Missions is a call, as followers of Christ we’re called to be representatives wherever we go. Some of us are called to be a representative in our workplace, or in our school, or at home. But some of us are called to leave our homes, our family and friends, to cross borders and culture to be a representative of Christ to those who have no other ambassadors of Christ. This is what we call cross-cultural missions. We are sent by a call of God to every tribe and tongue. We read in Revelation that every tribe, people group, and language will be with the Lord in heaven. We don't have representatives from every tribe, tongue, and nation yet, but God is asking us to partner with him to see this powerful and beautiful vision to come to pass.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” We can pray and ask the Lord to send labourers into the missions field, but are we willing to go ourselves?
You might be asking, why does it matter that I go cross-cultural? Imagine you had never heard the gospel before. You didn’t know about the Good News that sin no longer had control over you and that there is a God who loves you enough to come to earth as a humble baby, live a perfect life, and die so that you can be in a relationship with him. Crazy right? Wouldn’t you feel honored if someone spent thousands of dollars to cross the ocean, take trains, or buses, or boats to find you? Wouldn't you want to listen? That is why cross-cultural missions is important. We know about Jesus, we know the freedom, and friendship that Jesus brings.
According to the Joshua Project the latest estimates are that approximately 7,400 people groups are considered unreached. This covers about 42% of the world’s population. These people have no or few indigenous believers and they are under social pressure to not share their beliefs. We can't leave these people to figure it out for themselves. Romans 10:14-15 says, “How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”
Here are some sobering facts about just the 50 largest unreached people groups:
All 50 of these people groups have less than 2% Christ-followers
Individuals in these groups may have very limited, if any, access to the Gospel.
Just the top 50 unreached people groups are comprised of 1.48 billion souls.
One in five people on earth live in these 50 unreached peoples.
Every group is larger than 10,000,000 in population.
None have an indigenous church capable of taking the Gospel to the entire group.
This is why we need to cross oceans, take trains, climb mountains, and carry the good news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
A story that sticks with me is about a missionary that traveled to a remote tribe, after years of learning language, building relationships, he finally was able to share about Jesus. The indigenous man he shared with looked at him and said, “If your people have known this for so long, why did your grandfather not come and tell my grandfather?”
The nations are crying out for hope, for life, for Jesus. Who will fulfill the great commission? Who will bring hope to the lost? Who will translate the Bible into minority languages? Who will go? Will we be reluctant messengers like Jonah, or will we throw up our hands like Isaiah crying out, “Here am, I send me!”
https://joshuaproject.net/ (unreached people groups)
The Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 9:37-38, “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”
Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands.”
Romans 10:14-15, “How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”
Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: “Who will I send? Who will go for us?” I said: “Here I am. Send me.”
Eternity in Their Hearts, Don Richardson