My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about Him will see, and those who have never heard of Him will understand.” In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places.Romans 15:20-22
Paul’s commitment to the Gospel is impressive. He is keen to share the Good News at any opportunity. He is very aware of what the gospel is at its core. Are you? We all need to know how to share the essence of the Good News.
- What is the Good News?
- What are the essentials of the gospel?
- What elements of the gospel are non-negotiable?
- What are the negotiable extras?
You need to know the distinction so you can be of more use to the Lord.
Paul was keen to make a significant difference in extending the kingdom of God. For that reason he had a clear goal in mind. His mission as an apostle to the Gentiles was to preach the Good News where no one had gone before. Where those he would have been reaching had never been told and so had never heard. He was not interested in ministering to those who had heard before or those who were not interested in doing something with the Good News they had already received. Paul did not want to waste his time or his life on things that were not on the cutting edge of the extension of the Kingdom of God.
Bryant Myers of World Vision has estimated that only about one and a quarter percent (1.25%) of Christian mission giving is going to missions who work in the 10/40 Window. Only a few years ago Barrett’s statistics suggested the situation was similar in terms of the numbers of missionaries who actually went to the unreached, being fewer (approx 1%) of the total force. Most it seems went to groups which already had a church. Certainly that is what we saw where “missionaries” would come to start a new work in a town or city which already had a multiplicity of churches. Paul did not have that view. He wanted to work in the places that were out on the cutting edge. Oh for more people with that kind of vision. When that happens we will accomplish the task and prepare the way for the Lord’s return. Let’s do all we can to hasten the day.
An estimate of the number of churches in the world suggest 3.7 million congregations worldwide. The estimate of the number of churches just in Indonesia spread over 3 networks amount to 24,000 churches in those networks alone. Let’s take that conservative estimate and think of the number of people groups in the world which do not yet have the Word of God in their language. The ball park figure we are talking about in Wycliffe these days is 2,000. Let’s take that nice round number and calculate how many churches there are for each unreached / Bibleless people group. Worldwide that would yield 1850 churches for each Bibleless people group. There are 400 Bibleless people groups in Indonesia. Just working on the Indonesian situation alone there are 60 churches for each Bibleless people group.
A question for you: Is the task possible? Is the task possible just within Indonesia? Of course it is? 60 churches to support each Bibleless people group and to finish the work. Is the task possible worldwide? Of course it is. 1850 churches for every Bibleless group in the world. That is not an impossible task. It is very easy to do. So why isn’t it done already?
Because people have other priorities and seemingly there are not enough people with a Paul-like-heart in Christendom. I wonder what Paul would think about that.
TOO HARD? NO WAY – JUST OTHER PRIORITIES.
One key reason why God so greatly uses younger men and women is that they often don’t know what the limits are!David Shibley
Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be in the will of God.Jim Elliot
Don’t twitter away your life! Live for what matters!Ian Vail