John Stott has stated that, “We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” In our effort to prioritize our resources to the unreached has God’s global church forgotten our global commitment to make disciples? Has our effort to limit sending missionaries to where they are most needed caused us to commit a grievous error- that of forgetting that our mission is ALL nations and that the Great Commission does not limit us by gospel access?
Many Christian organizations have asked the question of whether or not we should continue to send missionaries to South America because it has been “reached” and therefore no longer is in need of our missions resources. The idea is that once an area is reached, the responsibility of the global church is complete. With over 60 unreached people groups we cannot truly say the continent has been reached. However we must ask ourselves if it is true that reaching an area ends our responsibility. Perhaps it would be better to ask: How is God working among these people and how does He want His global church to participate in that work?
How is God working in South America? Our son Weston recently visited a village that had no known believer in Christ. As Weston began to evangelize he met a man with an unbelievable story. This man had become discouraged with the local religion and had begun to read a Bible. Within those precious pages he met Jesus and became saved. This man who had given his heart to Christ had never met another believer. This is not an isolated story. God is using both curiosity and desperation to draw people to Himself. It is because God is still working in South America that workers are desperately needed to continue the work of discipleship.
Does God want His global church to continue to participate in this amazing work? YES, of course He does! We must never become so concerned that the gospel be placed in the hearts of people with zero access that we forget to keep the door open for the gospel to take root in the hearts of people who live in places where there is limited access to the gospel and even less access to the body of Christ. We must remember that Great Commission does not limit us by location or saturation of the gospel. It tells us that discipling-making is the objective and the priority.
Why should we continue to mobilize an area that already has access to the gospel? Global church, do not forget we are not called to make to make the gospel accessible- God Himself has done that- we are called to make disciples of all nations.
We must sure that a man who found forgiveness and salvation (no matter how he found and received it) will have the ability to feed and grow as part of a body of believers who will baptize him, pray with him, and teach him to observe all the teachings of Christ.