“Job Vacancies”: More Publishing Christian Authors Needed in Africa Urgently!

In his 2011 convocation address, the President of Asbury Theological Seminary, Professor Timothy Tennent said to his largely American audience that, “in the 19th century, God commanded us to Christianize Africa. In the 21st century, He may well be calling us to Africanize Christianity.”[1] In similar vein, Professor Andrew Walls predicted that “it is inevitable that the religio-cultural transformation of the 20th century will place Africans and Asians more and more in positions of leadership in world Christianity.”[2]

If majority of Christians now live outside Europe and North America; and if Africa as widely recognized by observers of African Christianity is a major block in world Christianity; the question then arises: what will the church in Africa contribute to enhance the growth of the wider church?  I believe God’s decision to shift the center of numeric gravity of the contemporary world Christianity to the global south is not a call to competition rather it’s a call to a higher and a more intentional collaborative ministry. According to Walls “that Africa will bring gifts to the church is widely recognized, and many see those gifts as including a zeal for Christ, unembarrassed witness to him, energy and delight in worship, and fervency in prayer, all of which will bless the wider church.”[3] Walls however adds that Africa must bring intellectual and theological leadership to the wider church too.[4]

One significant way to contribute is to be intentional in writing and publishing – contributing to the wider Church issues that have not yet been known especially those coming from its cultural context.  It is high time that Christian writing and publishing are treated as part of holistic ministry of the church. Timothy Tennent rightly points it out that the recent development in world Christianity “cannot be approached by a “business-as-usual approach”; it cannot be approached by a “pastor-as-comfortable-career-option approach; it also cannot be approached by a, “I’m going to spend my time preoccupied with my salary, my pension plan and parsonage” mentality; neither can it be approached by a “climb the denominational ladder” strategy.”[5] It is a call to the ministry of writing and publishing by all stakeholders within our faith community!

[1]Timothy Tennent, “The Translatability of the Christian Gospel”  A Convocation Address delivered at Asbury Theological Seminary in 2011.

[2] Andrew Walls, “World Christianity, Theological Education and Scholarship” in Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies: http://trn.sagepub.com/content/28/4/235, posted on September 12, 2011 and accessed on October 10, 2011, 238.

[3] Andrew Walls.

[4] Andrew Walls.

[5] Timothy Tennent.