Frontier vs. Regular

Missions is a term that can be thrown around easily. Missions is now exchanged for the term “evangelism” and “outreach”. Missions is a budget in the church that goes far too wide and far too shallow. Missions is not just a sector or ministry in the church. Missions IS the purpose of the church. As the church universal we are commanded to take the gospel to where it is currently not. The reason for and the purpose of the church is to worship Christ with everything and bring more worshipers to Christ. It is out of God’s passion for His glory that missions exists (read John Piper’s “Let the Nations Be Glad.” )

A few years back I had thought the division was between lost and saved people here and around the world, and the church just gets people to come to Him wherever they are. The first time I heard about Christ was when I was 15. I knew where churches were, I just wasn’t interested to find out what they were all about. I thought that is how it is all over, churches out there but individuals decide to go or not.

I never realized that there were whole groups of people separated from God, who have no access to His gospel. I found out that there were places where there were no churches. That there were places that people didn’t have the bible translated in their language, places where people are actively searching for someone to tell them the greatest story told, but no one has ever told them. This changed everything.

Missiologists have termed it reached and unreached. Come to find out there are whole sectors of culture termed people groups that are characterized by this reached and unreached zones.

Based on this, here are some definitions:
“missions” that is within our country is called evangelism
“missions” outside our country that is among reached peoples is regular missions
“missions” outside our country that is among unreached peoples is frontier missions

Here are some statistics to make things more real:

  • There are an estimated 24,000 people groups
  • 10,000 of these are considered unreached (most located in 10/40 window)
  • Of our mission personnel, 85% serve in regular missions while only 15% serve in frontier areas
  • Of our finances, 95% of our church dollars goes straight back to us, sending 5% out to missions out side of our country
    • of our missions budget, 90% goes to regular missions with only 10% going to frontier missions
    • Totaled: 99.5% of our money goes to reached areas where people have access to the gospel while 0.5% goes to places that otherwise have no opportunity to hear

I think the church needs to put a little more thought as to what missions is, and what our focus should be. Of course all of these areas are good targets for ministry, but if we are going to focus on missions lets truely and strategically put our efforts into completing the Great Commission.

I leave you with the words of the greatest missionary:

thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”
-Romans 15:20-21

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