At the start of the 20th century, Latin America was 1 percent Protestant/Evangelical. At the end of the 20th century, 12-14 percent of the continent was evangelical. Along with Africa, it was one of the two fastest growing churches in the world.
We are grateful to be living at this moment of history. Yet we are also mindful that having numbers does not mean we are influencing our culture. We observe that some of the most “evangelical” countries and regions are also some of the most violent, illiterate and corrupt.
We are mindful of the history of regions and countries that were numerically strong in the past.
- A living faith is fast becoming a historic faith in the Middle East.
- A living faith is fast becoming a postmodern, even post Christian faith in Europe.
- A living faith is fast becoming a paralyzed faith in the United States.
It is in this context that we are adopting God’s dream of transformation. We believe that it is not just a good idea, it is a God idea. An “eagle” view of God’s transformation movement is teaching us the following:
- Transformation is God’s dream
- Transformation is the co-mission of God’s team
- Transformation is strengthened in a process
- Transformation is God’s dream
In a period of four years, over 85,000 church leaders from 19 countries have participated in transformation summits, where we have been inspired by, and have adopted God’s dream of transformation as our own.
We understand from Scripture that we are living in a “kairos” moment of transformation. Ephesians 1:22 confirms God’s dream of “all things under His feet.” In his Ephesians commentary, John Stott observes that this verse is futuristic. All things are not yet under His feet. It assumes eternal salvation insofar as it helps us to reflect about the influence of a community of the saved in our society where “all things are under His feet.”
Colossians 1:20 affirms that “all things will be reconciled” in Him. All things means everything. Every tribe. Every language. Every nation. Every generation. A young continent will face the postmodern challenge as 72 percent of our populations moves from the garden to the city in the next two decades.
Latin America is moving fast from the city to the digital city. Before He returns in the clouds, the cloud will be reconciled in Him. Pornography earns 3 million dollars a second. It is time to change this. The eutopia is part of God’s dream.
Every sphere of cultural influence must be reconciled. The family, the church, the government, the economy, education, communications, as well as the arts and sports must be reconciled in Him.
God’s dream of transformation requires the church to mentor professionals as missionaries in every sphere. This makes transformation interdisciplinary. This means the church will not keep Jesus in its four walls. Latin America is taking Jesus to the spheres.
Transformation is the co-mission of God’s team. In Exodus 3:7, God affirmed to Moses, and to us, that He “sees the oppression” of His people. He “hears” their cry and “knows their sorrows.”
God has a dream. He shares it with Moses. “I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.”
God has a plan to accomplish this dream. “Come now … I will send you” Moses. Moses co-missions in God’s dream. The theme verse of the Lausanne 2010 congress was 2 Corinthians 5:19: “God … has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation … and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
Yes, God’s plan for reconciling the world to Himself is you and me. As it was in the time of Moses, so it is today. We have been given a ministry and word of reconciliation.
This is why a businessman in Colombia, burdened by the digital challenge, initiated the Digital Transformation Network. An initiative to train a generation of digital missionaries. This is why at least four countries have adopted national plans of transformation. Transformation is strengthened in a process
We have committed to a process of transformation. It is trans-generational. It is trans cultural. It is interdisciplinary. Its character is humility with a fruit of service. The facilitating role of catalysts of transformation has been key to define a long term plan and strategy of transformation.
The second part of Genesis 1 establishes order and strategy in each day of creation. So it is with the Transform LatinWorld movement.
We are part of the TransformWorld movement. The first seven years of developing models of transformation were established from 2013-2020. We have started to “revitalize the church and influence culture.”
The unity factor. After surveying over 7,000 church leaders and participating in consultations to listen to pastors from over 21 Latin countries, we affirm three qualities of unity in the 21st century:
Unity is relational. The mandate of unity starts with having a space for united fellowship and prayer.
Unity is missional.
United for what? To fulfill the great commission with the great commandment. To fulfill the cultural mandate. Unity is institutional: Hispanics in the USA (NHCLC)and the Latin world (CONELA) have united in the Lamb’s agenda. A space where spiritual and social justice walk together. A place where eternal life with abundant life are in fellowship.
We need to move beyond numbers to transformation in unity.
- It is time to dream God’s dream.
- It is time to live God’s dream.
- It is time to move beyond numbers, to transformation.
In this process, the impossible will become inevitable. It is His word.