Pastor Julius Rwotlonyo, Leader of 4/14 in Africa declared to us “It is Africa’s day!” and we are excited to be a part of what God is doing in Africa.
Recently, we have been assessing the trends concerning Africa and have discerned 4 critical signs that there is a repositioning of global influence toward the African continent, therefore we cannot miss our chance to get prepared for the responsibility which comes alongside leadership and influence.
We can ask ourselves — why is it important to acknowledge these trends which speak of the African continent 50 or 100 years from now? And we are exhorted by the Biblical legacy of Issachar.
1 Chronicles 12: 32
“From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.”
Whether these signs are regarding population growth, the youth and Christian population or urbanization, we recognize and understand the Great Commission opportunity we uniquely have as a continent.
Here are the 4 key signs, or trends, to pay attention to concerning Africa:
- Youngest Population
Africa has the youngest population of any other continent. 60% of our population is under the age of 25, meaning most of our children and youth don’t know a world without cell phones!
2. Fastest Population Growth
Africa has the fastest population growth of any other continent. By 2050, we might have double the number of people in Africa than we had in 2000! And yet, projections show that the average age of our population in the next 50 years will remain young at just 31-years old.
3. Rapid Urbanization
Africa is projected to have rapid urbanization throughout the next century. By 2100, 14 out of the 20 most populated cities in the world will be located in Africa. Cities like Lagos, Nigeria and Kinshasa, DRC could have up to 100 million inhabitants!
4.Most Number of Christians
Africa is the most populous Christian continent. In 2020, Africa surpassed Latin America as the continent with the most Christians, with Africa having 637 million Christians.
How incredible are these trends! Like the leaders, or sons, of Issachar, we must also apply wisdom to discern the signs of our time. God is doing something new in Africa today. In His sovereignty, God has granted us an incredible resource in terms of youth population; He has made us fruitful in terms of our population growth; He is blowing the wind of urban migrations and developments in terms of our cities; and He has made us faithful in terms of number of Christian believers. Pastor Julius has rightly declared, it is Africa’s day!
So what is our role as the African Church? Given this grand opportunity, we are to join together in a network of passionate leaders, ministers, and spiritual mentors who are committed to the deep and holistic development of each child in the house of God. Such a network will remind us of our ultimate mission and vision for the Kingdom in Africa and equip us to apply the best practices in children and youth ministry available to us.
In your ministries today, you are working to reach, rescue, root and release the Now generation of leaders who will lead Africa into her bright future. Therefore, you are an invaluable part of God’s move in your country and community. By your efforts, Africa shall stand proudly before the world as a spiritual and tangible testament of God’s uncompromising mission.
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- United Nations Population Prospects, 2019, https://population.un.org/wpp/DataQuery/
2. Pew Research Center, World Population Projections, 2019 https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/17/worlds-population-is-projected-to-nearly-stop-growing-by-the-end-of-the-century/
3. Ontario University, Top 20 Cities by Population, 2014 https://sites.ontariotechu.ca/sustainabilitytoday/urban-and-energy-systems/Worlds-largest-cities/population-projections/city-population-2100.php
4. Gordon Cornwell Theological Seminary, Global Christianity Study, 2019 https://sites.ontariotechu.ca/sustainabilitytoday/urban-and-energy-systems/Worlds-largest-cities/population-projections/city-population-2100.php