How Much Is Left to Do in the Great Commission?

  John Piper: We should be dumbfounded at how doable the remaining task of world missions is. Before I show this, let’s clarify some definitions. Missions is not the same as evangelism. Evangelism is sharing the gospel with any unbelievers, and that work will never be done till Jesus comes. Missions, on the other hand, relates to people groups, not just people, and the number is finite and relatively stable — like the “every people, tongue, tribe, and nation” of Revelation 5:9. So missions is crossing a culture, learning a language, and planting the church through preaching the gospel among people groups that have no churches strong enough to evangelize their group. According to the Joshua Project (as of February 16) there are 16,598 people groups in the world. 7,165 of these are “unreached” (fewer than 2% evangelical). Defining things somewhat differently, the research arm of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board estimates 11,310 people groups, of which 6,405 are unreached and 3,100 are “unengaged”

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