How does globalization affect the prayer movements of the world? I have been thinking about that question since reading the paper by Os Guinness and David Wells, titled Global Gospel, Global Era. It’s a preparation document for the Lausanne Capetown meetings later this year.
This particular paragraph sums up globalization in a succint way.
Coming to terms with “globalization”
What, then, is “the world” of our day? Beyond any question, the single, strongest expression of the face of the world in our time—; the advanced modern world of the early twenty-first century—; is globalization, the process by which human interconnectedness has expanded to a truly global level. There are many people, such as the writers of The Economist magazine, who attribute globalization to the spread of market capitalism throughout the world, and use the word only as a synonym for this expansion. But this is self-interested as well as wrong. Globalization is a multi-dimensional process, and the decisive driver in its present expansion is not capitalism but information technology, powerful and important though capitalism is. At the centre of the current wave of globalization are “the triple Sforces” of speed (with the capacity for instant communication), scope (the capacity to communicate to the entire world), and simultaneity (the capacity to communicate to everywhere at the same time). Together, these forces have shaped our “wired world” and led to an unprecedented triple impact on human living: the acceleration, compression, and intensification of human life on earth in the global world.
I encourage you to read the whole paper, which is an excellent synopsis of the current tensions that need to be worked out in global missions.
The way I see it, as Christians we are first of all “internationalists”. Yes we love and honour the nations that we belong to, but we are first and foremost members of a family that includes people from all the nations of the earth. We seek the well-being of every nation, but we look for a transformation of every society by the values and power of the Gospel and we pray for a freedom in every nation-state, so that people can freely decide whether or not to embrace the Lord that we love and serve.
There are many implications here, but one for example is that whatever nationality we might belong to, we should be moved by compassion for those who are persecuted for their faith in other parts of the world. They should expect our prayers and accompanying actions to work for their freedoms.