The role of the Church - Church growth

Visualisation to show the work of the global church: charity, mission and evangelism.

Charity

The following charities are three examples of Christian organisations that spread Christianity's key messages through international action. They provide both emergency short-term and long-term aid locally and globally. These charities each fundraise within the UK and internationally, and use the media to highlight their campaigns. There are many other Christian charities around the world.

CAFOD

The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) works to fight poverty and injustice around the world. It works through churches in places that have suffered natural disasters, aiming to give people the skills to help themselves.

Christian Aid

Christian Aid was set up after World War Two to help refugees in Europe. It now works in disaster zones around the world.

Every year, during Christian Aid Week, the organisation asks each household in the UK to give money to help continue its work to end poverty throughout the world. Christian Aid projects often use the skills of local people to improve life for the community.

Tearfund

Tearfund is an evangelical organisation that aims to help to end hunger all over the world. It cares for refugees in particular.

Often young people from within the congregation are encouraged to spend time overseas helping on projects. Various kinds of aid are supplied, but there is a large focus on spiritual need, not just physical, and Tearful has set up over 67,000 churches.

Mission

According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples that they should spread his message throughout the world and should try to convert people to Christianity.

Missionaries spread the Christian message abroad, not necessarily only through preaching, but through their actions too - for example, helping with development projects. This is how Christianity as it is known today has spread across the globe.

quote
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.Matthew 28:19

Christianity has been the largest world faith in Europe for a long time, so today its spread in Europe is slow. However, there is rapid growth in South America and Africa, where missionaries have spent time working for social justice and setting up churches.

Evangelism

Evangelism involves converting people to Christianity. It often goes hand in hand with the activities of missionaries. Some Christians feel that they should take on this role as they believe that they can help people to discover their real purpose in life.

While some evangelists tell people directly about God, others try to show God’s love through their actions. For example, Gideons International, an association of evangelical Christians, donates copies of the Bible to hotels and hospitals in the UK and around the world.

Question

How do missionaries spread Christianity?

By showing the message of Christianity through their actions.