by Eddie Lyons
The goal of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International is to take the Gospel to the world. The way we do this is by planting churches. Our vision is global church planting.
But, how can we define success when it comes to global church planting? I would suggest the big dream of planting a church in every major city in the United States and the world.
The United Nations has said for years that the world is moving to the cities. Throughout history, most of the population has lived a rural lifestyle, dependent on agriculture and hunting for survival. In 1800, only three percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 1900, almost 14 percent were urbanites, although only 12 cities had one million or more inhabitants. When the BBFI was founded in 1950, 30 percent of the world’s population resided in urban centers and the number of cities with over one million people had grown to 83.
Today, the majority of the world’s people live in cities. What if we focused our church-planting efforts on the world’s 31 cities with populations exceeding ten million and the 46 cities with populations between five and ten million? While it makes sense to prioritize the cities where we do not have any outreach, we need to plant additional churches in most urban centers.
This strategy, to go to the cities, has great biblical precedent. Paul went to the cities. The book of Revelation addresses churches in cities.
This big vision will require cooperation and shared commitment. If every church in our Fellowship picked one city and asked God for a church to be planted there, what could God do? If that local church began talking about and praying for that city, God might just call someone from there to go. Let’s be a Fellowship with a directed vision and faith to ask God to use us.