Friday, September 28, 2012

As Christianity's Center Shifts to Global South, Leaders Converge in Chicago to Pioneer Next Generation of Innovative Global Ministry Partnerships

Global:Church Forum shifts conversation from 'West teaches the rest' to one of listening and collaboration; Goal is to create global initiatives that are highly effective and sustainable
CHICAGO, Sept. 28, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- One hundred years ago, the average Christian was a mid-40s Western male. Today, the average Christian could be an African female in her 20s. The population epicenter of Christianity has shifted.

In fact, 60% of today's 2 billion Christians are from the Global South (Africa, Asia and Latin America) -- a figure that will rise to 75% of 3 billion Christians by 2050.

A recent analysis of global trends by First Fruits summarizes this impact of stunning shift: "The West will no longer be the territorial center of Christianity," adding that while the West still controls the conversation globally, the Global South Church will increasingly critique Western approaches, and indigenous mission movements will create new, creative ways to do everything from fundraising to leadership training to community engagement.

Today's most successful Western Christian leaders embrace this shift as an opportunity for unprecedented growth, collaboration and learning within the global church -- and a powerful time to foster collaboration between ministry, church, corporate, major funding and secular development groups to maximize the success of global initiatives.

Global:Church Forum, Oct. 15-18, unites more than 23 speakers from 11 countries who will provide an unprecedented, clear picture of how ministry and development work is conducted within different cultures and economies -- citing with honesty what works and what needs changing -- in order to redefine models and methodologies pursued by the West. The hands-on, practical approach of the forum seeks to uncover points of collaboration that will lead to strategic partnerships that are powerful, scalable and sustainable and address the world's the greatest needs.

Global:Church Forum, hosted by re:source global, will take place Oct. 15 - 18, 2012, at Park Community Church, Chicago. Daytime working sessions are by invitation only, with evening sessions free and open to the public, featuring music by Sara Groves and inspiring talks from global leaders from India, Africa and beyond.

"The current growth of the church in the Global South and East changes the way we as Westerners engage with the church -- we need a shift in perspective, attitude and strategic project and funding models," said Jimmy Lee, founder and CEO of re:source global, the organization hosting the conference and dedicated to pioneering innovative investment models for global development and ministry work.

"The goal for attendees of Global:Church is to become more coordinated and strategic in the work we are doing as funders and ministry leaders," adds Lee. "This is the start of a global conversation we are taking from Chicago to cities around the world, and it's growing in intensity."

Free, public evening sessions feature speakers David Gibbons of New Song Church, Bethany Hoang of International Justice Mission, Ralph Borde of As Our Own India, Tanya Walker of RZIM Europe, and Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel in Kenya. Daytime speakers include Michael Ramsden, European Director of RZIM Zacharias Trust; Bob Doll, former Chief Investment Officer of Global Equities at BlackRock Advisors, LLC; Fayez Ishak, Director of Missions of the Kasr El Dobara, the largest Evangelical Christian Church in the Arab World; and Dr. Zhao Xiao, who was commissioned by the Chinese government to study the success of the American economy and in the process found and embraced Christianity himself.

For more information or to register for daytime or evening events, contact Sarah Martel Lee at 773-931-3559 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            773-931-3559      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or visit

Note: Portions of the 4-day Global:Church Forum will be recorded and available online after the event. Visit to receive these sessions and for more information.

Global:Church Forum is hosted by re:source global, a for-profit organization redefining international philanthropy by engaging global communities, identifying and analyzing their needs and uniting ministry partners, funders and other stakeholders to create long-term solutions and sustainable development initiatives. Based in Chicago, re:source global manages innovative projects in Asia and Africa, and hosts thought leadership events co:lab and Global:Church Forum. For more information visit:

Christian Newswire

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