had our own fair share of mergers, acquisitions and consolidation, especially in the financial sector. One of the cardinal reasons for this quest is the desire to transform local companies into global players. Whatever is done these days seems to have an eye on the global perspective rather than local considerations. Gradually, national boundaries are losing their significance in commerce, industry and international politics. Governments formulate, shape, revise and reform policies through the lenses of the globe. “Globalisation” has suddenly become a re-occurring term in our daily vocabulary. All over the world, this is the trend we see.
However, this is not the case in the Church, especially in Africa. Christians in this part of the world seem to be more concerned about their local congregations. Even those who try to reach out hardly transcend their denominational boundaries. All our time is consumed by our local church programmes. Sunday is devoted to regular worship services. The elders board or committee of deacons meets on Monday; Tuesday is devoted to a series of teachings on the “twenty-one steps to success,” which more often than not spans throughout the year. The mid-week special anointing service is held on Wednesday while Thursday is set aside for visitation or Bible study. Friday is for the power-packed prayer service. Even weekends are not spared, as various teaching or group programmes are held to keep the sheep busy. The objective here is to keep the people constantly occupied.
But while we glory and rejoice in the growth of our local congregations and the expansion of our denominations, the world is out there perishing without the knowledge of the redeemer. The globe is out there bleeding from the wounds inflicted on it by the cruelty of Satan. The average Christian is not bothered by the unfinished exploits of Hudson Taylor in China or that of Adoniram Judson in Burma. The Nigerian Church is not even perturbed by the consuming effects of voodoo practice in Benin Republic.
The mandate to hoist the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ on every unreached nation on the globe is a task that must be accomplished.
While secular organizations and companies are coming together for increased capacity and impact, the Church is instead headed in the opposite direction, increasingly fragmenting in vision and getting weaker in witnessing. I am not against the building up of our local congregations or the proliferation of churches per se, but why must we do so at the detriment of the global mandate? Why must it be at the expense of the salvation of nations?
Our global mandate is that we be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. I am a firm believer in the establishment of a strong and vibrant local congregation as the basic unit and platform for the accomplishment of the global mandate of the Church, but this is not what we see today. We seem to be more concerned about establishing our own little empires rather than accomplishing God’s purpose for the globe. We seem to be more concerned with being occupied in the Church instead of occupying the nations until he returns.
Let us wake up to this divine reality because God sees only two basic compartments on the globe—the Church and the unsaved. Let us also see the globe and stand up to our responsibility of reaching the unreached. This can only be done by active involvement of every Christian. The mandate to hoist the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ on every unreached nation on the globe is a task that must be accomplished.