Is the American church failing in our duty to follow Jesus’ last command while on earth to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all people groups…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you”? There are 17,000 people groups in the world of which 7,000 are unreached (less than 2 percent evangelized), and 1,500 of those are totally unengaged (no missionary, no Bible in their language, no Christian witness).
Approximately 200,000 people enter eternity every day!
The need for more workers is essential to fulfilling this mandate to spread the gospel. By way of example, within Arab world countries, there are 175 adult missionaries from the Assemblies of God serving 361 unreached people groups consisting of 300 million people. That’s a ratio of 1 missionary to 1,714,285 people. Even more so, within Silk Road countries, there are only 100 adult missionaries from the Assemblies of God serving 728 unreached people groups consisting of 400 million people—a ratio of 1:4,000,000. (Yes, there are other mission sending agencies, but the Assemblies of God is one of the larger ones to the unreached.) Almost every missionary newsletter contains a request to pray for more workers!
The Israelites, led by Gideon, faced a Midianite/Amalekite army of 135,000. God winnowed the Israelite army down from 10,000 men willing to fight to 300 men in order for Him to receive the glory—a ratio of 1:450. Would that we sent enough missionaries to the unreached that the ratio of missionaries to the unreached approached such a level!
Yes, all things are possible with God and He can do much with little, but He does want to involve us in His grand plan to reach the unreached. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)
What we can do to rectify the situation:
- Consider praying for more workers as commanded by our Lord in Matthew 9:37–38.
- Consider going by answering God’s call as Isaiah did, “Here am I. Send me!” “‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say.” (William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army)
- Consider sending by financially supporting world missions through a significant faith promise and by praying for our current missionaries and for more to answer God’s call to go. “God does not intend for us to arrive at the end of the journey fresh and energetic. He intends for us to die tired, to get to heaven with an empty tank and a depleted bank account.” (Dick Brogden)
- Consider encouraging our current missionaries following the services as they stand at the missions table. “Go, send, or disobey.” (John Piper)
I end this missive with a quote from C. H. Spurgeon in “The Divine Call for Missionaries,” Sermon #1351:
“Here am I. Lord, I am what I am by Your grace, but here I am. If I am a man of one talent, yet here I am. If I am a man of ten, yet here I am. If in youthful vigor, here I am. If of more mature years, here I am. Have I substance? Here I am. Do I lack abilities? Yet I made not my own mouth, nor did I create my infirmities. Here I am. Just as I am, as I gave myself up to Your dear Son to be redeemed, so give I myself up again to be used for Your glory because I am redeemed and am not my own, but bought with a price. Here I am.”
Chair – Raleigh First Assembly (NC) Mission Committee