The following is an excerpt from:
Bryant, David. “What it means to be a World Christian.” Perspective’s on the World Christian Movement: A Reader. Ed. Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne. Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1986, pp 825-826.
“What, then, shall we call this discovery that can change us so radically and yet make us so healthy? And, what shall we call those who have experienced it?
By now it should be obvious that all Christians are born again into the Gap between God’s world-wide purpose and the fulfillment of it. But there’s more than one kind of response to that Gap.
Some are asleep, some are on retreat, and some are determined to stand in the Gap, particularly at its widest end where billions await the opportunity to hear of Christ for the first time. Some are heading into the “sunrise of missions” while others huddle in the shadows. Many move along at a sluggish pace, changing little in the Gap because of their own internal gap-of-unbelief. Others run the race before them setting no limits on how, where, or among whom God will use them.
Some are trapped in boxes of pea-sized Christianity, full of myths about missions that rob them of incentive to care about the unreached. Others have broken through into cause-Christianity, ready to reach out with God’s love to the ends of the earth. They are determined to make Christ’s global cause the unifying focus – the context – for all they are and do in the Gap. Yielded to the mediator, they are willing to be broken and remolded to fit in the Gap wherever they can make the most strategic impact. In turn, they’re growing to know Christ, obey Him, and glorify Him as the mediator.
So, what shall we call the discovery that directs Christians toward the needs of the Gap? And how shall we distinguish those who have made it?
Some Christians in the Gap are stunted by selfishness and petty preoccupations or by a cautious obedience and love reserved for the closest and easiest to care about. How shall we distinguish the others in the Gap whose growth in discipleship is unmistakable, with a vitality that comes only to those who help bring lost sinners from many nations home?
What shall we call this distinct group of Christians who have taken a stand that says:
We want to accept personal responsibility for reaching some of earth’s unreached, especially from among the billions at the widest end of the Gap who can only be reached through major new efforts by God’s people. Among every people-group where there is no vital, evangelizing Christian community there should be one, there must be one, there shall be one. Together we want to help make this happen.
For a moment, let’s call them WORLD CHRISTIANS. Of course, any new term might be misunderstood. For example, some might think I said “worldly” Christians, not World Christians. By now we know, however, if you are one, you can’t be the other. If you are one you don’t want to be the other!”
I hope you were uplifted in your devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as you read this excerpt. I pray that you will seek to identify which one of these two people you are. Your life and the lives of others depend upon it!
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10