Weekly Update: September 16, 2015

Dear Family,

On Sunday we began chapter 13 of Mark, in which Jesus gives his teaching known as the "Olivet Discourse" on the Mount of Olives on Wednesday of Passion Week. Jesus taught that we should expect trials and tribulations, but also that we must stay faithful to the mission (the Great Commission) and that God would be with us as we go. Jesus said that the gospel must be preached to all the nations before the end would come (Mk 13:10; Matt 24:14). Some of you asked me for the statistics that I shared:

STATUS OF WORLD EVANGELIZATION:

  • Of the 16,100 ethnic people groups in the world, 6,600 (41%) are considered "unreached", meaning less than 2% are evangelical Christians and less than 5% are nominal Christians.
  • The countries with the most unreached people groups are: India (2,033), China (455), Pakistan (435), Nepal (343), and Bangladesh (339).
  • 5 out of every 6 unreached people groups are located within the "10-40 Window".
  • Of the 7.3 billion people in the world, 10% identify as followers of Christ (evangelical Christians).
  • Of the remainder of people in the world, 22% are nominal Christians, 39% have had exposure to the gospel but have not responded, and 29% have had virtually no exposure to the gospel.

CHALLENGES:

  • Christianity (all kinds) is growing at 1.2% per year, but Islam is growing at 1.9% and thus faster than general Christianity. The positive news is that evangelical Christianity is growing at 2.6% and thus faster than Islam.
  • Almost 90% of all cross-cultural missionaries labor among nominally Christian people groups. Only 10% labor among unreached peoples.
  • 86% of all Muslims, Buddhists and Hindu do not personally know a Christ-follower.
  • Out of every dollar of Christian giving to all causes, less than one penny goes toward pioneer church planting among unreached peoples.
  • Violent religious extremism is growing, resulting in increased persecution of Christians and Jews.

For more information about how you can pray and get involved, I'd encourage you to check out The Joshua Project website and mobile app.

One way that we can be a part of evangelism here in our community is through efforts like Christianity Explored, which will begin meeting at Cross Creek on Tuesday nights starting October 6 (there is an ad in the current Creekline newspaper that you can share with your neighbors and co-workers). This 7-week course is designed to provide a low-key environment for those that are curious about investigating the Christian faith.

On Sunday we will continue our First Hour classes at 9:30. This coming Tuesday, the women's Nehemiah study will begin, with both morning and evening options. Paul will be continuing in Mark 13 on Sunday morning. See you then!

Keith