Some statistics are really pointless. For instance, what point is there when a weather forecaster gives a 50% chance of rain? Seriously, how does that really help us gauge the weather. Then , there are those statistics that are the final results of millions of dollars of study and research only to be told something that any person with a brain already knows, such as: “Studies show that stress can cause greater risk of heart attack.” Or, “Studies show that consuming alcohol causes people to make more mistakes than those who do not.” And then there is the statistic that costs so much money in research and really has no point whatsoever. An example of this is: New studies show that dog fleas jump higher than cat fleas.” Wow, now the world makes more sense! I’m still waiting for the statistic that states that those people who hang the toilet paper so that it comes from the top are said to live 20 years longer than those who hang it from the bottom. At some point, money will be given to fund that research project.
So, there are just some statistics that are good for a laugh.
But then there are some statistics that really do make you want to cry, or get on your knees and pray, or get up off your butt and try to change the world.
- 22,000 children die every single day because of poverty
- There are 10 times more girls being brought into sex trafficking annually today than there were African slaves annually being brought into the new world.
- 15% of orphaned children will commit suicide before the age of 18.
Yes, those are statistics that should cause us to cry out for God, should cause us to rise up and ask how we might make a difference and bring about change in this world.
And then there are some statistics that are really personal to us and move our heart, often defining our call and purpose in life. From the orphan care worker who is moved by the statistic of 148 million orphaned children, to the humanitarian worker drilling wells because more than 1 billion people live where there is no nearby access to water, to everywhere in between.
Well, the statistics that have gripped my heart and have defined my call have to do with the need for the Gospel to still reach so many places in the world and how few resources are being spent on the global mission, a mission that has been borne of God since the beginning of time.
Here are the statistics that cause me to cry out to God, that cause me to cry out like Isaiah, saying, “Lord, here am I. Send me.”
- There are about 7.2 billion people in the world today. Over 3 billion of them have not been reached with the Gospel. 1.6 billion have never even heard the name of Jesus.
- There are only about 140,000 missionaries in the world today. 64,000 are sent from the U.S. That’s 140,000 people sent out to reach more than 3 billion people! God, send out laborers!
- The annual income of Christians today is about 12 trillion dollars. 11.4 billion of that is given to foreign missions. (way less than 1%)
- There are almost 17,000 people groups in the world. Almost 7,000 of them are still unreached.
- There are 900 churches for every one unreached people group
- There are 78,000 evangelical Christians for every one people group
- If every evangelical gave 10% of their income to foreign missions, we could easily support 2 million new missionaries!
In other words, the harvest is indeed plentiful and the workers are few. So, my heart is gripped by such a need for the Gospel to still reach places far and wide. And I just want to spend my life, every ounce, being used by God to bring the Gospel to the world so that the name of Jesus would be heard on the lips of people from all tongues, tribes, and nations!
May you too be gripped by such statistics that it causes you to get involved in God’s global purposes