Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Gift of Learning English

The world has a love-hate relationship with the United States. It hates our politics and our swagger, but how it loves our media, consumer culture, conveniences, celebrities... and the language we share with a few other countries. In a world where speaking English is often a ticket to opportunity, the global church will see great opportunities in coming years.

In China, the government has gone on record as promising that, in the future, every child will be fluent in English before finishing high school. This plan will require an estimated one million English teachers, so English-speaking Christians can expect unprecedented entrées to formerly closed areas.

In every country where we conducted the Listening Tour, respondents were quick to note the demand for English language skills. One respondent noted, "English is the dominant language of everything from the Internet to many wealthy Western churches, so it is important in many parts of life, including ministry."

By 2010, two billion people will speak English. Chinese, Hindi, and Arabic are among the four most-used languages in the world, their popularity due to large numbers of people for whom it is a first language. English, however, is most popular because of the huge numbers of people who learn it as a second language. More people are learning English in China today than all of the North Americans who speak English.
- Fritz Kling, The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future Church, writing about the global current he calls "Monoculture."

If you are interested in a future in another culture and are reading this blog post in English, maybe it's time for you to recognize what a gift you have in learning your native tongue in this time in history. And then go do something that capitalizes on this gift.

And... Fritz's book is a great read.

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