I hope you will find yourself amazed by the rich new diagram across the page. And don't miss the eloquent wording you find there quoted from John R. Stott (at the Manila, 1989 Lausanne Committee congress).
The "Diminishing Task" diagram usually appearing on page five now appears in reduced form below to the right. Hopefully it is familiar enough so it won't matter if you can't read the type. It basically demonstrates an astonishing trend across 2,000 years. The new diagram describes the current moment of that trend, in 1992.
The small diagram graphically portrays the exciting and reassuring fact that the Bible believing Christians of the world are outnumbered only 7 to one now, after 2,000 years (6.8 to one, to be more exact).
The new diagram on page five is an enlargement of the final situation today--the "7 to one" ratio. Many have been confused at just what the "6.8" means. In our new diagram we are rounding off again to 7 to one, now you can see that the seven is the sum of 4 and 3, that is, the 4 "D"s and the 3"C"s that appear on the new chart.
The more obvious fact in the new chart is that the 500 million Bible believing Christians constitute 1 out of 10 people in the world, or a 9 to 1 ratio, if you match them against all other kinds of people. Isn't that remarkable?
Let's assume that the spiritually active Christians in the world are the Bible believing Christians whom John R. Stott calls, "The Committed."
1. For each of them, only four others (the "D"s) require traditional cross-cultural, pioneer mission work.
2. Only three others (the "C"s) require further evangelism (do not require pioneer mission efforts), while,
3. Two others (the "B"s) require the kind of evangelism inside church membership, often called "renewal."
4. The "A"s themselves need on-going nurture, and mission mobilization!
The disturbing fact is that (these are generalizations) 90% of all money and effort expended by the Bible believing Christian group goes to their own churches, and 90% of the 10% they give away goes to reaching out to those in groups B, and somewhat to the "C"s, leaving only about 1% of their efforts in pioneer fields! (See column 3 on page 39).
The answer in part is for all missionaries everywhere to become newly alerted to the "D" category, and to mobilize the now millions of mission-field Christians toward those still-unreached fields!
Yes, the biggest, little-known reality in the world is the quiet miracle of the mission force emerging from the mission fields themselves.
In this issue, Bill Taylor, the spectacular leader of the Mission Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship is highlighted on pages 36-37. He is by now the world's expert on the emergency of mission training facilities for this vast new missionary resource of the so-called "younger churches."
The new factor now is the situation in the former domain of the Soviet Union, bristling with opportunities, needs, dangers, unknowns of all kinds. This issue concentrates on the kaleidoscope of need within the Russian Federation alone. The non-Russian populations within many of the autonomous regions within Russia may attempt to wrest control from the Russians. This could put Russia into a prolonged state of unrest and paralysis, even if it did not have enormous political and economic problems already.