Everyone talks about numbers. Whether it’s the number of millionaires in the world; how many fans the largest sports stadium can accommodate; the growth numbers in our communities, how many birthdays or anniversaries we’ve celebrated; the cases numbers of specific illnesses; or the number of members & attendees of our churches… numbers are a huge part of our culture. In our last newsletter I mentioned the population in our current location and the number of nationalities & religions represented in our area. Numbers, numbers, numbers.
Numbers even reflect what we wear… and I’m not talking sizes! It may be a sports-figures number printed on a jersey or a pinned-on number for running a marathon. A few days ago I dug out an old faded tee-shirt from nearly twenty years ago. Emblazoned across the back is a skewed picture of the world with a caption that says “We see the world differently… 6,000 unreached people groups.”
We’ve been serving in missions a long time. The number of unreached peoples remains much the same as it did back when we began. Oh, it’s not that mission’s efforts aren’t making an impact with the gospel –it is! But when you’ve got thousands of unreached people groups with such a small percentage of people engaged in reaching them, the numbers don’t drop too quickly.
I mention statistics all the time and how the numbers relate to what we are doing in fulfilling the task Jesus gave us to do. But my greater focus is on the need in seeing God raise up church planters and support personnel so we can get the job done. We call it mobilization.
I recently placed a post on my social media page about why I make so much about ongoing outreaches around the world and the declaration of the gospel. My reason for putting stuff out there is to help people understand every ‘ethnos’ reached for Christ means one more people group who will one day join in worship around God’s throne… and that excited us!
We hope these advances with the gospel will excite others to join in and be involved in God’s work. I see that effort as ‘finish the task and Jesus returns.’ That’s why we’re doing all we can while we can in mobilizing harvest laborers to get the job done. We want to focus people on completing the task, not overwhelming them with numbers.
It certainly would be a sad thing for a believer never to impact another soul for Christ, let alone miss out on opportunities to make disciples among the nations. Yes, the number of lost people is overwhelming but Jesus commands us to ‘go.’ Our focus is to change eternity for the vast numbers who don’t know Jesus. As mission mobilizers we want to educate the church on the need to reach the majority of people with no access to the gospel so that they, too, can share in changing eternity for others.