One of the last things Jesus told the disciples was to make disciples of all the nations. This command, known as the Great Commission, has mobilized the church since its inception. Christians throughout the ages—from the apostle Paul to evangelist Billy Graham—have helped take the good news around the world.
We should stop and consider where we are and how the mission is progressing as we head into 2022. Is the world being reached with the message of the gospel? What's the best way for Christians to invest their time and resources to reach the world?
The state of the mission
Global Frontier Missions (GFM) put out a powerful video featuring statistics from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for the Study of Global Christianity. The video breaks down the world’s 7 billion people into three groups.
- World A: The 29% of the planet who has never heard of Jesus and has no access to the gospel.
- World B: The 38% of the world that has access to the gospel but has chosen not to follow Jesus.
- World C: The 33% of the world population that would identify as Christian. (This identification may not represent a true spiritual position.)
Looking at missionaries
According to the video, only one out of 1,800 people from World C choose to serve as a missionary in a different culture. This means that there are only about 400,000 cross-cultural missionaries taking the gospel to the world.
The GFM video points out that 72% of missionaries in the world are sent out to World C areas. These are cultures with Bibles, churches and established Christian representation. Next, 25% of missionaries are sent out to World B, where people also have access to Bibles, churches, and Christians. And only 3% are going to World A, where people have virtually no other access to the good news.
Financing the gospel
Then GFM zooms in on the financial support that sustains evangelism around the world. It turns out that people from World C collectively earn about $2 trillion dollars and give about $700 billion dollars to Christian causes (that works out to about 1.6%). This $700 billion supports everything: churches, ministries, charities, etc.
Out of the money given to Christian causes, only about $45 billion is specifically given to missions—87% of which goes to World C. Only 1% of mission money ($450 million) makes it to World A, people who have no other means of learning about Jesus.
Bridging the gap
From no gospel access to little missionary capacity and poor funding, it's clear the world of global missions faces extraordinary gaps.
At Jesus Film Project, we are humbled to play a part in sharing the gospel with some of the most unreached places in the world. We believe everyone on Earth should have an opportunity to know Jesus and grow in Him.
This mission is at the heart of everything we do. It drives us to fulfill our goals for 2025:
- To provide gospel access for 2,200 languages around the globe, covering 99% of the world’s speakers.
- To reach 1 billion people annually, primarily through digital means.
- To see 5 million new churches or groups across the planet, each within walking distance of people who have not heard the gospel.
To hear more about our ministry's vision, watch our 2025 vision video below:
Of course, none of this kingdom-building work can happen without partnership. Our work is only possible in partnership with other ministries, churches, relief organizations and people just like you.
Through the gifts of partners, the message of the gospel is shared with those who haven't heard. Your gift toward our film teams can help make that happen. Together, we can help people in unreached places encounter the hope of Jesus.