Today's hot take on the 10/40 window
I laughed when typing the title of this article. the 10/40 window has been around for a long time. And while the idea of a “hot take” seems silly, I thought it was time for a fresh, clarifying look at this confusing subject.
No community of believers.
No online resources
Not a single book of the Bible in their language
Not a single Christian who speaks their language.
This is reality for 3.1 billion people. (41% of the world’s population!) The vast majority of the world’s unreached live in the area called the 10/40 window.
These 3.1 billion unreached people in the 10/40 window can be divided into nearly 6,000 distinct people groups. Each group with a unique language and way of doing life.
How does an unreached person get to know Christ? They cannot. At least not in their current situation. This is where the term “unreached” comes from. They currently cannot reach or access the Gospel. Which brings us to…
In order for them to know Jesus, someone has to take the Gospel to them. Someone must be the messenger. This is a difficult task simply because there are so many barriers to sharing the Gospel with the unreached in the 10/40 window. Here are just a few:
It often takes time. 10-15 years is typically the minimum amount of time it takes to establish a community of believers amongst a people group.
It often takes mastering multiple languages. First a missionary must learn the trade (or common) language, then the heart (or native) language of their target people group.
It takes a total commitment to the task. Leaving family, jobs, and comfort for the sake of the Gospel.
A lot to take on, but we also have the God of the universe who is with us. (“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom. 8:31)
What does God say about this task before us?
It is urgent. Millions are dying without the opportunity to know the Lord. “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” Romans 10: 13-15
It is a joy.
“Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
Tell of his salvation from day to day
Declare his glory among the nations;
His marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised”.
Psalm 96: 1- 4
As the psalmist highlights- do we not have the greatest Lord who is WORTHY of praise? Let us sing his praise and declare his glory among the nations!
Every Christ follower has a role in global missions.
Jesus, right before he ascended to heaven told his disciples:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20
The disciples were the original Christ- followers. As Christians today, we must take Jesus’ words to them with sincerity knowing that He was speaking to His followers.
So, what role can you play?
There are many ways to take part in global missions and take the Gospel to those who have not heard it. There could be a separate article on each of the following, but here are a few thoughts to get started. Consider praying over them to see how the Lord wants you to act.
Prayer: Ask the Lord to send missionaries to the unreached parts of the world. Ask Him to orient your heart towards the unreached. Connect with a missionary who your church supports. Ask the missionary for things that you can pray for- they’ll be so glad you asked!
Support financially: Even if you’re living on a shoestring budget, $10 a month to a missionary is not only helpful, but a huge encouragement to them as well. Consider praying and asking the Lord if there is a certain missionary that you should support financially.
Send and organize: Missions work needs support. Join your church’s missions team as they work to support and send more missionaries to the field. How can you welcome missionaries when they return home? You could consider hosting them in your home or giving them a car so they can get around.
Welcome: How can you welcome immigrants and refugees in your own community? Seek out local nonprofits who help refugees get settled into your community.
Go: Of course the last way to take part in missions is to actually go yourself. To take the saving news of Christ Jesus to those who do not yet know Him. “How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the good news!”
Consider praying and asking the Lord how he’d like you to respond. How can you take part in delivering the Gospel to those who don’t have it?