CHURCH PLANTING & Fuller Theo. Seminary launches the world’s first global directory of church planting organizations, searchable by theology, location & methodology.

(Fuller Theo. Seminary Alumni Newsletter) The Fuller Church Planting Initiative is proud to announce the launch of PlanterMatch, the world’s first global directory of church planting organizations, on October 1, 2020 at 9:00 am PDT.

For networks, denominations and other church planting organizations, listing on the site is completely free and extremely easy. Just complete a brief questionnaire to provide basic information about the organization.

Planters will be able to use the PlanterMatch site to filter the myriad of organizations by location, theology, and methodology to find the ones that best suit their needs and circumstances, expediting the process of establishing ministry partnerships.

There are already close to a hundred church planting organizations from a wide array of traditions, working in all four corners of the globe, listed on PlanterMatch. Our prayer is that the directory will continue to grow and prove to be beneficial to church planting efforts all around the world.

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TRENDS & These countries will have the largest populations – by the end of the century. #WorldEconomicForum

by Iman Ghosh, World Economic Forum, 9/8/20.

  • By 2100, the global population could surpass 11 billion, according to predictions by the UN.
  • Currently China, India and the USA have the three largest populations in the world, but by 2100, this will have changed to India, Nigeria and China, respectively.
populations growth density change 2100 end of century  china india nigeria usa us united states
World population peak.Image: Visual Capitalist

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GLOBAL POPULATION & Two #InfoGraphics that visualize the world’s population

by Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalization, 4/2/19.

Visualizing the world’s population

Today’s data visualization comes to us from, a fantastic resource for data on global population numbers.

It allows us to see the location of the world’s 7.5 billion people by resizing countries based on their populations and then coloring and organizing them by region.

This simple application of data visualization makes it more intuitive to comprehend where people live around the globe, as well as how different countries compare in size.

A final look at global population

This isn’t the first time we’ve shown you a data visualization that organizes the global population – here’s one we previously published that shows each country in a bubble chart:

While this uses slightly older data, it is still interesting to see how data visualization can help us understand a complex and wide-ranging set of data that is relevant to everyday life.

MISSIONARIES & Their role in raising awareness of global atrocities and bringing about moral reform

by Jason Bruner, Arizona State Univeraity, The Conversation, 11/7/18.

…One of the most notable examples of the use of missionary networks in bridging the imagined distance between a Western Christian public and distant people comes from the Congo Free State, which was established in 1885 and ruled solely by King Leopold of Belgium. 

Leopold’s rule was characterized by widespread atrocities. Some estimates of the death toll of Leopold’s policies exceed 10 million people. Leopold used his reign to extract natural resources from the region. Following a boom in rubber prices, his agents were quick to use violence against the local population to make them harvest and process rubber.

In 1904, Alice Harris, a Protestant missionary with the Congo Balolo Mission, which was organized and supported by British Baptists, took what would become an iconic image of the horrors. Her image has a Congolese father sitting in a kind of stupor, gazing at his daughter’s severed hand and foot, which lie in front of him on the missionary’s porch. 

Harris’s image was reproduced in a host of pamphlets, books and newspapers in both Britain and the United States. Along with other images and reports, it helped foment an international reaction against Leopold’s brutal reign…

Missionaries believed that God worked with them through religious conversions, moral reform and material and economic progress, to spread the truth of Christianity. The role of missionary media became foundational in providing information and images of suffering in the world.

This role often pushed them into ever more remote territories. The information that they sent enabled many Christians in the West to more easily imagine the world as a globally connected community.

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GLOBAL CHRISTIANITY & In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions

by Robert Marquand, Staff writer, CS Monitor, January 11, 2015.

Christianity is booming in China, propelling it toward becoming the world’s largest Christian nation. But as religion grows, it spurs a government crackdown.


A church member prays at Jiu’en Tang, a Christian church in Wenzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province. Didi Tang/AP

HANGZHOU, CHINA. There’s nothing secret about Chongyi Church, one of the largest in China. Its lighted steeple and giant cross penetrate the night sky of Hangzhou, the capital of coastal Zhejiang Province. Nearly everything at the church is conspicuously open: the front gate, the front door, the sanctuary, the people, the clergy. Chinese or not, you are welcome seven days a week. No layers of security guards or police exist. Walk right in. Join up. People are nice; they give you water, chat. Do you have spiritual needs? Visit their offices, 9 to 5.

For China, it is a stunning feeling. Most of the society exists behind closed doors and is tough, driven, material, hierarchical. The country values wealth, power, and secrecy – not to mention that both government and schools officially, at least, promote atheism.

Yet Chongyi looks and feels like any evangelical megachurch in Seattle or San Jose. There are big screens, speakers blaring upbeat music, coffee bars. The choir is a huge swaying wash of white and red robes. Chongyi seats 5,000 people and holds multiple services on Sunday.

