Missions Education

The Bible is a missionary book through and through … The main line of argument that binds us all together is the unfolding and gradual execution of a missionary purpose. —Bruce Ker

Perspective of the World:

  • World Population: 6.7 billion people.
  • There are 238 political countries in the world. 193 Independent Countries.
  • Approximately 11% of the population confess to be born again Christians. Another 20% attend church but may not profess to be Christian.
  • Around 36% of the world's population has opportunity to hear the gospel but remain unevangelized despite the prevalence of churches in their region.
  • That leaves 32% of the world's population that has no opportunity to hear the gospel. Many of these have never even heard of the name of Jesus.680 million
  • Death Rate: 57.9 million people die each year
  • 158,857 people die each day with approximately 66,000 people die each day having had no access to the Gospel
  • 6619 people die each hour
  • 110 people die each minute
  • Approximately 1.64 people die each second

Who are the nations?

The word Jesus used for “nation” in the scripture is the Greek word Eth-nê — a word that means tribe, ethnic group or people. In the scripture below we see that every nation is represented in heaven as being recipients of God’s love and mercy.

Rev 7:9-10 NIV

9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Our world today has 6.5 billion individuals living in 238 geo-political nations but over 16,000 ethnê, or people groups, by country. A people group is "the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance".

Ideally, "people group" would always be defined to mean (a) all individuals in the group understand each other reasonably well and (b) cultural / relationship barriers aren't so high that the transmission of the gospel is seriously impeded. Of those ethnê, more than 6,900 groups remain least-reached or un-reached. This simply means they are a people group lacking an indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their own people group. This means 1 in 4 people still remain without reasonable access to the gospel—the Forgotten One Fourth World.

The Job is still Unfinished
"And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14

Challenges of the unfinished task:
Spiritual challenge: More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined. People challenge: The remaining people groups and individuals tend to be in remote locations, have great language and cultural barriers, practice religious fundamentalism, and are the most resistant to the gospel. Political / national challenge: The countries with the most Least-Reached tend to be closed to Christianity. Church challenge: Over 85% of all cross-cultural missionaries labor among nominal Christians. Out of every $1.00 (one US dollar) of Christian giving to all causes only half a penny goes toward pioneer church planting among Least-Reached people groups.

Status on our Progress:

  • American evangelicals could provide all of the funds needed to plant a church in each of the 10,000 people groups with only 0.2% of their income. If all the missionaries needed came from this country, less than 0.5% of evangelicals aged 18 - 35 could form the teams required. (World Map, what could be accomplished by 2025).
  • According to the Bibles for All World Prayer Map, American Christians spend 95% of offerings on home-based ministry, 4.5% on cross-cultural efforts in already-reached people groups, and 0.5% to reach the unreached.
  • Christianity is the single fastest growing religion in the world. For example, in AD 100 there were 360 non-believers for every believer. Today, there are only nine non-believers for every believer, and only four of those non-believers are from unreached people group. Today at least 6,000 Bible-believing local churches exist to support each of the 10,000 missionary teams that will be needed to finish the task of reaching every people group for Christ. We have over 600 million Bible-believing Christians throughout the world. (Graph 5, Believers in the 20th Century
  • Active persecution of Christians takes place in: Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, China, Iran, Morocco, Libya, Egypt and Algeria. Over 160,000 believers will be martyred this year.
  • US missionaries make up only 30% of the world's missionaries. Our slightly declining annual number is being overtaken by increased participation from Africa, Latin America and Korea.
  • The number of people who are being presented the plan of salvation every day is now at least 260,274. Every day now the average number added to the body of Christ worldwide averages 174,000. 3,500 new churches are opening every week worldwide.

  • Considering the growth rate of the world's religious blocks, Christianity is by far the fastest-growing religion in the world today. The total population of the world increases by 1.72% annually. The world's religions growth percentiles are as follows: Buddhists 1.7%, Nominal Christians 2.2%, Hindus 2.3%, Muslims 2.7%, Non-religious 2.8%, Bible-believing Christians 6.9%.
  • Over 700 million people in 220 countries have seen the Jesus film, with 41,000,000 indicating a commitment to Jesus Christ and to follow-up Bible studies.
  • After 70 years of oppression in the Soviet Union, Christians number about 100 million - five times the number of the Communist Party at the height of its popularity, and 36% of the population. In Central Asia, a church planted in Uzbekistan just four years ago has grown to 3,000 members and has planted 55 other congregations.
  • Mongolia, which had no church at all as recently as 1991, now has more than 3,000 believers in 17 congregations. And the Mongolians have sent their first missionaries to work with Operation Mobilization in India.
  • In Nepal, the world's only official Hindu country, over 100,000 Hindus have met the Savior in the last two decades.
  • Every month another 15,000 in India are baptized as new believers in Jesus Christ. In India there is 1 pastor for every 7 churches. In Sudan the ratio is one to twelve.
  • In China, there are now about 80,000,000 evangelical believers - growing at a rate five times that of the general population. Over 30,000 conversions a day take place in China alone.
  • In 1900, Korea had no Protestant Church; it was deemed "impossible to penetrate." Today, six new churches open every day in South Korea, and it is site of nine of the world's largest churches - some with more than 800,000 members. Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7,000 churches in Seoul alone. Millions of Buddhists have come to Christ.
  • Of over 400 million Latin Americans, more than 50 million have become evangelical Christians. By the end of this decade, a majority of the people in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will be evangelical believers. Chile, Costa Rica, and Bolivia are about 40% Bible-believing evangelicals. Already Mexico's population is more than 3.5% evangelical. In Latin America some 34,000 believers.
  • In Africa the church is on fire. It's the first continent to become majority Christian (over 50%) in a single century. Over 25,000 new believers per day mark the growth of the Church.
  • More Muslims in Iran have come to Christ since 1980 than in the previous 1000 years combined. Before Khomeini's revolution in 1979 there were about 2,000 Iranian believers. After years of intensified persecution, there are now more than 15,000.
  • The Philippines: In October 1993, the Philippines was solemnly consecrated to Jesus Christ in a massive rally around the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park in Manila - a rally attended by a million believers.
  • Singapore's churches are now the most evangelistically active in the world, with one missionary sent out per 1,000 Christians.
  • Seven of the world's ten largest churches are in Seoul alone, a city in which there was not even a single church 110 years ago.

Suggested Reading:

"The Challenge of Missions” by Oswald J. Smith
"Born for Battle” by R. Arthur Mathews
"Ready for Battle” by R. Arthur Mathews
"20/20 Vision" by Bill and Amy Stearns
"Bruchko” by Bruce Olson
"Eternity in Their Hearts” by Don Richardson
“When Charity Destroys Dignity” by Glenn J. Schwartz

"I wasn't God's first choice?I don't know who it was?maybe it was a well educated man. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn't willing?and God saw me and said ? 'she's willing.'"
- Gladys Aylward
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