Why We Do Missions
Revelation 7:9 9After 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. 10And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." 11All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"1
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity, but worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It's the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God's glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.2
"For evangelization purposes, 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."3 One of the major barriers to understanding is language but can be other things such as culture or ethnicity.
Unreached People Group
"A people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group."4 Generally this means less than 2% of the people group are Christian and the church, if there is one, is not self-propagating.
"The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude. The 10/40 Window is often called "The Resistant Belt" and includes the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. An estimated 4.04 billion individuals residing in approximately 7,220 distinct people groups are in the 10/40 Window."5
"A gathering of followers of Christ."6 This does not necessarily mean a church building or a specific location.
Followers of Christ who generally emphasize:7
- The Lord Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation through faith in Him.
- Personal faith and conversion with regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
- A recognition of the inspired Word of God as the only basis for faith and living.
- Commitment to Biblical preaching and evangelism that brings others to faith in Christ.
World population: 6.7 Billion8
People groups: 16,4699
Unreached people groups: 6,85910
World population percentages:11
- 10% True followers of Christ
- 20% Nominal adherents of Christianity
- 40% Have heard the gospel but not responded
- 30% Have not heard the gospel
1 Revelation 7:9-12, NIV.
2 John Piper, Let The Nations be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994), 11.
8 US Census Bureau, International Programs Ctr.