That’s right, global population hit 7 billion people today! October 31st, 2011 is a day that goes down in the history books.  In 1900 we were at 1.6 billion and by 1999 we had eclipsed 6.1 billion.  Since 1987 we’ve grown from 5 billion to 7 billion!  Think of the implications.  Think of the opportunities.  Think of the responsibility!

With more and more people consuming resources it means that we MUST care for our planet.  With greater technology comes a greater awareness of the conditions in which people are living–more than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 per day.  More and more people means more and more that need to know Jesus.

So much has changed in a single generation.  When I was born, I was number 3,157,226,553 on the planet.  Check this out . . . just for fun:  find out what number you are.

So what do we do?  Well, as followers of Jesus, we follow His example.  Jesus came to serve . . . and so must we.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost . . . and so must we. Serve, seek and save 7 billion people–oh my.

As Scott Todd points out in his important book, 58:  Fast Living, “The world’s largest corporation is China Petro-Chemical, which boasts a labor force of 1,190,000 employees.  By comparison, the Church is at least a thousand times larger.  The Church is the only organization with hundreds of millions of members and the capacity to mobilize hundreds of millions of volunteers.

McDonald’s is an impressive institution.  They say you can’t get more than 90 miles from a McDonald’s in the U.S.  The widespread presence of the burger joints is impressive–about 30,000 McDonald’s outlets worldwide–but local churches outnumber the hamburger empire by nearly 100:1”

So what do we do?

We take Jesus’ call to serve seriously.  We become the church that is most relevant to making a difference in the world today.  We become the people (the church) that the world simply and literally cannot live without.  We become the most generous people on the planet.  We ask hard questions about our own consumption level–about how much is “enough.”  We open our hearts, our wallets and the doors of our homes to children at risk all around the world.

We take Jesus’ call to seek seriously.  The missional move of the church is an absolute necessity!  We MUST become a movement of people carrying the DNA of Jesus, inhabiting and influencing every nook and cranny of society and culture.  Wherever you are . . . Jesus is there.  Wherever you go . . . Jesus is there.  Jesus is there . . . serving, seeking, saving.  Seeking to bring avenues of hope.  Seeking to offer a better life.  Seeking to make a difference now and for all eternity.

We take Jesus’ call to save seriously.  Currently, of the 7 billion people on the planet, about 2.1 billion would consider themselves Christian.  Jesus died to save all 7 billion. So must we.  So must the Church.  It is only in dying (dying to our comfort, our consumer-mindset, our fear) that Jesus will be able to give life through us.  The Church MUST move outside its walls.  The Church MUST give birth to new churches.  The Church MUST serve, seek and save . . . if the other 5 billion people matter to us at all.

Many in the media are painting a bleak picture with 7 billion people crowding the planet.  Many are proclaiming certain disaster.  Others are encouraging us to “dig in and protect what is ours.”  I believe Jesus asks us to think of the implications, the opportunities, the responsibility.