Friday, December 28

How close are we to finishing the Great Commission task?

December 21, 2012 was supposed to be the end of the world. But for those keeping tabs on the global status of the Great Commission, it is no surprise we are still here! As revealed below, the global missions task still has a long way to go. 

Jesus declared, When the good news about the kingdom has been preached all over the world and told to all nations, the end will come. -Matthew 24:14 (CEV)

This doesn't mean everyone will believe, but until the good news has been heard all over the world and told to every nation, Jesus will not return. It would seem these words should motivate us to "get with it" but for some reason, we are terribly distracted by many other things going on around us.

As 2012 comes to an end, the global status of evangelical Christianity* finishes the year with a long way to go. Consider the following numbers:

11,342 - Number of people groups in all countries. A people group is the largest group through which the gospel can flow without encountering significant barriers of understanding and acceptance.

6,422 - Number of people groups where Evangelical Christians comprise less than 2% of the total population. These UPG stas do not include USA & Canada.

571 - Number of unreached people groups in the United States and Canada. [Note: engagement and statuses for many people groups in USA and Canada are still unknown. This number will change as more information becomes available.]

3,133 - Number of unreached people groups not engaged by anyone. A people group is engaged when a church planting strategy, consistent with Evangelical faith and practice is underway. In this respect, a people group is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused praer, or is part of an advocacy strategy.

393 - Number of unreached people groups with populations at or above 100,000.

Another way of looking at these mind-boggling figures is through population numbers:

6,944,287,685 - Number of people in the above 11,342 people groups.

4,192,663,816 - Number of people in the above 6,422 people groups where Evangelical Christians comprise less than 2% of the total population.

240,245,046 - Population of the 3,133 unreached people groups not engaged by anyone.

96,381,569 - Population of unreached people grooups that are not engaged by anyone, anywhere around the world.

Every one of the 6,944,287,685 persons is loved by God.  Let's not confuse numbers with real people. Each is a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter of someone. Every single person is someone for whom Christ died.

So what does all of this mean? For me there are at least three ways to respond:

1) Indifference--not my problem, I'm not going to do anything about it, I already have a full plate of other concerns.

2) Involve myself--as we begin a new year, I am going to intentionally engage in trying to do my part in making sure the Gospel gets to the nations--I am going to inform myself, pray with understanding, give purposefully, and maybe even go myself.

3) Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to me about what He would have me do, and then do it.

*Above information courtesy of Global Research Department of the International Mission Board.


Anonymous said...


Matthew 24:14 is a simple but profound statement of Jesus. Despite all the bad news, the GOOD NEWS will be shared with all people groups. There is a lot of UPG rhetoric in church and missions sending agency forums but somehow we continue to water the message down. The same old, same old will lead us to the same old results. PLEASE do NOT call it missions if “it” is not focused on where there are little or no followers of Jesus.

J. Guy Muse said...

I hear you friend. Seems every activity that churches do gets labeled "missions" so that it sounds like we are doing what the GC says, but sadly, most ends up being little more than Christian activity.

John Nix said...

The nubers are staggering! Guy told me recently that we are missionaries wherever we live. For Guy and Linda, they were specifically called to do a certain work at a certain place. For us, the mission field is wherever we find ourselves in a position where the Spirit in our hearts and mind tell us to be kind, have compassion, discard anything close to differences that cause bios (skin color, nationality,a handicapped person, etc...the list goes on...we are all equal in the eyes of God). Jesus did the work of His father whever he found himself in or in whatever he was doing. Guy, I have always thought of you as such a kind a compassionate person. We pray for you and Linda every day.

J. Guy Muse said...


Thanks for the kind words, and especially your prayers. They are what sustains us more than anything else.