I think it’s time the Church begins to rethink Missions.
It is no surprise that we are living in a post-Christian America. But the figures and stats compiled in this Navigators article are astounding.
“According to George Barna: “With its 195 million unchurched people, America has become the new mission field. America has more unchurched people than the entire populations of all but 11 of the world’s 194 nations.”*
According to Lost in America, by Tom Clegg and Warren Bird, 2001: “The unchurched population in the United States is so extensive that, were it a nation, it would be the fifth-largest on the planet. . . . Researchers and analysts describe North America as the world’s third-largest mission field.”
According to Os Guiness, in World Evangelization, Vol. 18, No 65, 1993: “The three strongest national challenges to the Gospel in the modern world are Japan, Western Europe, and the United States.”
According to George Gallup in 1997, only ten years ago: “More than 44% of American adults 18 and over are unchurched; 120 million Americans have no substantial Christian memory.”
Barna affirms Gallup. Consider: “America’s secularization has gone from only 15% in the 1950s up to 40% in 2001; and headed for 60% percent by 2010!” (Secularization means basing the decisions of one’s life on a secular humanist, relativist moral world view. Judeo-Christian values and the Bible are no longer the moral foundation of decision making in life for the vast majority of Americans.)
According to America: An Emerging Mission Field in World Christian Encyclopedia, Second Edition p.27: “In 2000, the United States sent out 118,200 missionaries, but it also received 33,200. Ironically, the world’s largest missionary-sending country has now become the world’s largest missionary-receiving country.” Not to mention:
o The world’s largest Buddhist temple is located in Boulder, CO, USA!
o The world’s largest Muslim training center is in New York City, USA!
o The world’s largest training center for transcendental meditation is in Fairfield, Iowa, USA!
According to Leighthon Ford, evangelist and Christian leader, “North America is now the largest mission field in the English-speaking world” (Cities’ and surrounding areas’ concentrated populations make them obvious targets for sharing the Gospel).
The number of churches in Chicago has decreased by 900 in the last 10 years! In many cases what were once churches are now condominiums.
England, the once great Christian missionary-sending nation for centuries, before America, now has more mosques than churches, and must itself be reached all over again with the Gospel! We are on this same path.
Did you realize that less than one in ten people who make a decision to follow Jesus do so in the context of a church setting?* Most people will enter into a relationship with Jesus by seeing His life and Kingdom lived out in the lives of family members or friends.
As part of the Navigators Metro Mission team, it is our passion to not only reach and disciple the lost for the Kingdom, but to encourage and help others in our New York City Tri-State area to do the same-right where God has placed them in life. The job, the neighborhood, the family, and the friends where He has planted you is absolutely no accident.
Scripture tells us that this is your mission field, and it is as significant to God as any in the world! He ordained and planned, in eternity past, to reach it through you. We find this indicated, among other places, in Ephesians 1:3-10 and 2:10. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Your world is as much on His heart as any part of the whole world, for which He died. “Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” We have also found what Jesus said in Matthew 9:37 to be so very true: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”"
For more information on this subject you can read this article at the Internet Monk.