“Some Sundays we are full,” says Zhou Lianmei, the pastor’s wife. “We also have 1,600 volunteers.”

While Christianity is waning in many parts of the world, in China it is growing rapidly – despite state strictures. The rise in evangelical Protestantism in particular, driven both by people’s spiritual yearnings and individual human needs in a collective society, is taking place in nearly every part of the nation.

Western visitors used to seeing empty sanctuaries in the United States or Europe can be dumbfounded by the Sunday gatherings held in convention center-size buildings where people line up for blocks to get in – one service after another. In Wenzhou, not far from Hangzhou, an estimated 1.2 million Protestants now exist in a city of 9 million people alone. (It is called “China’s Jerusalem.”) By one estimate, China will become the world’s largest Christian nation, at its current rate of growth, by 2030…

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MEGACHURCHES & The Worldwide List

by Warren Bird, Leadership Network

“The list is not based on membership, seating capacity or building size but on actual worship attendance – adults and children, all services, all physical campuses on an average weekend for the year, not counting anyone twice. It is limited to Protestant congregations. Multisite churches are counted as part of one congregation if they are all under the same leader and governance, adhere to the same doctrine, identify together under a similar name or association, and share finances at some level.

Click to View the World Megachurches List (To download a copy to your computer, click the image above, then choose File –> Download as)

Spread the Word, Improve the List

Feel free also to publicize or cite this listing. The shortcut link is Also if you’d like to receive news and information on resources of interest for leaders of growing churches, please subscribe to our free e-newsletter: Leadership Network Advance.”

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ETHICS & What’s morally acceptable? It depends on where in the world you live. #PewResearch

by Jacob Poushter, Pew Research Center, 4/15/14.

“The Pew Research Center asked people in 40 countries about what is morally unacceptable, morally acceptable or not a moral issue. The issues included: married people having an affair, gambling, homosexuality, having an abortion, sex between unmarried adults, drinking alcohol, getting a divorce and using contraceptives. Our new Global Morality Interactive highlights the findings and allows users to sort the data in a variety of ways.”

Visit the interactive → Here are 5 key takeaways from the survey:

Global survey on whether people in 40 countries see certain behaviors as morally acceptable, unacceptable, or not a moral issueRead more at …

DIVERSITY & Religious Diversity Around The World

religious-diversity-1Global Religious Diversity
Pew Research, 4/4/14

Half of the Most Religiously Diverse Countries are in Asia-Pacific Region

“Looking at the percentage of each country’s population that belongs to the eight major religious categories included in the study, 12 countries have a very high degree of religious diversity. Six of the 12 are in the Asia-Pacific region (Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, China and Hong Kong); five are in sub-Saharan Africa (Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Ivory Coast, Benin and Mozambique); and one is in Latin America and the Caribbean (Suriname). No countries in Europe, North America or the Middle East-North Africa region have a very high degree of religious diversity as measured in this study.”

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DIVERSITY & A surprising map of the world’s most and least religiously diverse countries #PewResearch

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “To me this is a reminder that because America is not as diverse as it thinks, that Americans may not be as sensitive to inter-religious differences and preferences. (See Spiritual Waypoints, 2010, chapter 16, 15 and 14 for ideas how to better communicate the Good News with people of different faiths.)  This also means in America we will need to work harder to understand and communicate to people of different faiths and cultures, because the religious cultural mix in America is not as robust as it is even just to our north in Canada or around the globe.”

A surprising map of the world’s most and least religiously diverse countries

by Max Fisher on April 15, 2014

“The world’s most and least religiously diverse countries may not be quite what you think, judging by an extensive report by Pew that scores and ranks countries on religious diversity by indexing survey data with a mathematical model. The results, to be honest, really surprised me.

Here’s the data mapped out, with the most religiously diverse countries in blue and the least diverse in yellow:”



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POPULATION & the Global Flow of People #InfoGraphic

FIGURE Global Flow of People Global Flow of People
by Nikola Sander, Guy J. Abel & Ramon Bauer
at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital,
Abel & Sander (2014).Quantifying Global International Migration Flows. Science, 343 (6178). (Abstract, Full Text)

Explore new estimates of migration flows between and within regions for five-year periods, 1990 to 2010. Click on a region to discover flows country-by-country.


MORALS & Global Perspective

Worldwide, Many See Belief in God as Essential to Morality

Richer Nations Are Exception

Pew Research Center Survey Report

Is belief in God essential to morality?“Many people around the world think it is necessary to believe in God to be a moral person, according to surveys in 40 countries by the Pew Research Center. However, this view is more common in poorer countries than in wealthier ones…”

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