7 Billion

Brad M. Griffin | Jan 13, 2012

There are now 7 billion of us.

Humans, that is, here on the earth at the same time. The hype began to build last year as National Geographic did a series on mapping the characteristics of the world’s “typical” person. Recently David Livermore pointed out a link to a BBC counter that tells you where you fit into the 7 billion according to UN estimates.

Finding our “place” in the story of humanity is kind of fun (I’m estimated as the 4,158,745,481st person alive when I was born).

As the population continues to rise, part of the question is “What does this mean?” Here’s the BBC’s take on this:

Is the sky falling?

Could be. But whatever our current or future reality as a global community, chances are the students in your ministry or home have little awareness of what’s going on with world population growth or why or how it might matter. They probably have even less awareness of what it might mean to faithfully live as a Christ-follower into our increasingly large—and at the same time increasingly small/flat/connected—world.

With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaching this weekend, I can’t help but think that issues like racial/ethnic reconciliation, interfaith dialogue, and deep justice kinds of questions are bound up together in how we look at world population growth.

What do you think we need to be doing to faithfully guide the adolescents among us into adults who notice, care, and respond to these issues with Kingdom perspective?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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