Did you know that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish? Did you know that he ended up in Ireland at the age of 16, after he was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders and spent 6 years in captivity as a shepherd? In a dream God told him to escape and once he made his way back to Britain he had a second dream.In this dream God told him that he was to go back to Ireland (his captors of 10 years). After years studying in the ministry, he went back to preach the Gospel to the same people that held him captive. He used the clover to illustrate the trinity. This and other fascinating stories of normal people bringing glory to God in extraordinary ways throughout history is one piece of the 15-week Perspectives course that we (Melissa Simmons, Mona Bormet, and Timon Hazell) are taking.
So far, it’s been a fascinating 11 weeks of studying what the Bible says about missions and being a blessing for the nations; studying how God’s purpose has moved relentlessly throughout history from Abraham’s day until the present moment, especially studying specific missionary journeys from birth to death and their influence throughout generations; recognizing how culture interfaces with the spread of gospel and the deep need for missionary humility; and studying the current world need, especially in unreached areas.
Statisticians, hold your breath:
- There are 11,300 people groups in the world
- There are 6,542 unreached people groups in the world (a people group within which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to evangelize this people group).
- There are also 3,058 unengaged people groups (a people group within which there is no church planting effort) and 300 Million Evangelicals in the world. That’s 102,000 Evangelicals for every unengaged people group. If 1% of those served as missionaries, 1020 could be assigned to each of the unengaged peoples.
- There are also 4.6 million Christian congregations in the world. That’s 1,504 congregations for every unengaged people group.
- There are 44,000 Christian denominations. That’s 14 whole denominations for every unengaged people group.
- There are 4,900 mission agencies in the world. That’s nearly 2 whole agencies for every unengaged people
- Christians make $30.5 Trillion/year.
- 1.8% ($545 Billion) given to Christian things
- **This is equal to the amount Americans spend on Christmas**
- 5.7% of the above 1.8% ($31 Billion) is given to foreign missions
- **This is equal to the amount Americans spends on dieting**
- 87% ($27 Billion) To Christians
- 12% ($4 Billion) To reach non-Christians
- 1% ($.3 Billion)To Unreached
- **This is equal to the amount Americans spend on Halloween costumes in 2011… for our pets
During Lent, we as a church have been reflecting on a word a day. In Perspectives, we reflect on a word a week. So far, we’ve focused on: purpose, passion, hope, mandate, witness, momentum, finishing, faithful, strategic, hearing, received, and transformation. “Behold, I am making all things new!” Rev 21:5. We are thankful that God is making the entire world new by transforming people from the inside out. We hope you join us in reflecting on God’s transformation in our own lives in the lives of people all around the world.
Want to know more? Chat to Mona, Timon, Melissa or Liz ….