If you are involved with foreign missions at all, I am sure you know what the 10/40 window is. If you aren’t, then you might not have any idea what I am talking about.
According to JoshuaProject.net the 10/40 window “is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude.”
That link to Joshua Project will give you some insight into how many people live in the 10/40 window, what religions are prevalent, and how many unreached people groups are there.
My question is, “Why is it important that we know what the 10/40 window is?”
More specifically, why should I (those of us who live outside the 10/40 window) care that nearly five billion people live in the window? And about three billion of those people live in an unreached people group. That means that they have never heard about the Good News of Jesus Christ. Or if they have, it was on a very limited basis.
I am going to say that again…THREE Billion people who have NEVER heard the Gospel.
That is 10 times the number of people who live in the United States.
How many times do you think the 300 million who live in the United States have heard about Jesus Christ? A lot. Please understand, I think they should hear about the Redeemer as many times as possible. However, I wonder how God looks at this. Do you think He sees the billions of people in these Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Atheistic countries, and then looks to and fro across His people to see who is willing to get the Word to these people?
Here is the issue…
I could slice this a lot of different ways, but let’s look at it financially. I get these statistics and hypothetical questions from The Traveling Team:
- Christians worldwide earn about 42 trillion.
- Christians give to any Christian cause about 700 billion (that is about what we spend on Christmas in America).
- Given to Missions: $45 billion
- That’s only 6.4% of the money given to Christian causes of any kind (2015).
- That’s also how much we spend in America on dieting programs.
HOW CHRISTIAN GIVING IS USED.
- Pastoral ministries of local churches (mostly in Christian nations): $677 billion (96.8%)
- “Home Missions” in same Christian nations: $20.3 billion (2.9%)
- Going to Unevangelized Non-Christian world: $2.1 billion (.3%) *This is different than “Unreached”
- Money that goes toward Unreached Peoples: *Estimated $450 million
*In 2001 only 1% of giving to “Missions” went to unreached – if that trend holds true today it would be $450 million.
The $450 million going toward UPG’s is only .001% of the $42 trillion Income of Christians. For every $100,000 that Christians make, they give $1 to the unreached.
Evangelical Christians could provide all of the funds needed to plant a church in each of the 6,900 unreached people groups with only 0.03% of their income.
The Church has roughly 3,000 times the financial resources and 9,000 times the manpower needed to finish the Great Commission.
If every evangelical gave 10% of their income to missions we could easily support 2 million new missionaries.
So I ask the question again…
Why should I care?
If you aren’t a Christian, I can understand how that verse can intimidate. But here is what it means…The “gospel” is the good news that Jesus Christ has come to redeem or heal the brokenhearted; to restore this world to its original, perfect, intended state where there was no death, no hate, no destruction, etc. The “kingdom” is that realm I just described. “The end will come” does sound ominous. However, if the Bible is correct and true, which I believe it is, then when the good news is proclaimed (told, shared) to all nations, then Jesus will return to this world, and the world as we know it will end.
Now if you are a Christian (one who believes all this to be true), then you should want to see this outcome. And if you want to see this outcome, well, I hope you know what I am about to say.
As the church, especially in America, we need to take a long look at where we put our financial resources. Not since the beginning of time do we have the means we have today to reach the unreached people groups that live around the around the world and especially in the 10/40 window.
I invite you into this dialogue. I want to know your thoughts as you read this blog.
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