The premier report on the "Status of Global Mission" is currently by Todd M. Johnson and Peter F. Crossing, and is published annually in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research. Click here to see our latest Global Mission Trends report, which incorporates some of those stats.
The US Center for World Mission has the excellent magazine Mission Frontiers devoted to reaching the unreached, which you can access online.
The Lausanne Covenant is a powerful statement on the nature, purpose and methods of global evangelism, formulated in 1974, and ratified by 2,300 delegates from 150 nations.
A brief word to African American Christians concerning global mission:
Before the throne will be gathered folk from every "tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9, NIV), purchased by the blood of Christ. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation, with orders to make disciples of ALL nations (ethnic groups). We don’t have the luxury of staying in our own neighborhoods, however needy they are.
We are to spread of the Gospel to all ethnic groups. Christ gave all of us the "Great Commission" to go to "all nations" (Matt. 28:18-20). This is to make disciples, baptizing and teaching them all that Christ has taught. The only command is "make disciples." Going into all the world, however, costs money. Money is not evil; the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil (1 Tim. 6:10).
Acts 1:8 tells us to witness to Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth. This does not mean that each level depends upon everyone being evangelized at the lower level, or we would never get to the higher levels. If we cannot personally go, then we can personally support those who do go.
Examples of support:
- planting churches in Islamic countries
- translating the Bible for people who do not have it
- running a hospital or medical mission as a way to share the Gospel
- teaching Christians in Africa
- witnessing to Hispanics
- running an orphanage as a testimony to God's love
- providing support to missionaries: technical, education support for children, air transportation, computerization, administration, etc.
What a missionary is NOT:
- A deacon, or an usher in a white or black dress, or one who visits shut-ins, or who distributes food and rent money. This is being "salt and light," and is certainly valid and important. But it is not making disciples of other ethnic groups, generally.
- It is not necessarily someone who flies over salt water.
- It is not necessarily an evangelist or witness, who may go to his own people.
We should send out those who are missionaries for the sake of the Name of Christ, "in a manner worthy of God." (3 John 1:5-8), because unbelievers cannot be expected to support them.
Is the responsibility to give everyone a chance to receive Christ and be discipled the responsibility of the White, or the Korean, or the Hispanic church alone?