Where is the mission field? Jesus told us to go into ALL the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature. So that tells us that the mission field is everywhere—where you live and around the world.
However, some places do have a greater need for the Gospel than others. For example, when William Carey gave his famous sermon on May 31, 1792, which inspired the modern missionary movement, only 7 out of every 1000 Christians in the world were from Asia and Africa. As a result of his initiative and those who followed, the spiritual demographics of the world has dramatically changed. By 1992, a great shift had occurred and 580 out of 1000 Christians in the world were from those two continents.
However, there are still great needs! In India, for example, there are 133 people groups of over a million people which are unreached with the Gospel. (Source; Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation). There are states in India which are less than 1 percent Christian. Someone has made the statement (and there is some truth in it): “Why should anyone get to hear the Gospel twice until everyone has heard it once?” Over 40 percent of the people in the world have never had a clear presentation of the Gospel even once.
Sometimes the countries that we perceive to be very needy mission fields already have many believers. On the other hand, England and other European nations, which were Christian nations which once sent the Gospel to the world, are now found in need of revival and renewal of the faith. Just for the sake of comparison, check out the table below showing the number of evangelical Christians in a few nations:
Percentage of Evangelicals
|COUNTRY||PERCENTAGE OF EVANGELICALS|
|United States||28.9 %|
|United Kingdom||8.8 %|
An evangelical is defined as someone who adheres to:
- The Lord Jesus Christ as the only source of salvation
- Personal faith and conversion and regeneration by the Holy Spirit
- Recognition of the Word of God as the authority for faith.
- Commitment to biblical witness, evangelism and missions to reach others.
You can see that India and many European countries are quite needy for the Gospel, but it also true that there are people who need Jesus everywhere. I was surprised to learn that the United States, which sends more missionaries to the world than any other nation, 120,000, is also the largest receiver of missionaries. There are 32,400 missionaries from other nations working in the United States. (Source: Christianity Today)
I have seen a sign on the door leading out of many churches, “You are now entering the mission field.” I like that! It’s a great thought. But, the reality is that many churches ARE the mission field. The Gospel is not being preached. The people are not living right. Many people are biblically illiterate and have no foundation for living the Christian life. Some churches are an empty shell of religion, and to tell the truth about it, that is why the Church in general is having so little impact on the world. Nations like Kenya, for example, have many professing Christians, but not nearly as many true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The same can be said for America. There is a great deal of work to be done, not only in the business of winning the lost, but also in the business of making disciples. Both are essential to God’s Kingdom work. Both are a part of the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ.
So, where is the mission field? It’s everywhere! Let’s get busy!
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