Monday, October 5, 2009

Minding the Gap

In CPM (Church Planting Movement) training they asked us the following question:

How many people from your targeted unreached people group will hear the gospel today?

All of us had already done extensive research on our groups.  We all know their population, what percentage of them are Christians and how many Christian resources are available to them.  So, we all went up to a board in front of the room.  We each wrote down the name of our group, their population and how many people among them we estimate will hear the gospel in the next 24 hours.  Then we added up all the populations from every group, and the total number of people who will hear the gospel.  The result?

At the current rate, it would take close to 200 years for all of them to hear the gospel, assuming that each time someone hears the gospel, it is the first time.  (No repeats.)  If some hear it more than once, then it will just take longer before they all hear. 

"Folks, that ain't cuttin' it!" 

These were the words of the facilitator leading the session.  In business time = money, but in missions time = lost people who either hear the gospel, or die without it.  There is a huge gap between those who need to hear and those who are hearing it.  And we need to mind that gap.

Something must be done so that the message of Christ is communicated in a way people can understand and respond in a much broader fashion.  What needs to be done so that they will hear?  Part of the answer lies in radio broadcast.  In some places it will involve literature distribution or the Jesus film.  But in no place will there be a better way for people to hear the story of Jesus than "mouth-to-ear."  Christians need to be mobilized to share the gospel in person. 

You might ask, "Where could we possibly find enough evangelists to tell them all?"

The answer:  The resources are in the harvest.  Those who hear must be trained to tell others, and then those in turn trained to tell more, and so on.  Those who hear and accept become the evangelists to share the story to the next person in line.  The idea is seen in 2 Timothy 2:2:

"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." 

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