Dr. Ralph Winter and missiological researcher Bruce Koch, in their paper titled Finishing the Task: The Unreached Peoples Challenge, say,
“The most effective type of evangelism [is same culture evangelism]. But even if all the members of every church in the world were to bring every one of their friends and relatives within their own culture to obedient faith in Christ, and they in turn were able to bring all their friends and relatives to Christ and so on, no matter how much time you allow, there would still be billions cut off from the gospel. They would be sealed off by boundaries of prejudice and culture.”
“The church cannot grow within peoples where relevant churches do not exist.”
In the Spring of 2013, the Lord Jesus used this paper to radically alter the course of my life and values in relation to vision, philosophy of ministry, and missional pursuit. The Holy Spirit laid claim to my heart through the commitment of Dr. Winter and his colleagues to reaching those to whom the gospel will never be preached unless we – the hands, feet, and mouth of Christ – go. I could not shake the feeling that the inaudible voice of God was saying, “Go! Your brother Paul had it in his heart to preach the gospel not where Christ was already named, but to lay new foundations where Christ is not named that they may see and hear. Be the one to whom I say ‘beautiful are the feet of he who brings the Good News!'” (Romans 15:20-21; Romans 10:15)
My constant prayer was a simple meditation, “He is returning. He is returning soon. I need not be afraid of what this will cost my life because He will make all injustices just; all wrongdoings right. Jesus is coming.”
But Jesus’ coming is conditional upon the gospel going out to the ends of the world. (Matthew 24:14)
And the gospel going out to the ends of the world is conditional upon you and I deciding to go, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and make that happen. (Romans 10:8-15)
Do not be afraid if that voice is calling you too. “You have not been given a spirit of fear and timidity, instead you have been given a Spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) It truly is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God, because He may call you to sacrifice everything so that the world might be called His friends, His brothers, His children.
But you are needed. But I am needed.
There is a great imbalance between the amount of committed followers of Christ among already Christian groups and committed followers of Christ among groups who have never had the chance to hear the gospel.
It is literally a 10/1 ratio.
The Traveling Team, a missiological research and mobilization organization, says it like this,
“Evangelical Christians could provide all of the funds needed to plant a church in each of the 6,900 unreached people groups with only 0.03% of their income. The Church has roughly 3,000 times the financial resources and 9,000 times the manpower needed to finish the Great Commission.
May it never be said that Jesus is not using individuals in reached people groups. Because He absolutely is.
But may it also never be said that commitment to a low-risk model of same culture, same church, evangelism will eventually multiply its way out to reach peoples for Christ from “Judea, Samaria, to all the ends of the Earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Take a leap of faith. Go. And go knowing that the person and power of Jesus Christ will be with you as you go out to “all nations, baptizing them and teaching them all that He commanded, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
A prayer: God, teach me to understand what you value. Lord, I want to know your heart for the unreached. I want to experience the pain that you experience knowing that there are billions who have not heard your name. And Jesus, I want to know what my role is in reaching the unreached peoples of the world. I want to know what I can do now to engage in the Abrahamic promise of all nations being blessed through Christ and His children. For I am one of His children. Lord, I pray that as you stir my heart to give my best to reach those who may never hear your name without me going, that you would also stir up the same conviction within those around me. Lord Jesus, show me what role you desire that I play in the ushering in of your Kingdom “on Earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
(Links to cited articles: http://joshuaproject.net/assets/media/assets/articles/finishing-the-task.pdf; http://www.thetravelingteam.org/stats)