by Rex McDowell, Sr.

In our circles, we have heard a lot about worldly Christians. We need to hear about World Christians.

World Christians are Christians who cannot get away from God’s yearning to bring the whole world back to Himself.

World Christians share the Father’s heartbreak over the billions who do not know that His Son already bought them freedom from their debauchery, misery, and hopelessness.

World Christians are gripped by revelations such as the following of God’s equal passion for all His lost children (emphases added):

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29b).

World Christians share the Father’s heartbreak over the billions who do not know that His Son already bought them freedom from their debauchery, misery, and hopelessness.

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

“I will make of you a great nation, [Abram,] and I will bless you . . . so that you will be a blessing . . . and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:2-3, ESV).

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psa. 96:3, ESV)

“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Rom. 10:13-15a)

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14).

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9).

World Christians believe that as disciples, they simply must be like their Master.  They refuse to let their concern for the world not match His.  They insist on having this mind in them which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5-11)

World Christians are Christians who cannot get away from God’s yearning to bring the whole world back to Himself.

World Christians are humbled by their free access to the gospel, knowing they have no more right to it than any Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, communist, terrorist, or atheist in the world They are never satisfied, therefore, as long as one person does not know Christ died for him or her.

World Christians are convinced that just as the teacher really intends his students to do their assignment, just as the boss actually means for her employee to complete his task, just as the commanding officer truly expects his subordinates to carry out their mission—or die trying—so their Lord truly intends them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Their life’s motivating center is, What will it take to accomplish His commission?

As David Bryant expresses in his book In the Gap (1979):

“World Christians are day-to-day disciples for whom Christ’s global cause has become the integrating, overriding priority for all that He is for them.  Like disciples should, they actively investigate all that their Master’s Great Commission means.  Then they act on what they learn.

World Christians are Christians whose life directions have been solidly transformed by a world vision.  This is not a term for frustrated Christians who feel trapped into the world missionary movement and sporadically push a few buttons to say they’ve done their part.  Having caught a vision, World Christians want to keep that vision and obey it unhesitatingly.” (p. 93)

Their life’s motivating center is, What will it take to accomplish His commission?

Bryant then explains how we can become World Christians:

“By taking three steps we become World Christians.  First, World Christians catch a world vision.  They see the cause the way God sees it.  They see the full scope of the Gap.  Next, World Christians keep that world vision.  They put the cause at the heart of their life in Christ.  They put their life at the heart of the Gap.  Then World Christians obey their world vision.  Together they develop a strategy that makes a lasting impact on the cause, particularly at the widest end of the Gap.” (p. 94)

By “the Gap,” Bryant means, first, the gap between God and the people He loves, created in His image for fellowship with Him, for whom Christ died; and second, the gap in opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel between those who have it and those who do not.  The ‘widest end of the Gap’ is where people currently have no chance of hearing the gospel.  Bryant further clarifies:

“Ultimately, however, becoming a World Christian goes beyond ‘steps’ that we take.  It is the gracious work of Christ Himself!  Our faith must always be in Him, not in any simple three-step process.  It is Christ who opens us up to catch His world vision.  He alone anchors us to that vision and then empowers us to effectively obey it.” (p. 95)

“Are you [a World Christian]?  Would you like to be?  Would you like to wrap your life in Christ around His global cause and nothing less?  Every night when you place your head on the pillow, would you like to say, ‘I know this day of my life has counted strategically for the global cause of Christ, especially for those currently beyond the reach of the gospel’?” (p. 96)


Bryant, David. (1979). In the Gap: What it Means to be a World Christian. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press.