Obligation of a Generation to Evangelize the World

Over 100 years ago, John R. Mott wrote an article to students and churches, explaining what incredible resources they had to reach the world.  The Traveling Team decided we would look at what those statistics would look like if Mott had wrote his article in our day.

“The Church…possesses a remarkable resource. Think of her membership! There are not less that 135,000,000 members of Protestant churches.”

Today there are 680,000,000 Bible-believing evangelicals world wide. This means that for every believer there are only 9 non-believers and for every unreached people group, there are 900 Christian congregations.

“With over 500 missionary societies and auxiliaries there are, without doubt, missionary organizations and societies in sufficient number.”

Today there are 3,970 mission agencies in existence. Last year alone, about 120 million people were presented the gospel for the first time.

The number of people who are being presented the plan of salvation every day is now at least 260,274. The average number added to the body of Christ world-wide is 174,000 daily.

“If only one-fourth of the Protestants of Europe and America should give but one cent a day toward the evangelization of the world, it would yield a fund of over $100,000,000…”

Today, Christians around the world earn $2.5 trillion in disposable income. We give about $8 billion annually to missions (about one-third of 1% of our disposable income). All that would be required to reach every unreached people group is an additional $1.25 billion - one-twentieth of 1%.

“It would take less than one fiftieth of the Christian young men and women who will go out from Christian colleges in the United States and Canada within this generation to furnish a sufficient force of foreign workers to achieve the evangelization of the world in this generation.”

About 100 million evangelical believers worldwide are young people. Just one-tenth of 1% of these would field a force of 100,000 new missionaries - enough to send a church planting team to each of the remaining unreached people groups.

“The Bible Societies, not fewer than eighty in number, have translated the Scriptures entirely or in part into 421 languages and dialects.”

Every 14 days another translation of the New Testament is begun in a new language.

“There are nearly 80,000 native workers, and their number and efficiency are rapidly increasing.”

Today, 70% of the world’s missionaries are native.

“The greatly enlarged and improved means of communication constitutes one of the chief facilities of the Church… of the 400,000 miles of railway lines in the world, a considerable and growing mileage is already to be found in non-Christian lands. It took Judson eleven months to go from Salem to Calcutta. The trip can now be made in a month.”

It is possible to travel by air to any part of the world and be there in less than 24 hours.

“The thoroughly organized news agencies which, through the secular press bring before the members of the Church facts regarding the most distant and needy nations, serve indirectly to awaken and foster interest in the inhabitants of less favored lands.”

Through the internet, it is possible to access information about every corner of the world, not to mention the countless websites that are committed to encouraging prayer by providing statistics on unreached countries.

“The Universal Postal Union with its wonderful organization and its vast army of well nigh 1,000,000 employees immensely facilitates the work of foreign missions.”

Today, instant communication with the other side of the planet is possible through email, cell phones, web-cam and international chat rooms.

The stats above are adapted from data by David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson of the Global Evangelization movement.

By John Mott, updated Jessica Ahrend