July - State of the World

July 2004

The state of the world can be overwhelming. The first time I heard about the many people who were lost and didn't have a chance to hear about Jesus Christ, I was numbed to the point of helplessness. How do we handle facts such as: 2.4 Billion people unreached without access to the gospel; over 3,000 languages without scripture; one in five people on earth without access to clean drinking water, basic health care, adequate nutrition, and education; 13 Million orphaned children due to AIDS in Africa? How do we tackle the unbelievable needs of so many people in the world?

As I have traveled around the country, with The Traveling Team, I have visited several churches and Christian groups. My sense of helplessness changed to frustration as I have seen that the American Church has been blessed to immeasurable proportions, especially compared to the rest of the world. There are 600 churches per people group; over 8,000 Christians per unreached people group. When I compared the state of the American church to the state of the lost world, I finally saw that reaching the world is accomplishable. If each church in America would take on one unreached people group, sending a few from their congregation, supporting financially and praying; the lost could be reached. Christian evangelicals make up to $850 Billion in disposable income. Only 5.6% of Christian tithe goes to foreign missions and only 0.36% goes to missions in the unreached places in the world. There is a great need to challenge the church to see outside of their communities and be involved in spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Mobilization is one of the answers to the overwhelming problems in the world today. A mobilizer is one who puts something into movement, assembles, and makes ready for action. Phil Parshall, missionary, author and mobilizer, said, "Someone must sound the rallying call. Those who desire to see others trained, prepared and released to ministry are known as mobilizers. Mobilizers stir other Christians to active concern for reaching the world. Mobilizers are essential. To understand the role of mobilizers, think of World War II as a parallel. Only 10% of the American population went to the war. Of those, only 1% were actually on the firing lines. However, for them to be successful in their mission, the entire country had to be mobilized!"

There are many ways to mobilize friends and family to a world vision, by involving them in prayer, adopting missionaries or agencies, organizing ways to reach internationals, and bringing information about the world and current events to their attention. While going overseas or playing out a world Christian lifestyle, what a greater impact we would make if we brought many with us in praying, sending, welcoming, and going. Standing before a crowd of college students, Dr. Winter, Founder of the U.S. Center for World Missions, challenged them, saying, "Suppose I had a thousand college seniors in front of me who asked me where they ought to go to make a maximum contribution to Christ's global cause. What would I tell them? I would tell them to stay home and mobilize. All of them."

by Sarah Sagley