Five Trends Facing World Missions

(The following is a series of five trends facing World Missions, written before his passing on January 31 by Dr. Bill George, Editorial Assistant to the General Overseer, for the EVANGEL’s globalCONNECT. The following is parts 1, 2 and 3).

With a wonderfully escalating church-planting movement, record numbers of people confessing Christ and joining the church, and a world of people still to reach, World Missions is aware of trends that deserve attention. The noteworthy five are …

Missions Flows from Prayer
Jesus gave His followers one main prayer request: “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV).

The method of getting more missionaries into the field is prayer. When Christ’s followers pray, the Father puts it into the hearts of people to go, and into the hearts of the churches to send them. The prayer of the church must be for God to raise up missionaries and raise up missionary-sending local churches.

Missions Must Go to the Cities
In many nations, the pattern over the years has been to establish churches in rural areas. This methodology emerged because property and building costs are less expensive outside the cities; early missionaries who ministered in many areas often had a more rural than urban personal background; and relationships are often easier to establish and maintain among rural people.

However, in the 20th century, the emphasis moved from the country to the city. In 1950, there were 83 cities in the world with 1 million inhabitants. That count by 2014 had spiraled to nearly 500! The world is urbanizing. One of the great challenges of missions in coming years will be to strengthen the church’s presence in the urban areas of the world. It will be a costly undertaking, but the cities are where the people are. In its vision to reach the cities, World Missions has initiated the “Send the Light to the Cities Project,” focusing on 11 major cities of the world to evangelize and build training centers.

Missions Has a Heart for Unreached People
Christian demographers tell the church that among the world’s 7.4 billion inhabitants, a little more than 3.11 billion people do not know the name of Jesus. Hundreds of groups of people exist, among whom few, if any, have ever been exposed to the message of truth. Among these numerous groups—the Joshua Project counts 6,685 of them—the Church of God has targeted 250 for concentrated attention and outreach. The people who live in the groups have no friends and neighbors who can tell them about Christ. The only way they can find out about Him and His offer of salvation is for an outsider—a missionary—to share the message. This truth affirms the Bible’s declaration:

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:13-15 NKJV).

(Source: Church of God World Missions)

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