Global Christianity intervened in my life at precisely the moment I needed it. I was a teenager languishing in suburbia. I came from a strong Christian family. Attended a fine church. However, compared to the invitation of Jesus to seek first the kingdom, forsake all things, take up our crosses daily and follow him, the middle-class Christianity around me seemed so small, convenient, and comfortable.
If Christians are called to imitate Christ, why did the lives of Christians seem so far from the life of Jesus? Where was the cost of discipleship? Where was the call to die to ourselves?
Perhaps it was the self-righteousness of youth. Or perhaps it was the holy restlessness so many young Christians feel—the belief, or really the hope, that we were made for more than this. The soul drowns in shallow waters. Its musculature grows weak and unwilling. I yearned for the risk, the struggle, the immensity of the deep.
Then the global church found me. It came through a 1986 documentary about Mother Teresa. When I learned about this woman who lived among the poorest of the poor and showed a fierce love to the dying on the streets of Kolkata, it gave me hope. It expanded my vision for the kingdom of God, and for what it might mean to be a follower of Jesus. It summoned me, as it summoned countless others, to pursue a life more radically surrendered to God.
In our October issue, I promised I would begin to explain the strategic initiatives that will shape the future of Christianity Today. The first is CT Global. When Billy Graham cast the vision for this ministry, he envisioned 100 writers around the world reporting on matters of interest to the church. Today we are renewing our effort to be a storyteller of the global church. We want to show believers, and show the world, the beauty of the bride of Christ around the world. In recent months I have visited five countries with Jeremy Weber, the director of CT Global. We aim to raise up national and regional editors in their own contexts and empower them to lift up the stories and thought leadership of Christian communities around the planet.
Men and women in every nation, every day of the year, are following the call of Jesus in ways that are courageous, sacrificial, and powerfully transformative. We believe the church will be encouraged and young generations will find hope as we show the remarkable things God is doing around the world. In the next few years, you will see more global reporting in the pages of this magazine. If you would partner with us in this effort, we hope to hear from you.
Timothy Dalrymple is president and CEO of Christianity Today. Follow him on Twitter @TimDalrymple_.
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