I am what I am and I’m not ashamed. If you ask me, “So Kenny, what do you think about missions,” be prepared for some very strong opinions. You’ll certainly get more than you bargained for. Yes, I’m very idealistic. True. However, I think that my opinions aren’t totally grounded in my idealism. I’m a very logical person and when I see something that makes a lot of sense and other people just don’t see the whole picture, I can get very passionate about these ideas. This is the reason for my snobbery.
Here’s the deal. The needs in our world are great. I’m not denying that. There are needs on every corner of the globe. Kids are starving, people are being enslaved and hospitals need to be built. The needs are great. However, if you only have a certain amount of time and a certain amount of resources, wouldn’t you want that to go where the need is greatest? Do you just give to the need that is loudest or easiest, or do you give to the need that is most helpless? Logic would tell me that at times, there is a need to prioritize. Sure, the local single mom’s clinic needs money (and is a worthy need), but there are scores of individuals and organizations that are available to help… but there are needs out there that have little access to any resources or any help. That’s where I want to meet a need.
I am a factual person. Let me share with you some facts:
Currently there are about :
- 2 billion people in the world who claimÂ ChristianityÂ as their faith and have access to a Christian witness.
- 2.4 billion people in the world who are not Christians but do have access to a Christian witness.
- 1.6 billion people in the world who are neither Christians nor do they have any access to a Christian witness.
These 1.6 billion people are considered the worlds most unreached peoples.
Here’s what makes me sick:
Out of the 400-500 thousand missionareis in the world:
- 73% work primarily among the 2 billion who claim Christianity and have access to a Christian witness
- 25% Â work primarily with the 2.4 billion non-ChristiansÂ who have access to a Christian witness
- 2% work among the 1.6 billion most unreached people
That’s a shame people. How unbalanced is this?
When it comes to giving to missions:
- 87% goes toward work among the 2 billion who are reached
- 12% goes toward the 2.4 billion evangelized non-christians
- 1% goes toward the 1.6 billion unreached
Here’s a quote about this injustice from GlobalÂ FrontierÂ Missions:
There is a lot of talk in the Christian world today about fighting injustice (human trafficking, slavery, AIDS, poverty, etc.) and we believe that those are issues that are near to God’s heart. But we also think that it is a huge injustice that 2000 after Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations that only 2.4% of our missionaries are going to the 1.6 billion people who have never had the chance to hear the good news of the kingdom!
This is why I’m so focused on the unreached. A few years ago when I took 20 4th and 5th graders to Mexico, we spent a lot of time praying for the unreached. I considered this trip to Mexico as training ground. It was a time to sow seeds in the hearts of these kids. The trip to Mexico wasn’t “THE MISSION” but a means to the end. Yes, Mexico needs missionaries, but I could list off 20 nations that need more.
My wife and I tithe to our church first and formost. After this, we give toward those who are working among the unreached. We also give to kids and teenagers going on trips as we see it as an investment and missional seeds sown into their hearts. I don’t hate orphans. I don’t hate medical projects inÂ Jamaica. I don’t hate missionaries in France. There are lost people and needs all over the world. I’m going to give to the need that is greatest and it happens to be the 1.6 billion unreached. If I’m ever going to jump on a bandwagon and rally support behind a missional cause, it is almost always going to be related to the 1.6 billion unreached. That is why I’m a missions snob.
“Harvest rots in the field no one is there to harvest it.”
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Hey brother! This post came at the right time for me. I love working among the unreached children of Burkina, but sometimes the conditions are tough and a bit lonely. Thanks for the reminder – and for raising the awareness in the local church.
Great article! We need to keep in mind that the lost person that lives next door to us and the lost person that lives in the far reaches of the world will suffer the same punishment if not reached for Christ. As the body of Christ we must work together to reach both groups! The only criteria for selecting the group that you personally are called to work with is understanding who God desire for you to work with. We need people in all areas.
You’re correct… we need people in all areas… but I’m not convinced that it’s God’s plan that 2% of missionaries are going to the place of greatest need and that 1% of giving is going to the same people. I think there are issues on our part where we haven’t led well, communicated well and prioritized to make sure an imbalance like this doesn’t exist.
Great article. I’m excited for some friends of mine who will be leaving (after years of preparing) for Papa New Guinea to live among an unreached people group.