Reaching the Whole World
Can We Really Reach the Whole World?
by Ted Elder
Maybe a better way to state this would be, can we finish the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20? Bob Sjogren says, "Christ did not give us the Great Commission as an exercise in futility but a command to be obeyed." Christ gave us the Great Commission to fulfill His work on the earth, not just something that would be a good idea or something to keep us busy. We talk of initiating pioneer work among 2.1 billion people because Christ desires they hear of Him; and because He equips us with all we need to do it.
A glance at the Church's population shows how feasible reaching this world is. For every unreached people group, there are over 400 evangelical churches who could potentially reach that group. If only a fourth of these churches participated, that would still be more than 100 churches to reach each one unreached people. If each of those 100 churches sent 2 missionaries to the unreached, that would be 200 new workers for every unreached people group. Those are pretty good odds.
Finances always seem to be a problem. Again, only a small fraction of 1% of the Church's income goes toward work among the unreached. If the Church gave only a small percentage more, thousands of missionaries could be sent out.
What about the obstacles to getting Christian workers among the unreached groups so that they can minister? While missionary visas are not available in most countries where the unreached reside, other kinds of visas can be obtained. Very few parts of the world today isolate themselves from contact with outsiders. Where missionaries are not allowed, businessmen, tourists, and students are.
We need to be creative in our entry strategies. Americans may not be able to go to some people groups. Maybe Kenyan or Singaporian missionaries can.
To summarize, the issue is not whether we have sufficient people or resources. The issue is where we choose to invest them. Will the Church continue to invest the vast majority of it's resources inward? Or will we choose to obey, direct our resources and people toward God's purposes for all nations? We are the ones who will decide.